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John Bonamego had his dream job, not even cancer could slow him down

first_imgMOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — John Bonamego stood at the podium in the NIRSA Room in the Student Activity Center on Central Michigan’s campus, about 100 yards from Kelly-Shorts Stadium.With the Central Michigan logo plastered behind him, he fielded questions about who would start at quarterback, the running back competition and status of tight end Tyler Conklin. That Bonamego was there to answer them was more remarkable than any of his answers.He had wanted this job since playing wide receiver for the Chippewas in the 1980s. Even as he made his way around NFL sidelines, in Jacksonville, Green Bay, New Orleans, Miami and finally Detroit, he never forgot about Mount Pleasant. In 1999, at a Dairy Queen in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, Bonamego and the woman who would become his wife sat down for their first date.“The first thing we talked about … was CMU,” Paulette Bonamego said.In 2015, Bonamego was the special teams coordinator for the Lions when then-CMU head coach Dan Enos left. Central Michigan considered Bonamego a natural fit. He lived a few counties southeast, was an alumnus and had more than 15 years of NFL experience. In February of that year, CMU introduced its new head coach. That fall, he nearly beat Syracuse in the Carrier Dome before the Orange kicked an overtime field goal to win, 30-27. This fall, on Saturday, Bonamego leads the Chippewas (2-0) back into the Dome for a rematch with the Orange (1-1) at 3:30 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut in summer 2015, a few months before his first game, the job Bonamego had always wanted was in jeopardy. He was diagnosed with cancer. But that didn’t worry him the most.“There’s people relying on you,” Bonamego said. “My biggest motivator through all that was not beating cancer. I knew that I would beat cancer. My biggest fear was that I would somehow let somebody down. I didn’t want to let anybody down. I didn’t want to have a situation where someone else was having to do my work.”Courtesy of Paulette BonamegoA few months earlier, in Phoenix for Bonamego’s first Mid-American Conference spring meeting, he and Paulette decided to hike the local foothills.As they ascended, Bonamego kept stopping to rest, which Paulette thought was unusual. At first, she began to tease Bonamego, saying “I beat you, I beat you.” But then she stopped joking. Bonamego had never gotten tired like this before.Weeks later, in Florida for their son Javier’s high school graduation, Paulette noticed a golf ball-sized lump protruding from Bonamego’s neck. She suspected it was a swollen lymph node, so Bonamego took some cold medicine.Bonamego rarely slept through the night and, when his eyes finally did close, he woke up drenched in sweat. To the Bonamegos, this was not unusual. Nights like these started when he was the Lions, and they dismissed them as normal side effects from stress. He had a demanding job and they had a dusty house in Birmingham with poor air circulation. Paulette sweat during the night, too. But even after they moved to Mount Pleasant, the night sweats persisted.“Those were signs and we just kind of ignored them,” Paulette said. “… We just never thought about it.”The cold medicine wasn’t working. Nothing was. So, they went to the doctor, who told Bonamego he had cancer. Paulette struggled to breath. She felt an “emotional sickness.”“Hearing those words gets your attention,” Bonamego said.On June 18, Bonamego published an open letter on CMU’s web site to announce he had a tumor on his left tonsil. Published on September 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Graham Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Days began before 5 a.m. every Monday through Friday, the couple drove together about two hours southeast to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Bonamego underwent radiation and received weekly doses of chemotherapy.Because of where the cancer manifested, the easiest way to irradiate Bonamego’s tonsil was through his neck. To ensure he didn’t absorb stray radiation at the daily appointments, Bonamego needed to lie completely still. He sometimes lay there for several hours without moving. The entire time, his head was held in place by a mesh mask.“When you get in those situations,” Bonamego said, “you really don’t have any other option. You can give up, or you can fight it.”Even though doctors detected the cancer early and it was a treatable strain, squamous cell carcinoma, the regimen ravaged Bonamego’s body. His toenails and fingernails split and cracked. He shed 70 pounds. His tongue swelled and his mouth filled with about 30 canker sores. He broke out in rashes and the radiation burned his neck until it blistered. As he returned for more treatment, flesh fell from his neck and his players grew accustomed to seeing their coach’s shirt collar permanently soaked with blood.“You have times that aren’t so bad,” Bonamego said, “and times that just, for lack of a better word, suck.”Eventually, to keep him properly nourished and hydrated, Bonamego required twice-a-day fluid IVs, along with a feeding tube.The restless nights became almost intolerable. He only slept sitting up, in short spells, and woke often to throw up. Paulette kept cool washcloths on her husband’s forehead and tried to stay awake with him. She felt guilty about falling asleep. The care seemed to make no difference. While the pain fogged Bonamego’s memory — he still doesn’t remember certain moments from that time — the objective remained clear.Steve Jessmore | Central Michigan UniversityIn his last three weeks of treatment, as it slowly cleansed Bonamego’s body, the CMU athletic boosters and alumni association pooled to pay for the Bonamegos to fly to Ann Arbor each morning.Two months after the diagnosis, at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bonamego rang the cancer-free bell. When he returned to campus, it was time to get ready for practice. Walking out of the tunnel in Kelly-Shorts Stadium, the band, faculty, cheerleaders, fans, CMU president George E. Ross and the whole football team ambushed Bonamego.On Aug. 21, Bonamego was cancer-free. Thirteen days later, on a Thursday night against Oklahoma State, he coached his first game as Central Michigan’s head man.While Bonamego lived a nightmare, he never strayed from his dream. Occasionally, Paulette offered Bonamego what she called a “hall pass,” to skip work that day to rest. She told him the other coaches knew what to do and the players would understand. But, to Bonamego, that wasn’t the point.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorIn his two months battling cancer, he never missed a practice or meeting. Part of his attendance was maintaining any sense of normalcy in his shaken-up life. Part of it was showing the players what he had always taught them about perseverance.Now, the mesh mask he wore during those blasts of radiation treatment sits in a closet at home. It is the shadow of the man cancer made him, the one that still follows him. It is a reminder of what he had to do to sustain his dream. Paulette finds it spooky.Sometimes, she finds the mask in the closet, staring back at her. She asks Bonamego if they can finally throw it away. His answer has never changed.“No,” he says. Commentslast_img read more


