"These two guys right here are the reason I'm so passionate about what I do!"
“January 2nd, 2020 I celebrated nine years of battling cancer with the last four years being cancer free.”
For the last nine years Coach Bill Sandillo has been battling Stage-4 Melanoma Cancer. He is now cancer free, but his fight continues everyday! Cancer can be ugly to your body, your hair, your teeth and your self-esteem, but Coach Sandillo has a message for you:
“To all the cancer survivors out there, I say keep fighting. Never give up. Never give up hope, no matter who’s in your corner and no matter who runs for cover. Your drive and determination to survive will be determined on who you want in your life today!”
Bill’s story starts in 2010. Bill was coaching the best players from around the country at the Cape Cod Baseball League in Orleans, Massachusetts. It was there that Coach Sandillo met a charismatic 5’7 2B/Closer name Marcus Stroman from Duke.
“He was electric. Not because of how he threw, we knew he was good; but because he was a caring and giving individual. He loved playing the game and loved coming to the yard everyday. Most mornings, we met for breakfast at the Hole-In-One in Orleans.”
Coach Sandillo and Marcus began to develop a routine. They would talk about family, friends & life. After breakfast they would hit the field where Marcus would catch for Coach while he would run drills.
“During the Cape All-Star break, Marcus gave me his car so I could pick up my wife & kids at the airport. He was just an all-around good kid.”
Life for Coach Sandillo could not have been better. He was doing what he loved. But in 2011, he found out he had stage-4 cancer. Bill called a few players, including Marcus to let them know he would not be returning for the next season of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
“He (Marcus) felt bad but assured me he would keep in touch. I told him I would do the same and wished him good luck.”
For the past nine years, it has been a daily grind for Coach Sandillo. Consistently looking for new motivation in his battle, he would often think back to his days coaching baseball.
“I’m often reminded of my time at the Cape and when I reflect on those days, I think of people like Marcus who overcame the stigma of being short and playing this game; someone who is small in stature but is a huge presence on the mound and is active in peoples lives. I loved how he conducted himself at the Cape, I loved how he cared about others and I love that he strives to be the best version of himself every day. He continues to be an inspiration today.”
While Marcus and others continue to inspire Coach Sandillo, the #1 motivation for Coach was his family. His two boys mean the world to him and he refused to allow them to grow up without a father!!
“I’m happy to say that nine years later, when I was given only six months to live, I’m still here raising my boys. The doctors didn’t understand the drive and determination of somebody who wanted to be here for his friends, family and kids. So along with my family and friends, my two boys and I look forward to what 2020 brings!”
WOW! Just an incredible story of courage, determination, and the will to win. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. There is someone reading this story that has been inspired to continue their fight and live on for their family. Keep living life, coaching baseball, loving your family, and inspiring others Coach!!
#HDMH #FamilyFirst #CancerSurvivor
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