Louisa County High School’s football team left for Hampden-Sydney College on July 22 for a three-day camp in advance of the start of fall practice.
The Lions season opener is scheduled for Aug. 28 against Sherando, but coach Mark Fischer already received his first victory when he was declared cancer free for the second time in four years.
Dr. Frits van Rhee, a hematologist at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, broke the news to Fischer and his family on July 16 following several long days of tests after two stem cell transplants for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, earlier this year.
Fischer posted the news on Facebook on July 16 to let the entire community know.
“He declared me in full remission,” Fischer said.
The LCHS coach was first diagnosed with cancer on Sept. 21, 2012 while coaching at Saint James High in Myrtle Beach. After 10 months of chemotherapy treatment, doctors declared him in full remission in July 2013.
The cancer returned last July, less than a month before the start of fall practice. Fischer started treatment last October and guided the Lions to a 7-4 record and a 4A state playoff appearance.
He had the first of his two stem cell transplants on April 13 and has spent the last three months battling the disease the only way he knows how–head on.
The community continues to rally around the LCHS football coach.
“Everyone has been very supportive and positive throughout this whole process,” Fischer said.
He is cautiously optimistic after the doctors told him the news.
“This isn’t my first rodeo,” he said. “It was relief more than anything.”
Fischer will still have to continue a regime of chemotherapy treatments at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville to make sure the cancer doesn’t return.
“It’s more maintenance than anything,” he said. “I will also return to Arkansas, a lot, to test too.”
Fischer came home to Louisa County Saturday, just in time for the Lions to go to its annual summer camp at Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville.
“I was always going to camp,” Fischer said.
Next week, he will be on the sidelines ready to go as the Lions kickoff the fall practice schedule with Midnight Madness on July 30