Indians’ Trevor Bauer wins duel of college teammates with Gerrit Cole

first_imgThe only run he allowed came on a moonshot of a home run off of the bat of George Springer.George Springer, y’all! pic.twitter.com/biH6U01653— Astros Stats (@astro_numbers) April 26, 2019But, other than that one hanging slider, Bauer was very tough to hit as he always has been when he has started against Houston.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNIn nine career starts against the Astros, he is now 8-0 with a 2.89 ERA.His former college teammate Gerrit Cole, who went No. 1 in the 2011 draft, was also very good as he allowed just two runs in seven innings while striking out 10.He was handed a tough luck loss though and is now 1-4 on the season.In Cole’s four losses, Houston has scored a combined seven runs. It has scored three runs or less in four of his six outings this season.Studs of the NightCaleb Smith has been sneaky good for the Marlins this year. He allowed just one run in six innings of work in a 3-1 win over the Phillies on Thursday. Smith has a 2.17 ERA in 29 innings this season.Zack Greinke tossed seven shutout innings in the Diamondbacks’ 5-0 win over the Pirates. Trevor Bauer was superb in the Indians’ 2-1 win over the Astros on Thursday.The 2011 No. 3 overall pick tossed eight innings of four-hit, one-run ball while striking out three. Dud of the NightMiguel Cabrera went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in the Tigers’ 7-3 loss to the Red Sox.HighlightNick Williams made an awesome throw to catch a runner at home.This is why the Phillies game is still going. pic.twitter.com/uVIOmvF5mj— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) April 26, 2019What’s NextYankees (14-11) at Giants (11-14) 10:15 p.m. ET — You don’t see pitching matchups like this one often. It’s power lefty against power lefty as James Paxton (2-2, 3.10 ERA) takes on Madison Bumgarner (1-3, 3.66). That’s good enough reason to watch this one.last_img read more


The Victory of B&H Handball Team in Tallinn

first_imgThe handball team of B&H began the qualification for the World Cup 2015 with a victory. The team of B&H, led by coach Dragana Marković won the first match against Estonia with 29:26 (18:13) for the Group 5 qualification last night in Tallinn. Most effective players among the team of B&H were Delić and Prce with six goals, Savić with four goals and Malinović with three goals.B&H handball players are on the first place of the list, with Latvia that in the first match of the group yesterday defeated Portugal. The Portuguese team is the next opponent of the B&H team and the match will be played in Sarajevo on Sunday. After that match, a pause will follow and the qualifications will continue in January next year.(Source: Fena)last_img


