News From Terre Haute, Indiana

News

February 17, 2013

DAVID HUGHES: Childhood friends use faith, sports to get them through

TERRE HAUTE — When I learned in February 2009 that a rare form of appendix cancer would devastate my life and cause me to miss work for several months, Mike Saylor was among the first to offer assistance.

A friend since the mid-1970s, when we attended Terre Haute South High School together, Saylor said he was willing to provide rides to the treatment center of my choice. Family members and another friend ended up driving me to the University of Cincinnati Hospital in 2009 and early 2010, but I appreciated Saylor’s thoughtfulness nonetheless.

Then Jim Bogle, another longtime friend and a South basketball standout in 1978-79 when the Braves reached the state finals for a third straight year, was diagnosed with major salivary gland cancer in December 2011.

Again, Saylor was among the first to show sincere concern.

Now, it is Saylor’s turn to fight that cruelest of foes — cancer. In his case, it’s a form of melanoma. He first noticed a problem in his rib area in 2011.

“The cancer was underneath the ribs and pushing upward,” he told me last week. “Doctors first thought it was broken ribs that had been fused together and stuck out oddly.”

As the months crawled by, Saylor noticed the pain increasing. A CAT scan and biopsy revealed he had cancer.

Soon, he will travel to Houston to undergo treatments at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Married with three daughters and employed as a teacher of physical education at South, Saylor must make major adjustments in his life, which won’t be easy or inexpensive.

Learning to battle adversity

If the name “Mike Saylor” sounds familiar, it should.

As a dedicated young athlete, Saylor got cut from the high school basketball team at South, only to earn a spot on an NCAA Division I roster at Indiana State as a 6-foot-3 walkon in the early 1980s.

He later served as an assistant coach for the ISU men’s team (1985-89) and Terre Haute South’s boys team (1989-1994 and 1995-2004). When the legendary Pat Rady decided to step down as the Braves’ head coach following the 2003-04 season, Saylor became his successor.

Seven seasons later, Saylor resigned with a career record of 103-69 against one of the most difficult Class 4A schedules in Indiana.

Interviewed after his final game with the Braves in March 2011, he reflected on his favorite coaching accomplishments.

“The main things were helping the kids and getting the kids [college] scholarships,” Saylor told me as we stood in the Northview High School gym.

“The final four [in 2005], the final eight [in 2009], being in the sectional finals four out of seven years, the two Pizza Hut [Wabash Valley] Classic championships [in 2004 and 2007] … they were great. Another one of the things I’m most proud of was the way the kids developed while they were in the program.”

But as much as Saylor enjoyed being part of a basketball family — which over the years included Brian Evans, Steve Hart, Maynard Lewis, Armon Bassett and Jake Odum, to name a few — he enjoyed spending time with his real-life family more.

The toughest opponent yet

Saylor, 52, is approaching his new battle with the same athlete/coach competitive spirit that symbolized his pre-cancer life.

But he can’t do it alone. He needs reliable teammates.

Saylor encourages anyone and everyone to pray, not just for him, but for Bogle and other cancer patients around Terre Haute and all over the world.

“There are so many people out there battling cancer,” Saylor said. “They all need continued prayers.”

Bogle, for one, is hanging in there, although he’s not out of the woods yet. Unlike myself, he is not cancer-free.

“With a lot of doctors’ help, I’ve been battling it successfully,” noted Bogle, also 52. “But it’s an ongoing battle.”

Bogle and Saylor grew up as neighbors on South 11th Street. So when Bogle heard about Saylor’s recent cancer diagnosis, he didn’t hesitate to offer his help, the way Saylor previously offered to help him.

Bogle even drove Saylor to a doctor’s appointment in Indianapolis earlier this month.

“We played all sorts of sports together [as children],” Bogle recalled. “We did summer vacations together. … I’m thinking our paths were put together several years ago so we can fight this battle together now.”

Bogle said he and Saylor agree they will eventually beat cancer with the aid of their Christian belief in “faith and hope, love and support.”

How to be a teammate

Asked on Facebook what a person can do to help his cause, Saylor replied: “Pray to Jesus.”

Terre Haute attorney Mike Ellis, a longtime friend of Saylor’s and a 1978 South graduate, is offering an additional option.

He created “THE COACH MIKE SAYLOR BENEFIT FUND” Facebook group, which already has more than 1,620 members. He also helped start a separate website (www.coachmikesaylor.com) with a similar goal.

“I know he’s respected by a lot of people in the community and I know there are a lot of people who want to help,” Ellis explained. “So I wanted to give them the avenue to help.”

Ellis pointed out that most families are not in a financial position to handle unexpected significant medical expenses, even with insurance coverage through an employer.

Ellis promised that 100 percent of monetary donations to this fund will go toward paying for the Saylors’ transportation to and from Houston, motels, child care and medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Donations can be deposited into the “Coach Mike Saylor Benefit Fund” account at any First Financial Bank location or they can be dropped off at Ellis Law Office, 417 Wabash Ave.

Down the road, a benefit basketball game in the South gym and a tennis tournament are expected to raise funds for the cause. Those are probably weeks away, though, and the Saylors are receiving medical bills now.

“Friends help each other out any way they can,” Ellis said of why he’s putting in so much time to assist Saylor.

