April 19, 2013
Story by Brandon Steinert
Photo by Todd Moore
The past few weeks have been a period of transition for Skylar Hill.
He will graduate from Barton Community College in May, and the young pitcher for the Cougars recently signed to play baseball for Missouri Southern State University.
Though these developments might have seemed like big news at the time, they pale in comparison to the moment his doctor told him he had cancer about two weeks ago.
“When you hear news like that it catches you off guard and you don't know how to react to it,” Hill said. “It’s not challenging… just shocking. It's been so fast. That's the toughest part is how fast everything is going.”
Hill was rushed from one doctor to the next for diagnoses, hoping to have a treatment plan put in place in a hurry. Beginning Monday, April 22, he will undergo chemotherapy for five days, seven hours per day. Then he gets two weeks off and will have another five-day round of chemo.
“The doctor said it's not life threatening at this point,” Barton Baseball Coach Mike Warren said. “People think it must be bad when you hear they’re starting chemo right away, but that’s actually a good thing. This is one of those things where they can jump on it early. The doctor said we will start seeing a big difference really fast in the first week.”
As for baseball, Warren said Hill is “done for the year,” but they are both optimistic about Hill’s future.
Missouri Southern State University already stated they would honor his scholarship whether he is able to play or not.
“That shows their class,” said Warren, who has been a mentor in more ways than one during Hill’s tenure at Barton.
Hill, a sophomore in physical education, intends to coach after college.“That’s always been my dream, and that’s what I’m working toward,” he said. “I’m soaking up everything I can from Coach Warren.”
Pack the Park
Barton Community College invites the community to help Hill fight cancer by attending a “Pack the Park” event at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 26 at Lawson-Biggs Field. There will be raffle prizes and giveaways. Gate admission is $5 and hotdogs will be available for $1.
Supper with SkylarGet free admission to the ballpark at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, then join us for a free-will donation dinner at the ballpark following the games. Proceeds go to Hill to help with his fight against cancer.