Rocky Mount native and Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gilmore fighting cancer

Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 6:59 PM EDT
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Coastal Carolina baseball coach Gary Gilmore has learned plenty in a life around the game. The Franklin County native is using all of that now in a fight against pancreatic neuro cancer after being diagnosed earlier this year.

"I honestly, for the most part, feel like a million dollars," Gilmore said Tuesday. "I feel better than I did before I had this stuff so, I'm hoping and praying the medicines are doing what they should be doing and they are stopping any forward growth and hopefully have got this stuff in retreat mode."

Gilmore recently finished his third round of chemotherapy and will head to Houston next week to see his oncologist about what comes next in his treatment.

"You can go five years. If you are lucky, you can go fifteen or twenty," he said. "It's all about how my body responds and how many things we have to fight along the way. There could be times when I'm deemed cancer free, but because it's hormonal, it's going to return, and so, how we work all that and do that. At this point in life, I'm just so blessed and saying prayers as long as I wake up every morning, it's a great day."

Gilly's 25th season at Coastal was cut short by his illness and COVID-19. He led the Chanticleers to Omaha in 2016 where his team won the College World Series for the school's first national championship. It was a journey that changed the 62 year old's perspective on life and the game.

"You get self gratification from knowing you are achieving the purpose that God put you on this Earth to fulfill and I missed some of that a little bit. I just didn't take it in and allow it to really absorb into my soul and my body that this relational piece is far more important than if we won 45 games and went to Omaha in a lot of ways."

Coach Gilmore is a member of the Ferrum Hall of Fame as well as the Salem-Roanoke Valley Baseball Hall. And he wouldn't trade any of his experiences here in southwest Virginia for anything.

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