Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Dave Joerger will miss several weeks to get chemotherapy for neck/head cancer. The unexpected news brought a new challenge for the struggling Sixers that are already missing important players in the locker room.
Dave Joerger set to undergo chemotherapy
In The Woj Pod hosted by Adrian Wojnarowski, Coach Joerger revealed that he has a form of head and neck cancer. That is devastating news, but Joerger chose to be positive around it. He decided to come out and reveal a very personal matter to break the stigma about the condition.
"We have caught it early," Joerger told ESPN. "I'm very lucky. I've got over a 90% chance of cure rate, but it's very scary and it's not enjoyable going through. ...I can't go on the road and do radiation and chemotherapy in different cities around the country. To continue my treatment, I need to step away from the team."
Woj tweeted that Dave decided to share it because he wants people to get screened and protected earlier. The whole Sixers staff allegedly knew about the situation. It remains to be seen how the events will affect the season of Philadelphia that is already without Ben Simmons due to mental health issues and Tobias Harris, who contracted COVID.
Joerger's act is similar to how Magic Johnson revealed that he has HIV in 1991 to spread awareness about the condition. There was never a need to make it public, but both men were brave enough to reveal it.
What's next for head/neck cancer patient
As the assistant coach said, it's good that his cancer was detected early. The chances of recovering are much higher, but he needs time away to attend to his sessions and not be a distraction to the Sixers.
According to Cancer.net, there are various ways to treat head and neck cancer such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. It will still depend on how a patient's body reacts to the treatment, but Dave Joerger is expected to recover from it with early detection and access to world-class health facilities.
The Sixers head coach Doc Rivers also shared support for his colleague after the game against the Indiana Pacers and is optimistic he will come out of this fight as a winner.
"Dave is not only one of the most talented and respected coaches in the NBA, but he's a great friend, colleague, husband and father," Rivers said in a statement. "The same positivity, enthusiasm and grit that have made him a successful coach will also carry him through his fight against cancer.
Among the famous celebrities who have had head and neck cancer are Eddie Van Halen, Adam Yauch, Michael Douglas, Michael Crichton, Roger Ebert, and Sigmund Freud.
The NBA family, fans, and players are praying and hoping for his fast recovery.