Rex Harvey has cancer setback, won’t step back from USATF roles

Rex watched out for steeple safety at LSU nationals, where Dr. Cheryl Bellaire took a barrier. Dave Albo photo

Rex Harvey reported Thursday on his six-month cancer checkup, and it wasn’t good news. “One tumor is growing a little bit after a year and half of no change, so we will attempt some more treatment,” our national masters chair began in a Facebook post. “I have been accepted into a clinical trial. It is an immunotherapy treatment where they rev up my immune system to kill the cancer cells. It is brand new to my rare kind of appendix cancer, but has been very successful with other types of cancer. I have to have a tumor biopsy and many other tests first and then will begin at least three treatments, one every three weeks in Houston at MD Anderson. Thanks again for all your good wishes and prayers. All together, we are making this work.”

I wrote Rex Friday for clarity on his state of mind and chairman status.

He graciously replied: “I am very happy that there are further measures we can take to arrest, or eliminate this cancer. It is slow growing and not particularly invasive, but it can kill you by growing so big that it crowds out other vital organs. I don’t see it affecting my volunteer work for Masters Track & Field any other than the few days of treatment and checkups that it will entail. I kept normal activity through 24 chemo treatments and don’t anticipate this to be any worse, and probably better. I plan no lifestyle changes other than those that normal aging puts on me (and you) every day.”

Rex is tough, and smart. So I have no doubt he’ll battle this like the champion he is.

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July 21, 2017

9 Responses

  1. Doug Smith - July 21, 2017

    I can’t count the number of WMA Championships that I have attended where Rex stepped in to fix some problem, help with the officiating…..making things right.

  2. David E. Ortman (M64), Seattle, WA - July 21, 2017

    Hang in there. We need you!

  3. whowouldbeyourdaddy - July 22, 2017

    Best wishes Rex.

  4. Bill Pontius - July 22, 2017

    Your attitude is inspiring. All the best to you. Hope to meet you this year sometime. In the late 60’s and early 70’s you were one of the decathletes who inspired my track efforts, meager as they may be. Thank you!


  5. Weia Reinboud - July 22, 2017

    Bad news. Best wishes Rex!

  6. Jeff Davison - July 22, 2017

  7. Cheryl - July 22, 2017

    Rex looked in good health last weekend, so this is upsetting. But he is in good hands with a positive attitude! Best wishes to Rex

  8. Rick Easley - July 23, 2017

    The new tumor sounds like what I had. I hope it is not in a critical area or is too large, in case of surgery. It was good to see you in Baton Rouge.

  9. Maryline - July 24, 2017

    What a positive attitude and words filled with Hope. Rex, you will be in my prayersand I’m looking forward to see you at the next meet very soon! Healing vibes on their way..

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