Dave Joerger is tired of slathering pancakes with butte…

More on Dave Joerger Health

“Where I’ve been, it runs the gamut,” Joerger told The Inquirer by phone last week. “There’s times you feel, ‘This is not going to stop me. There’s nothing that can stop me. I’ve got such a great support system,’ and then there’s times you just don’t know if you can go on anymore. Physically, mentally, it’s like, ‘This hurts.’ It’s given me a great appreciation for all the gifts and all the things that we have been given. ... “Should it really take me getting cancer to realize all that? I feel like I’m pretty humble and I’ve always had an appreciation and a gratitude, but not certainly to the level of, ‘Wow, I have it good as a human being.’”
The treatment had a cumulative effect that wore Joerger down. He was physically unable to speak for about two weeks, responding to phone calls with a text message saying that he could only communicate through typed words. Wife Kimberly, whom Joerger called a “saint,” ground up his pills because of his inability to swallow. He had a stretch when his brain got “really foggy” that he still struggles to remember. And the COVID-19 omicron variant surge at that time was dangerous for Joerger because, as an immunocompromised person, “had I gotten COVID, I’d have been a real hot mess,” he said.
Dave Joerger left the Philadelphia 76ers in mid-November to focus on battling cancer. At that time, Joerger shared he had "head and neck" cancer. Because of early detection, Joerger said he had over a 90% chance of beating the cancer. Now, in early-February, Joerger is returning to the Sixers bench on a full-time basis. In a statement, Joerger expressed his thanks for the support he's received, as well as his excitement to be back.
“Words can’t describe how grateful I am to be back around this basketball team. The last several months have been some of the most challenging of my life, but I am so lucky to have the support of Josh Harris, David Blitzer, Doc Rivers, Daryl Morey, Elton Brand and the entire 76ers organization. Their support, along with my wife Kimberly, and my loving family, has been unwavering. Lastly, I may not be here today if it weren’t for the incredible medical team at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. For now, I’m energized by the trajectory of this 76ers team and am looking forward to helping our group reach the ultimate goal of an NBA championship.”
Philadelphia 76ers top assistant coach Dave Joerger is leaving the team for several weeks to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments for a form of "head and neck" cancer, he told ESPN. Joerger, 47, has undergone treatments while coaching for the past two weeks -- missing only one road game -- but the Sixers' extended road trip requires him to step away and stay back for treatments in Philadelphia, he said.
Joerger told the Sixers players, assistant coaches and staff of his cancer in a postgame meeting after Saturday night's loss to the Pacers in Indiana. He had already told a small group of Sixers officials -- including coach Doc Rivers, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and owner Josh Harris -- of his recent diagnoses.
"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."
“It’s sad, it hurts, but his spirit is extremely high,” said Tyrese Maxey. “So when someone is going through something, but their spirit is high, it makes you believe in them and trust in them, and really have faith in them. It was tough. I dropped my head immediately when Iheard it, but as soon as he started talking and telling us that he’ll be fine. He’s okay, his spirit is extremely high, that made me happy. I just gave him a big hug andtold him I’m praying for him and I love him.”
“Sad news for sure,” added Tobias Harris. “We know he’s somebody who’s a fighter and somebody who’s going to do everything he can to push through and come out on top of it. For us, we’re definitely gonna miss him. Keep his family and him in all our prayers and just encourage him through this time to stay positive and just push through.”
Lauren Rosen: I don't know him well, but Dave Joerger is one of the best human beings I've crossed paths with in the NBA. He makes an effort, even with the little guys (me), to be kind, and to make people feel seen - which is not a job requirement. Sending coach & his family love. 💙❤️
Storyline: Dave Joerger Health
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