ORONO, Maine — Maine coach Shawn Walsh is travelling today to the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Md., for tests designed to identify his next course of cancer treatments. He will stay at the National Cancer Institute until Tuesday, when he will return to Maine to prepare his team for Friday’s Hockey East semifinal game.
Walsh, who is suffering from kidney cancer that spread to the lymph nodes under his breastplate, underwent two rounds of immunotherapy at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center in August and October. Subsequent tests showed that the tumors had not grown, but still remained.
A story in the Boston Globe claimed that Walsh will pursue a stem cell procedure. This requires a donor who matches Walsh’s genetic profile on three of four points. Walsh’s younger brother, Kevin, matches on all four points.
However, that report was premature. Several other options are also being considered and no decision has yet been made as to which one will best treat Walsh’s condition.
“My family, my players and I are very grateful that, as our team has been in our stretch run, the media has stayed away from my health issue,” said Walsh. “And I would appreciate their continued respect of my desire to strictly talk hockey. Right now, I want to be able to concentrate on our team.
“Once we identify the actual treatment and procedures I will undertake, I will make that information available and address the media.”