Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The first family affected is that of Nick Bell and the other family is the teammates of Bell on the Mississippi State football team. Bell, a 20-year-old from Bessemer, Ala., lost his battle with cancer Tuesday afternoon.
The Bulldog defensive end was diagnosed in late September after experiencing headaches during football practice and had surgery on Oct. 1 to remove a mass from his brain. His recovery seemed well on its way when he made an appearance when MSU faced Alabama-Birmingham.
This past week, Bell's recovery was replaced with a quickly by a turn for worst in his condition as he was rushed to the UAB hospital last week. After emergency surgery Monday, it was found that the cancer had spread throughout his body.
Only five weeks ago Bell was on the field for the first MSU's six straight wins against Georgia. Bell played in four games this season and started in two games including the Georgia game in which he had seven solo tackles with two tackles for a loss.
Last season, Bell played in 12 games and recorded 16 tackles as a redshirt freshman.
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen delivered the news in a team meeting. The Bulldogs, who are idle this week, still decided went ahead with their regularly scheduled practice on Tuesday.
"That's a sanctuary for our coaches, our players and our football family to be out there together doing the thing we love most," Mullen said. "It kind of felt good to sweat out some of the feelings and emotions that were inside."
Bell who was unable to speak and just hanging on got a surprise visit from 50 of his teammates and coaches Monday.
"We grabbed a bus and loaded up a bunch of guys," Mullen said. "I think it's great that a lot of our players got to go over there, see the situation and get to say their goodbyes."
But during the time that his teammates were there, his heart rate spiked.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced by the family at this time, but the Mississippi State athletic department will establish a memorial fund for the Bell family through the Bulldog Club. More details will be available online at www.mstateathletics.com, and donations can be made by calling 662-325-3074.
My heart goes out to the family of Nick Bell and the Mississippi State football team. I am sorry for their loss.
- Bryan Flynn
That's so sad to hear about. I've seen up close what cancer can do to a person and for this to happen to someone at such a young age is the real tragedy.
- golden eagle