LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - True to her name, Patience Knight showed
poise when things were good - and bad.
Two years ago, the Texas Tech shot-putter's life was going
smoothly. She was a 19-year-old freshman who earned straight A's
and had qualified for a national meet.
In June 2006, the aspiring Olympian felt sharp pains shooting
across her chest and back on her right side. The discomfort was
most severe when she inhaled, but only when she was lying down to
A bone scan was negative, but three weeks later an MRI showed a
fist-sized mass beneath her sternum near her heart. A biopsy
followed, but Knight expected the results would reveal another
benign neurofibroma like the one that had been removed when she was
11. She was shocked when the diagnosis came back as Hodkin's
disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system.
Her oncologist said diagnosing the disease in its earliest stage
gave Knight a good shot at beating it. The survival rate was 97
At first she and her coaches thought she would have to redshirt
the spring 2007 season. But as she began 12 rounds of chemo and 20
of radiation, Knight craved a return to routine. The side effects
of the chemo were more than she could handle alone, and she was
elated when doctors cleared her to continue training and competing.
Tomorrow, Knight will accept an individual honor spotlighting
her spirit and fortitude. The Honda Inspiration Award recognizes an
athlete who overcomes adversity to excel at her sport, and Knight
will be saluted at the Collegiate Women Sports Awards ceremony in
Earlier this month, the wildlife management major was honored as
a 2008 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award winner.