Heart of Mizzou

1 decade 2 years 11 months ago Sunday, October 22 2006 Oct 22, 2006 Sunday, October 22, 2006 10:20:22 PM CDT October 22, 2006 in Sports

It's every fans dream to be part of the team. Nellie Dodd is living hers. The Missouri volleyball fan is not only part, but the heart of the team.

You can see emotion in numerous ways, wringing hands, intense eyes, and screaming lungs. But you'll also find it on the sidelines. Dodd is a Mizzou fan who bleeds black and gold.

"I'd almost, to some extent, say family cause she is always with us. Before games we're always where's Nellie," said middle blocker Nicole Wilson.

Chances are you'll find her. Dodd is all-access. She's not only in the locker room, but known for giving the pre-game pep talk.

"When you encourage someone else, you in turn receive it and I can never do enough for what they brought me," she said.

Just as Dodd cheers on the team, the girls encourage her. It shouldn't surprise you, Dodd suffers from Cardiomyopathy, an abnormally enlarged heart.

"I was born with it and I lived for 10 years with a half a heart and I had a single chamber pace maker put in... a dual chamber and a defibrillator," she explained.

"As our team developed, her health problems became more severe and more severe, and at the end of last year she needed a heart transplant," said Assistant Coach Susan Kreklow.

"Our coaches told us she needed a heart transplant and she is still coming to our games. Wow, this is amazing," said Wilson.

Dodd only missed one game, because of the heart condition, since the Kreklows took over the volleyball program.

"She was struggling to get to games and she couldn't walk down stairs. And she became on oxygen all the time," Wilson explained.

"She could barely come to practice and we would make sure she was there for us even in her worse times," added Kreklow.

It's during those times, Coach Susan Kreklow would pick Nellie up and deliver her enthusiasm to practices.

"You also knew that in your heart all she needed was that opportunity. I haven't met anyone that has the will that she does," Kreklow explained.

She got the opportunity earlier this year. She was put into the game with successful a heart transplant on January 20th.

"I've been in a storm, but I haven't been in it by myself, because I've had lots of friends and coaches and ballplayers encourage me," said Dodd.

"No matter what you're going through you can push through it. If somebody is going through something life and death, why can't I push through a test? It's a huge inspiration," said Wilson.

Dodd is healthy now, back at practices, and in her familiar sideline seat with enthusiasm pumping through her veins.

"But it is the heart that she brings. The undying heart and soul. The encouragement," added Kreklow.

"Medicine nine different times a day, but that's okay. I'm alive and I'm here enjoying the game being encouragement. And that's what life is, life is not how long you live, it's what you do while you're here," Dodd explained.

In February this year, Dodd won the Women's Intersport Network Courage Award. Even though hospitals don't release details about organ donors, they did tell Nellie she now has the heart of a young man.

Dodd attended her first football game in 1968. She can also be seen at women's basketball, soccer, gymnastics and wrestling.

More News

Grid
List
CALIFORNIA — California police chief Shane Templeton has announced he will resign from his position on October 31. This... More >>
13 minutes ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 3:42:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital Center was recognized Monday for a fourth consecutive Magnet® recognition. Magnet is the highest honor... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 2:52:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - The Boone County Sheriff's Department said Monday people should be wary of someone spoofing the department's main... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 2:22:00 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — A clinic quietly constructed in southern Illinois to meet demand for abortion services by residents... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 12:09:47 PM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
FULTON - U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer is pushing for legislation that could offer more mobile mammogram services to rural communities... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 10:34:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Prosecutors filed formal charges against Cameron White, 19, on Monday, charging him with second degree murder and armed... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 10:18:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- According to Missouri KidsFirst, almost one in ten kids will be sexually abused by the time they are... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 7:37:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is set to host four senior safety presentations in October. The presentations,... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:43:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 600 people and 11 sponsors gathered in Cosmo Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — David Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster... More >>
23 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested a man on multiple charges after the shooting of a 13-year-old boy Saturday night. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One person was transported to the hospital in relation to a weapons offense Sunday morning, according to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 11:27:00 AM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
4pm 59°
5pm 58°
6pm 56°
7pm 55°