In February 2014 it was revealed that Andrew Smith, a forward on Butler’s two national runner-up teams in 2010 and 2011, was diagnosed with non-Hodgskins lymphoma and was undergoing treatments for the disease. The road to a clean bill health was a tough one for Smith and his wife, with Andrew suffering cardiac arrest in late July 2014 and lapsing into a coma that lasted three days.
Smith would recover from that as well, but on Friday the family revealed some bad news. In a post on their blog “Kicking Cancer with the Smiths,” Smith’s wife announced that the cancer has returned and Andrew has been undergoing treatment since May. Andrew will need a bone marrow transplant, for which a donor has been found.
“Andrew will have to undergo a bone marrow transplant. This is an intense procedure. It has great risks, but potentially, great reward,” Samantha Smith wrote. “This could be a cure. It could be an answer to prayer. It scares the heck out of me, but it’s our best option at this point. Thankfully, we have a donor. That was a huge victory in and of itself.
“Andrew will be out of commission for quite awhile and we would so appreciate your prayers over our next year or so. There will be some very tough days, days full of vomit and frustration. Pillowcases covered in thin, wispy hairs that have fallen off of Andrew’s head due to intense radiation and chemotherapy. Stacks of books and a Netflix queue full of movies and shows recommended by friends and family. This will be our life for the months to come.
“But who is ready to fearlessly face this thing head on? Andrew, of course,” Samantha continued. “Sure, we both went through sadness and confusion for awhile, but Andrew has handled the idea of this next phase like he always does- like a warrior. Cancer really picked the wrong guy to latch onto. We are about to kick its butt to kingdom come. For good.”
We wish Andrew and Samantha the best as they look to beat cancer once again.
Some encouraging news tonight as former Butler center Andrew Smith has left the hospital after spending the past 12 days in the ICU.
Smith, who played for Butler between 2009 and 2013, has been battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was checked into the ICU on July 31st, according to a report from Zak Keeker of the Indianapolis Star.
Smith and his wife, Samantha, had recently moved to Lithuania to begin his professional basketball career, but the couple returned to Indiana when Smith was diagnosed.
Samantha Smith tweeted out a picture of Andrew on Monday as he left the hospital.
“We’re thrilled with the miraculous progress he’s made,” Samantha Smith told Keefer on Monday.
This is obviously some really good news and we wish Smith the best in his continued recovery.
In one of the more surprising moves of the summer, Brad Stevens left his post at Butler University to take the Boston Celtics coaching vacancy.
Andrew Smith played four years for Stevens, helping the Bulldogs appear in the NCAA tournament three times, averaging averaged 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in his career.
On Friday, it was announced that the former Butler forward was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, discovered while he was playing overseas with BC Neptunas in Lithuania.
Stevens, in the middle of a 19-34 season with the Celtics, took time to travel to Zionsville, Ind. to visit Smith and his wife Samantha. According to Zak Keefer, this isn’t the first time Stevens has taken time to visit former players.
It’s one thing to send well wishes, but it’s another to take time out of a busy schedule, from a demanding job. “Once a Butler Bulldog, always a Bulldog,” as tweeted by Samantha Smith pretty much sums up Stevens and his connection to the university.
[h/t Indianapolis Star]
Last spring Andrew Smith wrapped up a four-year career at Butler, averaging 11.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game as a senior for a program that made three NCAA tournament appearances during his time at the school. For his career Smith, who played just under five minutes per game as a freshman, averaged 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
The improvements made throughout his college career put Andrew in a position where he could play professionally, landing a contract with BC Neptunas, a professional team in Lithuania. But Smith’s time with the team was cut short for health reasons, as he was diagnosed with non-Hodgskin’s lymphoma after playing just five games for BC Neptunas.
He and his wife, Samantha, have started a blog they have named Kicking Cancer with the Smiths. Samantha discussed Andrew’s diagnosis in the first entry:
But an adventure that was supposed to kick off our marriage into a whirlwind of experience and culture was cut short when we were sat down at our kitchen table in Lithuania and were told there was a sizable tumor taking shape inside of Andrew. Shock, dismay, sadness, fear, and an emergency flight home were our next 36 hours. We had dreamt of the joyous day of setting foot on US ground once again, but this is certainly not what we had pictured. It was hard to be excited about reuniting with our loved ones because we knew that those hugs would be brief before heading straight to the hospital from O’Hare.
Smith finished his Butler career ranked in the top 25 of the school’s all-time scoring (25th) and rebounding (12th) lists. News of Smith’s diagnosis resulting in an outpouring of support, with members of the Butler community including former coaches and teammates and former competitors (including Xavier head coach Chris Mack and Indiana head coach Tom Crean) sending out positive messages via Twitter.