Luke DeCock: Stuart Scott’s courage an inspiration to many

Joey Doster spends enough time behind the scenes around athletes and celebrities to know they don’t like to be bothered. And as an operations manager for security company Staff One, it’s often his job to keep them from being bothered.

Stuart Scott, though, he couldn’t let past.

In August 2011, Doster was only a few months removed from being diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma, still at work while in the midst of chemotherapy treatments, this time at a gaming event downstairs at the Raleigh Convention Center. Scott, battling a recurrence of his own cancer, was upstairs speaking at the Jimmy V gala.

Doster had told only a few close family and friends about his cancer diagnosis, but he had to find Scott, had to tell him. He caught up with Scott on his way back to the hotel.

“He was tired and he was sick and he just wanted to go back to his room, but I had to stop him,” Doster said Sunday. “I said, ‘Stuart, I’m sorry to interrupt you, but I was just diagnosed with cancer and I just wanted to say how much of an inspiration you’ve been, how strong you’ve been.’ “

Scott stopped, gave Doster a fist pound and a hug, told him to keep fighting. Scott said, “Be strong with it, and you will win.” It was only a brief exchange, and when it was over, Doster sat down and cried.

“It was no more than 30 seconds, but it was enough for me, for the battle I was fighting, unsure how public I wanted to be about it,” Doster said. “At that time, I never knew it would turn into a three-year battle for me.”

Scott, who died Sunday at 49, was a native North Carolinian, a proud and loyal graduate of UNC and a creator of his own unique catch-phrases as an anchor at ESPN, the pinnacle of a television career that began in Raleigh. He also was, after his first cancer diagnosis in 2007, an inspiration to many.

Doster was one of them, a familiar face to thousands of Triangle sports fans who probably have no idea why it’s familiar. In his job at Staff One, where he started working in the late ’90s while in school at N.C. State, he’s often standing on the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium or on the field at Carter-Finley Stadium, overseeing the yellow-jacketed ushers and security guards, Jimmy V Foundation pin on his lapel.

And even if his face isn’t familiar, some may remember him from the winter of 2012, when he came back to work wearing a surgical mask to guard against infection. Even then, he told very few. But he, like so many others, wanted to share with Scott, because of the strength they drew from Scott’s own willingness to share.

“I was emotional about it,” Doster said. “I knew I could keep doing what I was doing and it would be OK. If he can do what he does, then I can do what I need to do.”

Doster sought out Scott again at the Jimmy V golf tournament in 2012, before the first of two stem-cell transplants. He took a photo with Scott, along with Doster’s brother and nephew. By June 2013, Doster, now 34, was in remission.

Sunday morning, Doster was getting ready to head over to Cameron for the Duke women’s basketball game when he heard of Scott’s death. Doster took to Twitter and told the whole story over five separate tweets.

That brief encounter in 2011 still resonated more than three years later, never more than Sunday morning. Sunday, Doster knew it was time to tell his story. He owed it to Scott. He owed it to himself.

Source: MSN Sports

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