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Silver ready to fight disease

Texas 3B Alex Silver told he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will miss at least the first few months of the Longhorns season.

Silver, a true freshman, received the first of four chemotherapy appointments Monday at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He returned to school Tuesday.

Silver, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound infielder who had a great chance of starting at third base or second base this season, plans on staying in school this semester with the help of the academic counselors. He also hasn’t discounted the possibility of contributing to the team toward the end of the year.

While the news of having cancer has been difficult, Silver thinks he’s lucky because he’s received nothing but good news since the initial discovery.

“They’re shocked that (it was) found when it was so small. The doctors told me that this was the smallest amount of cancer you could have,” Silver said. “I was sitting in class one day and I had my hand on my neck. All of a sudden I felt a lump. It was small, but it was definitely a lump. It didn’t go away for a while and at one point it got swollen.”

The initial diagnosis of Stage 1 Hodgkin’s lymphoma came two weeks ago when Silver was on Winter break. The good news Silver received is in the case of early detection with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, “95 percent of the cases of this type of cancer are completely cured. Not in remission. But cured,” Silver’s father, Steve, said.

Silver will have a chemotherapy treatment once every two weeks for the next two months. He will then have to undergo two weeks of radiation, which includes a treatment every day.

“They originally told me a month I’d have to have a month of radiation and four months of chemotherapy,” Silver said. “So everything really has been good news.”

Silver has been extremely positive through the entire process. He already has made it clear he has no intention of missing a semester or skipping the season.

The target date to finish all treatments is April 1. While Silver will not be practicing with the team every drill or scrimmages, he will continue to do what he can and is planning on staying in shape throughout the next few months.

“I don’t have any restrictions in terms of working out,” Silver said. “Obviously the chemo is supposed to make me tired, and I might lose my hair, but I’m going to beat this.”

Silver’s attitude is so positive he already talks about the cancer like it’s in the past.

“Honestly, I’m glad it happened to me instead of somebody else,” he said. “I’ve got so much support and such a good surrounding. I think I’m better equipped to handle this than others. I have insurance, an amazing family and a school that supports me. It makes things so much easier to deal with. Other people might not have had that.”

This difficult time has helped Silver confirm his decision to attend Texas.

“There’s no way any school in the country could have done as much as Texas," Silver said. “I cannot tell you how much Texas has helped out. They knew some of the top people at MD Anderson, which is the top cancer hospital in the country, and the school helped me move up my appointments. I’m working with the top doctor in the country, Dr. Fredrick Hagemeister, to fight this."

"The coaches have called me and my family multiple times a day. You don’t realize how much of a family this school and program is until something like this happens. Then you know that everybody is there for you no matter what.”

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