Chris McIntyre Receives Most Courageous Award
Jan. 25, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State's Chris McIntyre, a track & field student-athlete, was selected as the recipient of the Missouri Valley Conference's Most Courageous Award, and was honored during halftime of the men's basketball game Wednesday evening. MVC Associate Commissioner Joe Mitch was on hand to present the award, which is given to a Valley student-athlete who demonstrates unusual courage in the face of personal illness, adversity or tragedy.
In December of 2009, McIntyre was diagnosed with what the doctors though was testicular cancer. After a biopsy came back negative, it was back to the doctors for more tests. Finally, the disease was diagnosed as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and due to the rigorous treatment, McIntyre had to go home in December 2009 and sit out the spring semester both in the classroom and on the track.
"After I thought it was testicular cancer, I was excited to know that I would get to go back to school in a couple of weeks," said McIntyre. "To have that all taken away really hurt."
Once in remission, McIntyre was allowed to enroll back in classes for the fall of 2010, but was unable to practice until November that same year. After only a month of training, McIntyre competed in the shot put at the Early Bird Open (Dec. 4) and finished third with a toss of 53-05.50. McIntyre and his coaches were excited about his performances during the 2011 indoor season, however, a change in medication caused him to get ill and forced his training to one day a week.
Because of this change, McIntyre was only able to compete in two meets during the 2011 outdoor season in May. Three weeks before the meets, McIntyre increased his training to two days a week. At the Billy Hayes Invitational (May 6), he finished the meet eighth in the shot put with a throw of 49-06.50. Still feeling under the weather, but not wanting to let his teammates down, McIntyre competed at the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Outdoor Championships. With limited training over the past year and a half, McIntyre finished third in the shot put at the championships with a throw of 53-00.75 and earned All-Valley honors, a truly amazing and heroic accomplishment.
McIntyre's success with limited training gave his teammates a morale boost, as they saw that if you want something bad enough, you can overcome any situation with hard work and determination. He is truly an inspiration to his teammates, coaches and the entire Redbird family.
Former Illinois State volleyball standout Laura Doornbos was honored with the Missouri Valley Conference's Most Courageous Award in 2005 and former ISU Director of Admissions Molly Arnold was bestowed with the award in 2008.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.