Mississippi State football player Nick Bell died of cancer Tuesday, sending shock waves through the campus.My wife goes to work every day treating kids with cancer. I don't know how she and her co-workers do it. They're a lot tougher than I am. I know for a fact that I wouldn't be able to deal with dying children on a daily basis.
Just six weeks ago the 6-foot-3, 265-pound defensive end was on the field as a starter in State's 24-12 victory over Georgia.
"The emotional roller coaster you go through is hard to comprehend sometimes," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "We build these guys up to be big, fast, strong, tough. We try to make them feel invincible, that they can accomplish and do anything in this world and then they see this situation. It's just a tidal wave of emotion that runs over our players."
Bell, 20, died at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital a day after undergoing emergency surgery.
The redshirt sophomore was diagnosed with a form of skin cancer after a tumor was removed from his brain on Oct. 1. He had recovered enough by Oct. 23 to attend the Bulldogs' home victory over UAB, but last week he learned the cancer had spread, said family friend Moreland Smith.
Bell was scheduled to begin chemotherapy this week, but after he fell ill Sunday, surgery was performed Monday morning. Bell fell into a coma and didn't recover.
Tough isn't enough. Help them if you can.
Mississippi State has set up a memorial fund for Nick Bell, here. You can also donate to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he was treated, here, as well as the AFLAC Cancer Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, here.