Digger Phelps Beats Cancer

Digger Phelps is now cancer free. Again.

The former Notre Dame basketball coach has been undergoing treatment for bladder cancer for the last two months and is now cancer free. Phelps announced today that he just received the good news from his doctors,

Phelps, who turns 72 on the Fourth of July, said: “(The doctor) said, ‘You’re cancer-free; you’re fine.’ I got a little emotional. I was tearful when I thought about it.”

According to WSBT, this is the second time that Phelps has beaten cancer. Phelps was previously diagnosed with prostate cancer. The former Notre Dame coach underwent surgery three years ago and was cancer free until last spring when his doctor diagnosed him with bladder cancer during an annual physical.

Phelps says that it was that early detection that saved his life.
When asked what the key was to beating the disease, Phelps said: “Early detection and having the courage. (My priest) Father Hesburgh gave me one line as he blessed me before I went in for surgery. He said, ‘Have the courage.’ That stuck with me… As I say to men and women, there are 72,500 cases of bladder cancer the first four months of the year. To me, it’s early detection. Any sign of blood in the urine, go after it. Now, after beating prostate cancer because of early detection and bladder cancer, hopefully I can lay low for a while and live a healthy life.”

In addition to courage and early detection, Phelps also said that he received plenty of support from his neighboring community.

Phelps said: “Great love for Michiana. I just love this community. I love the people that I see. They always check in to see how I’m doing, and I have to thank them. This is a great place to live. If you’ve got to have an illness, this isn’t a bad area to have it because you have such a great support system in this community.”

Now that Digger has beaten cancer (twice) it’s time for him to dance for joy.