Greg Hansbrough's Track Dream

1 decade 4 years 1 month ago Tuesday, April 18 2006 Apr 18, 2006 Tuesday, April 18, 2006 10:03:17 PM CDT April 18, 2006 in Tiger Talk

Track was one of many sports at which young Greg excelled. But it was life's finish line that almost appeared too soon when doctors diagnosed him with brain cancer at the age of seven.

"Some of the doctors told us this was the way his life was going to be," his father remembered. "Some chemotherapy, he'll maybe live 12-18 months, and you're going to have to deal with that."

Greg said, "I remember a real scary scene that will always be in my memory, when they were wheeling me back for my surgery. I saw my mom just break down in my dad's arms and start crying. They were both crying and that's when I guess I started thinking, 'What's going on here?'"

Surgery to remove the tumor partially paralyzed the left side of Greg's body.

"When I was younger, I was really depressed," Greg recalled. "I felt like, behind my back, everybody was making fun of me and saying things like, 'There's no way this guy is going to be able to run or do anything.'"

But, Greg wouldn't give up.

"After days and days of just falling over and going 10 feet and falling over, he rode around the infield," his father remembered. "And that was just great."

From biking to walking, and now running marathons.

"It's almost so unexplainable," said Greg's brother Ben. "People just don't realize that, how much Greg has had to go through."

Greg's left foot isn't perfect, but it doesn't stop him from pushing through the pain.

"There was this voice in my head that kept saying, 'Just wait, Greg, it's going to get better,'" he recalled. "Then, I come to Mizzou and it's all better. I'm around these wonderful people, everyone is just so great. And this is one of the things I was waiting for, this is what happiness truly is."

So, this track story has come full circle. Greg followed his dad's footsteps onto the Missouri track team, as a student assistant.

"Every time I see him do something, it's just amazing," said his father.

Greg hopes to become a teacher, and coach cross-country and track.

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