Lori's Lesson

1 decade 3 years 5 months ago Sunday, March 04 2007 Mar 4, 2007 Sunday, March 04, 2007 10:05:06 PM CST March 04, 2007 in Sports

Salisbury's St. Joseph's school has a basketball coach who teaches a lesson without saying a word. Just to see Lori Millar standing on the sidelines is a learning experience. The crutches aren't a sign of weakness and the trachea in her throat doesn't muffle any commands. Lori Millar is a sideline general for a 5th and 6th grade team.

I get frustrated and everything, but I wouldn't give it up for anything," said St. Joseph's coach Lori Millar.

You can believe her because Lori has been tested. It started six years ago when her classroom got sprayed for ants.

"The next morning I went in and the doors had been closed up and I inhaled it. I was allergic to it and couldn't breathe. I passed out in the classroom, stopped breathing, the whole nine yards," remembered Lori.

The illness put her in the hospital for the better part of three years and the physical problems continued.

"I took steroids to help my lungs work and the steroids ate up my bones and so I had to have both hips replaced," said Lori

It couldn't keep her from coaching, but the hip problems forced her to use crutches.

"For a while I was like 'Are you sure you want to do this on crutches? Or it's hot', and she just continued to pump through," said Lori's husband Pat Millar.

"We were going to shake hands after a game and somebody kicked my crutch out from underneath me and I fell and busted my femur in two," said Lori.

Another tough break Lori battled through. She now coaches kids just starting the game. While they also are learning a lesson in life.

"I've learned that even when it's hard to do something you need to continue pushing through it. To keep doing it and then just keep going forward through it," said St. Joseph basketball player Maria Weimer.

"Even if you have problems.You're no different than anybody else. It's just your personality, it doesn't really matter how bad," added St. Jospeh basketball player Kristen Henke.

Sports are a family affair for the Millar's. While Lori coaches one daughter, Pat refs the game. Quincy gets a court side lap, she's the two year old miracle child who overcame the odds.

"He didn't think we should go on with that pregnancy, but there was a reason she was there. She's something. She's a spirit," said Lori of her two year old daughter.

"We're around the gym a lot and the kids are around the gym and it's kind of what keeps us together as a family," said Pat.

A family who realizes it's not the final score that matters most. It's that you play the game.

"I don't think I'll find a coach any better than her. She has all the problems and she keeps going everyday," said Kristin Henke.

"It is painful, but if you don't get up and go you're just going to lay around and feel worse," said Lori.

Lori isn't just a coach. She's also a substitute teacher. Lori got off the steroids this year and the prognosis is good for her health to continue to improve.

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