Randy Sturgeon coaches track while battling back from cancer

 Randy, well-attired.

Randy, well-attired.

Former National Masters News publisher Randy Sturgeon, recovering from cancer that began in his neck, reported progress this week on his Facebook page. He wrote: “Monday I met with a second medical oncologist at Kaiser and after that my regular oncologist. First off as the radiology oncologist said the cancer is noncurable, if you define curable as down to the lowest molecular level, completely gone. However, there is different levels of remission that range from completely gone to well passing on. I am P16 positive, which is good, there is a better prognosis. Radiation at this time is not an option, my body wouldn’t take even targeted radiation in three spots. However the tumors have responded to chemo as they shrunk significantly.”

Randy continued:

The plan is further chemo in the near future. The chemo may reduce them even more and while they may never go away, they can shrink to undetectable level. It is possible the tumors could stay dormant or be controlled for a long time. Nothing is for sure, though.

Yesterday a chest X-ray was done because of the pain I get off and on in my upper right front, side and back. It came back clean. I have been given a more fast acting pain killer for now. Also, a PT Scan will be done Friday morning to follow up on the tumors and further check where the pain is coming from. it may just be a side affect as so far nothing has shown up.

Overall, while I am not physically my best, I am very positive and upbeat about things. I now have two oncologists working together for me. I feel very good about my doctors, but that doesn’t mean I won’t follow up on things.

However, these doctors really care. I have seen it in their eyes, not just by their words. I have seen tears when things did not go as well as one hoped. I get e-mails returned on weekends and if something comes up, I am always seen right away.

The biggest thing is the support of friends and family. Despite my situation I am a very happy person with no fears, anger, regrets, nothing. I have had a better life with cancer than I had before when I didn’t have it.

Randy also reported being thrilled with the sprinters he coaches at Granite Bay High School.

One of my goals this season with the girls team was to have a good 4 x 400. I don’t think they ever ran under 4:14 last year. We, I mean they, ran 4;10 first meet winning the race. They won almost all their races but even at league where they were fourth, they ran 4:10. We just couldn’t get under 4:10.

Tonight, in the [CIF San Joaquin] section trials, they run 4:01.30. School record and qualified for section finals! PS. Tyler Brendel, my ace sprinter, qualified for the finals in both the 100 and 200.

Varsity boys won their heat of the 4 x 100 in 42.82. They also are in the championship finals. I was a big sick today, but suddenly feel better.

They did again in the finals. My girl high jumpers went 1-3, varsity boy took 2nd, the 4 x 100 varsity boys improved by nearly .7 to a 42.15, Tyler finally broke 11:00 in the 100 with a 10.9 and got 4th in the 200, Annie broke her own 400 record with 58.16 and those girls who broke the school record with 4:01 on Wednesday, a 10 second improvement, did it again running 4:00.21. Carla’s distance runner took 3rd in the mile 4:18 and then came back to win the 2 mile in 9:15. Finally our girl who didn’t really take up running the 300 hurdles till about 3 weeks ago, ran a new school record 45.51. Next week is the masters meet, the qualifier for the state meet. We will have some kids make it. Great way to finish my coaching career, They came through for me big time.

In late April, he shared sad news:

Today I told my sprinters and high jumpers that this was my last season as a high school track coach. It makes me sad, but time to focus on healing and other things. I put in nearly 40 years.

When I started coaching high school girls, they were separate from the boys in coaching, training and different meet days. Thank God, that has all changed. Not only are they now one team, training together, they are lead by girl captains.

Still there are some who still don’t take female athletes seriously, but they are dinosaurs, dying off.

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May 25, 2014

18 Responses

  1. Burr Daly - May 25, 2014

    Randy, you’ve not only got a lot of courage but plenty of spirit. Keep up the good work. Congratulations on 40 years of coaching track.

  2. Jeff Davison - May 25, 2014

    We are continuing to pray for you. You have been an encouragement to us all.

  3. Derek Pye - May 25, 2014

    We miss you tremendously, Randy! You’re always in our thoughts and prayers. Thanks for all of the updates. Looking forward to seeing you real soon. Many Blessings!

  4. Jim Broun - May 25, 2014

    My prayers are with you and congratulations on your great work with the kids. You are an inspiration to all of us.

  5. Don Cheek - May 25, 2014

    God Bless you Randy—we will pray for you—you are a true “Overcomer”.

  6. Jim Bordoni - May 26, 2014

    Randy has always been a fierce battler, going all the way back to our days on the track at different schools in the same home town. His courage and upbeat attitude are an inspiration. I’m not surprised those kids did so well under his guidance.

  7. Susie - May 26, 2014

    You are such a good man. Lots of prayers.

  8. al cestero - May 26, 2014

    prayers indeed..!

  9. Kevin F Forde - May 27, 2014

    Randy, keep fighting the good fight you have a lot of people in your corner

  10. Roger Pierce - May 27, 2014

    Never…never….never Quit Randy..You inspire us all!!

  11. Ken Stone - May 27, 2014

    Not good news. Randy posted on FB Tuesday:

    I have been waiting until I could talk to a few people before I put this out. Last Friday I had a PT scan and as I soon as I was done I walked over to my head and neck surgeon’s office. Something I just did not seem right for a while now. Dr. Kim took me immediately with no appointment. He had my PT scan up on his computer already. The tumor between my right tonsil and tongue has returned. No longer in remission. Things are not improving in the lungs either. I am getting more pain on my right side.

    Dr. Kim is taking my case to the Northern California Tumor Board to come up with a treatment plan. That is this Thursday. I still have hope, I don’t quit, but truth is it is now how long, not if, before this disease takes me. I am at peace, I have no anger or regrets. I am filled with nothing but joy and love from all of you. I have a pentathlon to complete on August 9th and it will be at my home track, Granite Bay. I am going to keep coaching and running until I can’t. But at some point the good Lord is going to say, “you have fought long and hard enough, time to come home and rest.” When that time comes I will probably hear a special old friend barking to lead me home.

    God bless you all,

  12. Peter Taylor - May 28, 2014

    Randy, you have responded admirably to this very recent turn of events. I do hope that good fortune will shine on you in the years ahead. As you know from your exposure to the medical literature in the last two years, you can think of yourself as being in a medical study, but in this case the study has only one patient.

    We can make predictions for large groups of patients, but it is much harder to see the future for just one. In your case, I believe the best thing to do is to imagine a future in which things ultimately go your way, whatever that means. And remember that thousands of people are wishing the very best for you.

  13. Randy Sturgeon - May 28, 2014

    Just want to thank everybody for all the support. My doctor says the key to my continued survival is a positive attitude. I try to see the best in everything and everybody. Things like ‘Why me or what if, or any type of anger” just doesn’t help me. You have to look forward to each day and thankful for each one you had,

  14. Nolan Shaheed - May 29, 2014

    Randy, Thank you for being my friend.I love you.

  15. Bob Lida - May 29, 2014

    One of the things I appreciate most about masters track is the demonstrated compassion. What affect one, affect us all. We are all thinking of you Randy.

  16. Kevin Morning - May 30, 2014

    Randy, keep on fighting the good fight. As you told me a few weeks ago, no matter what God has in store, you WIN!

  17. Don Pratt - June 1, 2014

    Keep the faith and “run like the wind”. I know that’s what my old friend Jerry Smartt would say. We wish you the best.

  18. Bob Hewitt - June 25, 2014


    Let me know if you once again need a LJ coach in preparation for your August 9 Pentathlon. You are an inspiration to us all and I know you have the support of the entire Masters Track & Field community. Run fast, jump high!

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