When Louisa faced off against Courtland on Friday, Sept. 13, former head coach Mark Fischer stood just off the corner of the south end zone, his watchful eyes scanning the field much like they did during the eight years he served as the Lions’ head coach from 2003 to 2010.
Fischer said it felt good to be back. Returning cancer-free certainly isn’t too bad either.
Fischer was diagnosed with multiple myeloma – cancer of the bone marrow – just over a year ago on Sept. 21, 2012. Officially declared cancer-free on June 27 of this year, Fischer is getting back in the groove as head coach of St. James High School in Murrells Inlet, S.C.
“I feel great and I’m having a blast,” Fischer said. “I feel better now than I have in years.”
The trip back to Louisa marked Fischer’s first trip back since shortly after the events of the 2011 earthquake, and, other than long drives to Duke University Medical Center, it was also the first long distance trip he was able to make since being declared cancer-free.
“It was fun. I hadn’t been back here in a couple years,” Fischer said. “It was nice to get away and see some people and watch some Louisa football. It’s great to see some of the coaches that I worked with and players that I used to coach.”
Fischer had a prolific career in his eight years at the helm of Louisa’s football program. He led Louisa to four district championships and an appearance in the state championship in 2006 before heading to St. James in 2010.
But as successful as he has been on the field, Fischer’s victory off of the field has been equally as impressive. His body reacted well to his stem cell and bone marrow transplant.
“I’m back full time, working my butt off trying to coach the kids,” Fischer said. “I think I suffered from this disease some of my last few years at Louisa. I have a lot more energy and I’m having a blast. Coaching is fun again.”
Fischer still has plenty of supporters in Louisa. He credits their support as a key reason for his rapidly improving health.
“The people of Louisa have been incredibly awesome,” Fischer said. “I don’t know if I would have made it through without all of the support I’ve received from the coaching staff. It’s just remarkable how awesome they have been. It reminds me how amazing the people are and how caring they are.”
To read the entire story, see the Sept. 26 edition of The Central Virginian.