Wellington Police Notes: Thursday, March 31, 2016

first_imgWellington Police notes: Thursday, March 31, 2016•2:37 a.m. Officers Assisted an Outside Agency in the 1400 block N. A, Wellington.•2:37 a.m. Melissa S. Shockley, 29, Haysville, was issued a notice to appear for no proof of insurance.•8:41 a.m. Officers investigated a theft of gasoline in the 1400 block E. 16th, Wellington.•12:09 p.m. Non-Injury accident in the 800 block W. U.S. 160, Wellington involving an unoccupied vehicle owned by Steven A. Laforce, Wellington and a vehicle operated by Dewey L. Rhodd, 47, Wellington.•1:23 p.m. Officers investigated a theft of storage tote and hose at the city Wellington Lake.•3:30 p.m. Non-Injury, private property accident in the 1100 block N. A, Wellington involving vehicles operated by Hailey E. Drake, 18, Wellington and Lindsey R. Stone, 30, Wellington.•3:33 p.m. Officers investigated a burglary of tools in the 700 block N. B, Wellington by known suspect.•3:38 a.m. Hailey E. Drake, 18, Wellington was issued a notice to appear for operating a motor vehicle without proof of insurance in the 1100 block N. A, Wellington.•5:33 p.m. Officers took a report of an abuse of a child in the 600 block N. Jefferson, Wellington.•5:43 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 1600 block W. 8th, Wellington.•8:10 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 900 block W. 7th, Wellington.•8:45 p.m. Non-Injury, hit and run accident in the 1100 block W. 8th, Wellington involving an unknown vehicle and a parked and unoccupied vehicle owned by Aubrey A. Stangl, Wellington.•11:42 p.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 500 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.last_img read more


Two lawsuits filed over “Iowa One Call” violations in Cerro Gordo County

first_img== In a pending case, Muscatine Utility on two separate occasions is accused of conducting excavations to install cable and internet service in Mason City and hit and damaged half-inch diameter natural gas pipelines under 60 pounds per square inch of pressure. During the first excavation, Muscatine Utility failed to notify the owner or operator of the natural gas pipeline of the damage and attempted to repair one of the gas lines themselves. During the second excavation, the company used heavy equipment in the tolerance zone of a marked utility, resulting in damage to the utility.  == In the first lawsuit, Yohn Co. of Clear Lake was accused of failing to provide a 48-hour notice of a planned excavation on several occasions in Clear Lake in 2018 and 2019 and proceeded with the excavations without having the underground facilities located and marked. During several of the excavations, Yohn Co. failed to exercise due care when conducting the excavations and the company’s equipment hit and damaged natural gas pipelines. The company failed to notify the owner or operator of the natural gas pipeline of the damage in one instance. Yohn Co. agreed to resolve the matter with a consent decree, with the company admitting to the violations and paying a $7500 civil penalty in addition to injunctive relief prohibiting future violations.  Iowa’s One Call law requires anyone who digs, excavates or trenches privately or commercially to first contact the Iowa One Call center for locating underground utilities.center_img MASON CITY — The Iowa Attorney General’s Office this week filed two lawsuits in Cerro Gordo County over alleged violations of the state’s “Iowa One Call” law, with one of the lawsuits being resolved through the paying of a civil penalty. last_img read more


Job Vacancy: Donegal steelwork company seeks new staff member

first_imgJOBS: Letterkenny steelwork company Bonnar Engineering Ltd are seeking a new staff member to join their highly-competent workforce.The long-established company are currently recruiting for an experienced roof cladder / steel erector.This is a permanent position. Duties include:Installation of cladding/sheeting to industrial and commercial buildingsFixing of flashings, gutters and downpipes etc.Erection of structural steelworkSlinging/Banksman dutiesDriving of teleporters / lifts etc.Candidates must have a reasonably substantial amount of experience of the above tasks and preferably hold the relevant skills tickets (CSCS / CPCS) for same. Further training on the job will also be given.Candidates must have ability to use initiative and progress tasks with minimum supervision.See www.bonnarengltd.ie for details on our company. Apply with CV to info@bonnarengltd.ieJob Vacancy: Donegal steelwork company seeks new staff member was last modified: March 22nd, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:bonnar engineering ltd.Job Vacancyroof claddersteel erectorlast_img read more