MANSFIELD, Texas — It has been a tumultuous 20 months for Mansfield football coach Daniel Maberry.
He was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma in January 2018. Seven months later, he was told he was in remission. It was even reported that he was cancer free.
Two months after that, he was hit with a second diagnosis -- one that he continues to battle.
"It was really remission, more than anything," Maberry said. "But then this cancer morphed into something else, into a more aggressive one."
He was forced to leave his team, and start treatment again.
"You know, obviously, 'golly, here's another kick in the gut'," Maberry said. "But you know, at the same time it's like 'Alright, well, let's go'. I've got to have the right attitude, gotta meet this head on, and I can't just allow it to rob me of my joy right now. You know we gotta find a way to make the most of it."
That includes an aggressive form of treatment, called Car-T Cell therapy.
"They take the t-cells in my stem cells, and they make 'em like bionic," he said. "And so, they're gonna be cancer fighters. I'm gonna have bionic cells at some point in time, so I'm excited about that."
Maberry was at practice again on Tuesday, coaching alongside his interim head coach Greg George.
"It's challenging, because those are some big shoes to fill," George said. "They're always asking about Coach Maberry. They want to know what's going on."
Despite everything he's been through, and everything he's preparing for, Maberry has not missed a game this season. And after being in the box weeks 1 & 2, this past week he was down on the sideline.
"We just enjoyed being down on the field together, enjoyed coaching the team together, and ultimately, getting the win," George said.
"It's hopefully getting me to that point where I can get on that sideline, and chest bump kids, and all those things," Maberry said with a smile.
He said he can't let this rob him of his joy... and he's not.
"I've been really blessed through this. It's strange to say that, that you're blessed through cancer, you know, because, I mean, it can kill me. But at the same time, there's been so many people that have blessed my life through this, I can't even count."