OLATHE, Kan. — Overcoming adversity, and fighting through challenges are lessons coaches try to teach their players. However, one metro coach is being recognized for fighting through his own challenge.
Kelly Donohoe is the football coach at Blue Springs High School. He’s also battling cancer in his abdomen since August.
At the 36th annual Simone Awards held at Olathe West High School on Sunday, Donohoe received the Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award. The recognition was a surprise to Donohoe.
“I’m very blessed. I have a very treatable cancer that things, so I’m very optimistic that things are going to be great,” Donohoe said. “I do understand that it can be very impactful, so hopefully I’m sending the right message, and that is every day just be blessed for what you have, and I am.”
Donohoe said he’s in week five of nine in his chemotherapy treatments and is looking forward to the coming football season.
“It rekindles the spirit that you’re just so blessed with your family, and your job, and the people that you love, and that’s those colleagues that you’re with every day, and those kids that you get to work with all the time.”
The award was presented to Donohoe by the family of Nathan Stiles, a Spring Hill player who passed away in 2010 after collapsing at a game. Along with James McGinnis and his parents. McGinnis suffered a brain injury during a game in 2014.
Donohoe said the ceremony is more about the players, and inspiring teens like Stiles and McGinnis, but hopes his story can inspire them to overcome obstacles that get in their way.
“You talk to kids all the time on a daily basis about overcoming adversity, fighting through it, chips are down you bounce back up,” Donohoe said. “Then when you get hit with it it`s like – okay, I’m going to live it now. Let’s go.”
Donohoe said because if you have to fight. The fight is more than worth it.
“I’ve always felt like I’ve appreciated stuff, but it’s not until you get hit with something like this that you truly do look back and feel like I’m pretty darn blessed.”
Donohoe said he’s receiving treatment at the University of Kansas Health System’s cancer center, and he’s optimistic his health will be in a great place very soon.