MINNEAPOLIS, MN - April 11, 2019 - White Bear Lake High School coach Ryan Bartlett has been named the Courage Award recipient by the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation. He will be recognized at the 12th Annual Minnesota Football Honors on Saturday, April 27 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
After months of coughing and wheezing, and doctor visits that did not solve the problem, last March Bartlett underwent a CT scan with alarming results. He had a nine-centimeter mass in his chest, and spots on his liver, spleen, neck and stomach. Following a biopsy, the husband and father of three received a diagnosis of Stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Bartlett started chemotherapy last April with a plan to go in for treatment every other week for 12 sessions. This timeline meant that he was dealing with the disease during the end of the school year as well as summer football workouts and the start of the season. Bartlett received help from family, friends, colleagues, Bears players and parents and other members of the community. But he did not let cancer keep him away from coaching for long.
Bartlett received word that the cancer was in remission after four treatments, but he still needed to continue chemotherapy. He received clearance to coach during this time. He missed the Bears’ early morning weightlifting sessions to take care of his health, but attended their 7-on-7 workouts. Bartlett could not touch footballs or players at practice in order to avoid getting sick.
White Bear Lake took the field for its first game of 2018 with Bartlett on the sidelines, feeling closer than ever to his players. Cancer gave him a new perspective on football, and football gave him energy to help get through treatment.
The Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation will host the 12th Annual Minnesota Football Honors on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The event is presented by the Minnesota Vikings and is the largest football awards event in Minnesota. Doors open at 2 p.m. for the 4 p.m. event. The event is open to the public. For additional information about this year’s Minnesota Football Honors and to purchase tickets, please visit www.minnesotafootballhonors.com. For sponsorship information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Minnesota Chapter of the National Football Foundation:
The Minnesota Chapter of The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a local non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and develop the power of amateur football in developing the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive spirit and academic excellence in Minnesota’s young people. The MN Chapter recognizes legendary football icons, college football Hall of Famers and Minnesota’s top high school and college football scholar athletes. For more information, visit www.nffmn.org, Facebook or Twitter.
Sean Gothier, Executive Director
MN Chapter of The National Football Foundation
Tag(s): Upcoming Event