NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was January 2007, “My wife heard the words nobody wants to hear, ‘I think we should have this lump checked out,’” said golf coach Parrish McGrath.
McGrath’s family’s worst fear was realized when his wife, Kelli, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after. Being a urology nurse Kelli knew exactly what she was up against from the start.
“While the experience does help you understand what you’re up against, but still that’s you having to go through it,” Parrish said. “I think that she gave to all of those patients through all the years, I think that came back to her. I’ve told people to be strong in all this time, there’s no way I’m not going to be strong.”
Kelli McGrath kept one motto in mind when battling through this tough time and it helped her push through.
“I will define this, it will not define me,” coach McGrath’s wife said.
For the coach in the family, it meant becoming more supportive than he ever has been.
“You have to recognize your part in the recovery process and unfortunately there are times where there’s nothing you can say, you just have to be there,” coach McGrath said.
A little over a year later Kelli McGrath was deemed to be cancer-free.
But that didn’t mean the McGrath’s battle against cancer was over, instead the battle picked up. Kelli continued to support her newfound sisters that went through or are going through the same battle.
“The sisterhood for the ladies that go through this is outstanding,” said coach McGrath. “You have all sorts of avenues for which survivors can be recognized. You can’t go anywhere without knowing what a pink bow means and the Susan G. Komen fund should be commended for that.”
Kelli McGrath’s team has furthered the cause raising more than $10,000 for the fund.
On Feb. 10 the Lady Tigers will host their annual Play 4 Kay game to raise awareness for Breast Cancer, when they take on Murray State at the Gentry Center.
“It will mean more to some than it will mean to others and by saying that it will mean more to the ones that have gone through it and really understand it,” coach McGrath said. “As you get older your or somebody you know will get exposed to something. I think having exposure to it will help encourage women to get checked out and hopefully prevent it.”
Fans are asked to wear Pink to Monday’s contest in support of the cause; the game is slated to tip-off at 6 p.m.