Ellis is right, so I pledge $50 that I’ll take to First Financial Bank early this week.

It’s the least a cancer survivor can do for a cancer patient.

David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4276; by e-mail at david.hughes@tribstar.com; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
News
  • Road Closings

    14th Street, from Oak to Poplar streets, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 9 for Friends and Family Weekend.

    July 31, 2014

  • August Fire Safety Tip

    Monthly safety hint — Barbeque/grilling safety

    July 31, 2014

  • MET 073014 WESTMINISTER DIG.jpg Expanding independence

    Westminster Village, a Terre Haute retirement community, is investing $1.8 million to construct 12 new villa homes, officials announced Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014 5 Photos

  • Decades later, dry cleaners leave blemish

    Fifty years ago, about 30 dry cleaners did business in the city of Terre Haute. City officials are now cleaning up the mess some left behind.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MARK BENNETT: Year of River sets example for state

    Terre Haute pays more attention to the Wabash River these days.

    July 30, 2014

  • Climate of less regulation, more chemical spills leaves ‘historical pollution,’ NCA director says

    Former dry cleaning sites are an environmental problem all over the state, according to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

    July 30, 2014 1 Story

  • MET073014parks bbushee.jpg Camping turnout low for first half of summer

    Camping revenue for the past two months has dropped in Vigo County parks, a downturn park officials say is difficult to attribute to a new park policy limiting campers’ stays to 14 days in the three county parks.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 073014 DESTROYED.jpg Devastating fire takes out mobile home

    A Seelyville mobile home sustained heavy damage in a fire early Wednesday morning.
    Lost Creek Township firefighters were called to the scene in the 2200 block of Tabortown Road south of U.S. 40 at about 2 a.m.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Man posts bond after fatal wreck

    An Oct. 7 trial date has been set for a Terre Haute man accused of driving while intoxicated causing death.

    July 30, 2014 3 Stories

  • Driver injured, airlifted, cited for failure to yield

    An elderly woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Sullivan County, according to Indiana State Police.

    July 30, 2014

  • MET072914leo screen.jpg Slick’s debut

    Bobby “Slick” Leonard was the main attraction but his hometown, Terre Haute, was constantly in the background as friends, fans and family gathered in Indianapolis Tuesday night to honor the man famous for the words “Boom Baby.”

    July 29, 2014 8 Photos

  • MET 072914 TAJIMI YANASE.jpg Sister-city students get a dose of ‘new culture’

    One of Juri Sawada’s dreams has been to visit America.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Motion delays trial for 2012 homicide

    A man who has been jailed about 20 months in connection with the homicide of his wife will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sheriff charged in prostitution case

    Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden has spent more than 30 years in law enforcement working to protect the public from criminals, but on Tuesday he was treated as one.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • maple candy closeup.jpg Vigo Parks dishing out the sweetness

    Vigo County Parks and Recreation has made a “sweet” addition to its maple syrup production at Prairie Creek Park.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Danny Rodden indicted on federal charges

    Instead of overseeing the operations of the Clark County jail and police force Tuesday, Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden found himself being transported by the FBI to Indianapolis to answer federal charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Story

  • Woman’s condition ‘fair’ after grocery store wreck

    A Terre Haute woman was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis as the result of injuries sustained in Monday’s accident on the Baesler’s Market parking lot.

    July 29, 2014

  • Semi driver cited for alcohol use

    A commercial vehicle driver has been placed out of service after he tested positive for alcohol consumption during a Tuesday morning traffic stop in Sullivan County.

    July 29, 2014

  • Church to give out school backpacks

    United Methodist Temple will stage its first-ever Back-2-School Bash from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 9.
    The church is located at 5301 S. U.S. 41.

    July 29, 2014

  • MET 072814 BUS MEYERROSE.jpg Bus safety features

    New safety features on South Vermillion School Corp. buses have led to fewer disciplinary problems and fewer incidents of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses, officials say.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pendergast.jpg Humvee driver says foot caused fatal accident

    Kyle Pendergast, 22, the Terre Haute driver of a black Humvee charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing the death of a teenager, has told police he could not turn the wheel before the vehicle flipped in a field in an early Saturday morning accident.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • MET 072814 CONTAMINATED Cleaner may have contaminated water

    Groundwater and soil testing is set to begin within a week to learn whether toxic chemicals might have seeped into the wells of a small southside neighborhood and even beyond.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Housing Authority’s Warren Village nearing completion

    Construction on the newest Terre Haute Housing Authority property – Warren Village – should wrap up next month, a housing authority official said Monday.

    July 29, 2014

  • rush-hr.jpg Observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking next chief

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure as the state’s top judge.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Multi-vehicle accident in parking lot

    A woman was hospitalized with injuries after a multiple-vehicle accident late Monday morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot on Poplar Street

    July 29, 2014

  • Old National acquires Michigan bank

    Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. said Monday they have finalized an agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.

    July 28, 2014

  • Ohio man falls to death at Cataract Falls rec area

    Indiana conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.

    July 28, 2014

  • MET 072514 WWI 01MORAHN.jpg Postcards from the war front

    A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 072714 NASCAR STEIG.jpg Watching Gordon make history

    As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury

    Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus 3 People Killed, Deputies Wounded in NC Shootout House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News