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MWSU Safety Faces Battle Off the Field

Marc Harrison learned his father has cancer prior to his redshirt sophomore season.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Western's pass defense is on the rise. The Griffons are thrid in the MIAA in interceptions, and have held three teams under 200 yards passing.

Junior Marc Harrison is one of the leaders of the unit with two picks and three pass break ups.

"There are still a lot of things that we need to get better at, but I think he's one of those guys that will help us get better.

But Harrison's road hasn't been easy.

Working out the summer before his redshirt sophomore season, he got a call he didn't expect.

It was Harrison's dad Anthony telling him that he was diagnosed with cancer.

"The first thing I wanted to do was race home," Marc said of when he found out. "You kind of take it to the extreme. You think about it overboard; you don't assess the situation. I was willing to stop whatever I was doing and just drive home to see him."

"When I first got the diagnosis, I talked to him and his younger brother," Anthony said. "I really wanted to keep him informed. Keeping him in the loop kept him calm and made him understand that we can beat this."

Anthony has Multiple Myeloma, cancer formed by malignant plasma cells in bone marrow. As Anthony fights it, he's always on Marc's mind.
  
"I think about it all the time," Marc said. "I hear a lot of stories about people and families that have cancer, so I know I'm not the only one but it still gets to you."

The cancer is in remission, and Anthony has gained most of his weight back. But the experience has allowed Marc to put life into perspective.

"It kind of takes it to a different world. There are things more important than football. Football's real important, but there is life outside of football. There's stuff everybody's going through, that's just my situation right now."

As Anthony's health continues to improve, Marc's able to look up in the stand on game day and see his biggest fan in the stands.

"I feel blessed everyday to witness this," Anthony said. "He's really turning from a boy to a young man. He has a bright future and I'm very proud to be here to see it."
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