Texas Wesleyan’s Josh Lacy, sports information director, fell extremely ill over the summer with a rare condition called AL Amyloidosis.
Lacy said AL Amyloidosis is a bone marrow disease that affects only 3,000 people in the U.S. per year and only 5 percent of those are under the age 40.
Lacy said he got sick in February 2012 and by March he had lost 20 pounds. By May, Lacy had lost 45 pounds. He was not diagnosed with his disease until July 2012.
“It is not cancer, but it is cancer like,” Lacy said. “Basically my bone marrow has produced broken protein called Amyloid.”
Lacy said the protein gets trapped in his organs and tissues and will eventually stop those organs from working. His heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, GI tract and muscles have all been affected by this disease.
There is no cure for AL Amyloidosis, but Lacy is currently being treated.
“The best treatment is a stem cell transplant, but because I have so many organs affected, I am not yet a candidate for that,” Lacy said. “Right now I am doing a new chemo treatment called Cybor-D.”
Lacy said after a month and a half, the treatment has slowed his Amyloid production to normal range.
“Now we have to wait for the Amyloid already in my body to leach out,” Lacy said. “Hopefully then I will be healthy enough for the stem cell transplant.”
Lacy said he goes once a week to have treatment at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas which is an hour and a half drive from his home in Burleson. Lacy also said his biggest problem is weakness.
“Between the weight loss and the chemo, I am unable to completely care for myself at home,” he said. “That means I need someone at the house to assist me, and this has caused a strain on the whole family.”
Lacy has two children and a wife at home and this disease has affected everyone in his family.
There are two websites dedicated to helping Lacy and his family as well as raising awareness for his disease. The first one, http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/joshlacy, is a journal update informing readers about how Lacy’s progress is coming along and how his family is coping.
The second website, http://www.gofundme.com/1242×8, is set up for donations for Lacy’s family. Anyone is welcome to donate.
“This is to help offset the medical bills,” Lacy said.
Steve Trachier, Wesleyan athletic director, said Lacy is responsible for the public relations, publicity and promotion of the athletic department along with keeping live sports stats and managing the athletic website.
“He has to write and edit press releases for all athletic teams,” Trachier said. “He also has to write and edit other materials for publication, including game notes, programs and brochures.”
Trachier said Lacy also conducts institutional research for intercollegiate athletics and helps the communications department develop media guides for each sport.
Marissa Rangel, senior liberal arts major and former student athlete, said Lacy is needed and missed.
“Lacy was a quiet person but had a huge impact in the athletic department, and things aren’t the same without him,” Rangel said. “Texas Wesleyan is a small university, and we consider ourselves family.”
Rangel said she believes as a family, we should do what we can to help Lacy and his family.
Emma Fradette, firstname.lastname@example.org