Irmo, SC (WLTX) - One Midlands football coach who's taught players how to battle on the football field is now battling for his life.
For some football teaches you how to battle through life both on and off the field. Mike Gasparato is using the lessons learned as he fights for his life.
The love you give is what you get out of life. People, like Mike’s brother Greg, says he’s the epitome of a selfless person.
"The selflessness that comes out of him and his ability and willingness to help people in the community is amazing. He really is somebody that I try to emulate as much as I can," said Greg.
While Greg knows Mike as his brother, you may remember him as a star football player at Dutch Fork High School who went on to play at Penn State.
Since his playing career has come to an end, he's spent time coaching those the game of football and the game of life.
"The game teaches you so many things about life. I think a lot of those lessons, Mike now has the opportunity to apply. He's facing adversity right now," explained Greg.
Earlier this year, Mike was diagnosed with testicular cancer but was later cleared by doctors. While he was helping to coach at Chapin High School early in August, he knew something was wrong and went to the doctor. After doctors thought it was all gone, cancer made a comeback. He was told without treatment, he only has six weeks to live.
"He was a little shocked by the diagnosis obviously. He told me that, ‘This is an opportunity. What I have an opportunity and when I beat this I'm going to get to share my story and to help people who get through this same process,’” said Greg.
While Mike is trying to fight the battle of life right now, Greg says support from the Midlands and across the country is helping their family to push through it all.
"The biggest thing we need are prayers and support. We're trying to spread the word that he is in this situation and if there's anybody that could possibly help him in his treatment or help him moving forward, we're going to try and keep every door open and every option open," explained Greg.
Although Greg is busy coaching the football team at Appalachian State, he's going to fight for his brother, knowing Mike would do the same for him.
"He's a fighter and everything he's put his mind to, he'll go 100 miles per hour or he's going to find a way to get there. We're going to fight this thing together day by day. Just got to keep the faith and stay focused and we're going to get through it," said Greg.
If you would like to find a way to help Mike in his journey through cancer treatment, you can go to the GoFundMe page set up for his family.