Former Hawkeye Dace Richardson thanks community for support during cancer treatment
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Dace Richardson was an all BigTen Offensive-lineman who played for the Hawkeyes from 2005 to 2009. His last game was the Orange Bowl victory over Georgia Tech.
Richardson is no stranger to health complications, suffering two separate leg injuries that forced him to miss much of the 2007 and all of the 2008 seasons, but late last year, a more fearful issue presented itself.
“They found a legion in my colon,” Richardson said. “It wasn’t too big and he believed that we caught it early,”
Richardson had stage one colon cancer, requiring surgery just two days before the new year.
“They removed about eight inches of my colon. The best survival is catching it early,” Richardson said.
Richardson, a police officer near Des Moines, worried about the hours missed from work. The medical bills continued to add up as he required another surgery due to a complication from his prior operation.
“They ran some scans and realized that I was leaking out of my colon. I knew financially, with this new timetable, that I was going to be in some trouble,” Richardson said.
Richardson then reached out to friend and teammate Pat Angerer.
“The one thing he told me was don’t worry about the money,”
Angerer set up a GoFundMe page with the goal of 30 thousand dollars. They hit that goal in hours. Four days later it reached more than $81,000 before they disabled the account.
“Even though I haven’t played football in many years, I feel very humbled that these people took time out of their day to donate to my family,”
Richardson says in anything he does, the type of mentality he learned from his time as a Hawkeye football player plays a key role.
“Anything I do I put 100% to it,” Richardson said. “If its my work, being a dad, and then with this. I just wanted to put myself in the best foot forward so that I can say down the line that hey, if something wrong did happen it wasn’t because of something I did, it was something that was out of my control.”
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