Hurst L.D. Bell baseball coach Paul Gibson was watching his team wage a post-season battle this past spring in the Class 5A playoffs.
What no one else knew was that Gibson was quietly fighting his own battle with amyloidosis.
A very rare blood disorder, the disease affects about 1,200 to 3,200 Americans each year.
"I guess things happen for a reason, but this confirms I'm a one-in-a-million kind of guy," Gibson said. "I just noticed things started to get too different in March so I started seeing a physician and we started doing tests."
Gibson, 48, said his doctors suspected the disease when they noticed a protein spike in his kidneys. Further tests confirmed the disease about two weeks ago.
Treatment options vary and Gibson was noncommittal on the prognosis, but said because of his age and the fact that his liver seems to have no effects thus far, he's been scheduled to see a specialist at Mayo Clinic in July.
The facility is equipped to offer a number of treatment options and has the most experience with this disease.
Gibson said he's been humbled by the response of his players and the community.
"I really just can't describe it," he said. I'm getting calls from all over, people I grew up with, people in baseball, other sports, I'm very grateful."
To help offset travel costs to Minnesota, a fund has been established and donation information can be found at www.gibsonteam.net.
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