BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — Adversity. It’s a word used often in sports. At Blue Springs High School one member of the Wildcat family has been teaching players how to overcome challenges for a long time.
Joey Butler has been delivering empowering messages for 14 years at the request of team coaches. They instill positive character traits in football players. Butler’s words haven’t stood without action. Each week the 52-year-old helps create ‘The Winner’s Manual’ a catalog of positive reinforcement for young athletes.
He’s also organized summertime trips to Peru and Jamaica, where players volunteered to build houses for the needy.
But now Butler’s own frailties are tested. He was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in late 2011 and he’s undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy. Joey said he’s electing not to pursue experimental treatment and his future hangs in the balance.
Until recently, Butler was pastor at Gateway Church in Blue Springs. He said he was forced to resign when his health began to fail.