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Oakes’ son, Tyler, assumed his dad’s coaching duties in his absence and remains with the team as a volunteer assistant. Todd’s stamina and strength are returning gradually, but he’s still dealing with post-transplant complications known as graft-versus-host disease. Symptoms include nauseousness, a severe rash and fatigue.
“My legs feel like I run a marathon every day,” he said earlier this season.
But he’s on the road to recovery. Oakes also takes solace in the ripple effect that his illness has had on his players. Many of them routinely give blood now and also participated in a Be The Match marrow registry drive on campus. Sophomore pitcher Jordan Jess learned that he is a match and donated his stem cells in early February.
“I probably wouldn’t have signed up if it wasn’t for TO,” Jess said. “When they called, I was shocked. Then I was like, this is cool because hopefully I’ll get to help save someone’s life.”
Oakes can’t help but consider his cancer a blessing in that regard.
“A lot of ways it’s had a positive influence on people,” he said. “I remember when Jordan called and told me, I got tingles up and down my body. I got this sensation. It’s weird how it all worked out.”
Chip Scoggins • firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Real Salt Lake||2|
|(7) Florida State||74||FINAL|
|(3) South Carolina||80|
|(2) Notre Dame||77|
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