Photo courtesy of Andrew Miller NJ.com/Star Ledger
Story originally appeared in NJ.com
Not too many coaches can boast 22 All-American medals in a 22-year career. But track coach and teacher at Snyder High School in Jersey City, Eben Myers can. Myers coaches one of the top high school teams in the U.S.
While in his professional life, coaching and teaching U.S. and World History, Myers was at the top of his game, personally he was about to face one of his harshest opponents – prostate cancer.
After a routine blood exam, his doctor called to report an abnormal result. Further testing revealed Myers had early stages of prostate cancer.
“I cried like a baby. I asked myself, ‘Why me? Why me?’” Myers said.
Myers chose to keep his diagnosis a secret from his family, friends, students and faculty.
“When I found out I was ashamed,” he said.
While he continued to teach and coach, Myers knew he had to act fast to keep the cancer from spreading. He turned to Eric Karp, M.D. of Rahway Regional Cancer Center.
“Mr. Myers was fortunate his cancer was caught early. While Eben was not a candidate for prostate seed implantation, after careful planning we were able to develop a radiation plan to target the prostate cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells untouched,” said Karp.
But it was not only the technology at Rahway Regional Cancer Center, Myers says Karp gave him confidence there was nothing to be ashamed about.
“Dr. Karp encouraged me to talk to my family. He said together we will get through this. He took his time and made me feel like I was his only patient.”
Myers eventually told first his family, then his students, about his battle but was determined to continue teaching and coaching.
Rahway Regional Cancer Center made special arrangements around Myers’ busy schedule to accommodate treatment.
“I came in before school every morning for treatment,” he said.
Today Myers is cancer-free. He celebrated his last treatment with Karp and staff at Rahway Regional Cancer Center just as his team was heading home from another championship win.
“I’m looking forward to coaching this team to the championships again this year, but I will never forget what the doctor and his staff did for me. Without them I would not be here,” Myers said.
The Rahway Regional Cancer Center was founded in 1993 by Eric A. Karp, M.D., who trained in radiation oncology at the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in NYC. Since its beginning, Rahway Regional Cancer Center has been recognized for its preeminent radiation therapy and leading cancer-fighting technology.
The Rahway Regional Cancer Center is located at 892 Trussler Place, Rahway, New Jersey 07065.