Region 8 Sports Director
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Six years ago, both my mom and sister went through chemotherapy at the same time. My sister, younger than me, how can this be happening were my thoughts.
I never knew what to say. I quickly learned don't say anything, just show them love, act how I normally would.
My mom, like any mother, wanted to know my latest adventure. Knowing her children were living out there childhood dreams, made her fight even harder against cancer.
I was hours from home. I was in Mississippi and my sister was living in Massachusetts. I remember going to visit her during a couple of her treatments. We watched Comedy Central, didn't talk, just laughed.
Anyone going through cancer doesn't want to be reminded of what they are going through. They just want your positive energy, laughter, and love.
The Scuteros are no different.
"To have to call your husband and tell him you have to see your doctor that they've called, to call your parents and tell him you've been diagnosed with cancer. Umm, it wasn't easy phone calls at all," Kimberly Scutero said.
A-State Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Mike Scutero and his wife Kimberly are facing their toughest opponent.
"You're scared, first thing is you're scared, because at that point you don't know what stage you are."
"I knew it was going to be important for her to see somebody else that has made it through because obviously when you first get the news you think I am going to die so I wanted her to see we knew this person and this person and this person and they've all beat it so I can beat it," Mike Scutero said.
Is your wife the strongest person you know?
"Without a doubt. Endure all the moves we made ad ups and downs of a coaching career and now this, without a doubt."
The Mother of two was scared, but the love for her family allowed her to find courage.
"Your biopsies have come back malignant so you don't know where you're at that point in your life too, how long you're going to live," Kimberly said.
"I'll never forget the look on Noah's face when we told him. The first thing that came to his mind at that point was I don't want you to die."
"I mean I lost it I don't think anybody wouldn't lose it at that point."
"I think I've always seen over the years of coaching all the things that can happen in our players' lives that crush them and you see how kids deal with it and you see how it molds their life and I just pictured Noah, didn't want this to crush his world," Mike said.
A second opinion found another tumor. It was scary but an NEA breast cancer support group has provided strength.
"And they told me we're not done. This is just getting started," Kimberly said.
The Scuteros are originally from Florida but going through this ordeal, it solidifies Jonesboro is home.
"It's been amazing for it to be any better for this to have to happen, this couldn't have happened at a better place in a town for this to happen."
"I always say Jonesboro is a family town and a college town. Honest truth, those two things make up who we are," Mike said.
"We have our meals that are being brought in, three times a week sometimes, people sending us gift cards all the time in the mail, people sending money to help with the medical bills. People I don't even know I'm getting stuff from sometimes," Kimberly added.
"There's not enough words tell everyone how much we appreciate it. I wouldn't be able to get through it without everyone support."
Kimberly doesn't have just two sons, she has 17. The Red Wolves players recognize her in the stands. Even if she's had a chemo treatment, it doesn't stop her from cheering them on. Because once you're a Red Wolf, you're family.
"I'm nine hours from home. They really took me in as one of their own. I try to shoot her a text once-twice a week just to see how she's doing," A-State basketball player Connor Kern said.
"Kim is that motherly figure. She's here always supporting us. Tells everybody good game after every game. She means so much to this program," A-State basketball player C.J. Foster said.
Does coaching, does it help?
"There's no doubt, I mean, definitely gets your mind off of things and like I said, Coach Balado and Coach Walden, and Coach Stanley and Coach Pierre our whole staff, Terry Mohajir, our team, have been nothing but positive and supportive through the whole deal so it really makes it that much easier," Mike Scutero said.
"Really she's just a warrior. Going through one of the toughest things anybody would have to go through in their life and she's battling it every day. To see her at our games smiling, standing up cheering. It's real enlightening to us. It really makes us think what we are going through isn't as big as what she's going through," Kern said.
Being told you have breast cancer is scary. Not knowing what to do next, the thoughts that race through your mind, all of it can be overwhelming. So when Kimberly beats cancer her next step is to help others win their battle too.
"I want to be able to give back as well. I really think talking and dealing with it really helps the process instead of keeping it bottled up inside and trying to deal with it on your own," Kimberly Scutero said.
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