space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Bulldogs Snag Silver at Antigo Soccer Invite
* 18th Annual Della Deau Memorial Golf Outing
* Wolves Defeat Bulldogs in Straight Sets
* Wolverines Unable to Repel Rebel Assault
* Chenier's Medalist Round Leads Marines to Silver

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Adversity Throws Thill A Curve, Doesn 't Defeat Baseball Spirit

There is no doubt a story behind every name on this year’s roster for the Wisconsin American Legion state all-star game. It just stands to reason that a young man who hits .507 or .430 in Legion ball probably has some interesting things to say about how he acquired such ability.

But sometimes there’s a back-story to the name on the roster that begs to be told; a set of circumstances that led from point A to point B that go deeper than batting average or one’s win/loss record on the mound.

Sometimes that story is such a testament to incredible strength in the face of incredible adversity, it can’t help but put a smile on the face of anyone fortunate enough to come across it.

When Adam Thill was a junior at Peshtigo High, all things were a go. He was a three-sport athlete for the Bulldogs and on track for what one would assume would be nothing short of a bright future.

When the discomfort on the right side of his body first cropped up in the spring of 2010, he shrugged it off as a sore shoulder. Just the type of pain that hits the throwing arm from time to time, no big deal. He went on to play the entire season before noticing a lump where the initial discomfort started.

A biopsy on the lump showed that what Thill initially assumed was nothing more than the discomfort that comes along with pitching games for the Bulldogs was actually Hodgkins Disease. July 2010 marked the diagnosis date and also Adam’s introduction to true adversity.

But fast forward to present day and Thill is still standing. Still pitching and hitting. Still making plans for his future. Still pushing his way through every door that his new companion, adversity, tries to close in his face.

On Sunday, August 19 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Thill’s field of dreams becomes a reality when he steps out onto the grass of his home state’s Major League Park in front of family and friends and takes the mound for the 2012 North Legion All Stars. The game will take place following the major league contest between the Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Joining Thill at Miller Park from the area are Aaron Pettit, a centerfielder from Marinette on the North team and Mike Nompleggi, a pitcher from Oconto Falls who will be playing for the South all stars.

To say that the road leading Thill to this point has been a tough one so far would be quite the understatement.

Immediately following the July 2010 diagnosis, Adam underwent five months of chemotherapy. He missed football that year but incredibly, his condition went into remission and he was able to join the Peshtigo High School basketball team for its playoff run.

Adam Thill, one. Extreme adversity, zero, and all is right with the world.

But the start of a new baseball season in Adam’s senior year brought devastating news to the Thill family once again. A check up revealed that the Hodgkins had returned. Adversity was again standing square in the way of Adam’s path forward.

Just like the year before, another round of attacking the cancer was underway immediately with the folks at Bay Area Medical Center. Thill also began seeing specialists in the UW Madison Hospital system who crafted a plan to perform what is known as an autologous bone marrow transplant, taking marrow from one of Adam’s own arms, and using it to fight the Hodgkins.

The procedure was a success. After a grueling month confined to a bed through a difficult recovery process, Adam was sent home.

He was down and out, flat sick, explained Adam’s father Rick. When he had the transplant, it was a combination of radiation, which he never had before, and then extremely strong chemotherapy, then they rolled right into a transplant and to recover from that just wiped him out.

Those four weeks following the transplant were some of the toughest days of this entire saga for Thill. But he made it through to the other side and was sent home.

Nine months after the transplant date, all signs of the Hodgkins that he had been battling for a year were gone at check up time but doctors suffered yet another setback in their work when they discovered a small growth in Thill’s abdomen area, completely separate from the original cancer.

So once again, the weight of an uncertain medical outlook has been hoisted onto Adam’s shoulders, and onto the shoulders of those close to him. He is again staring down an illness that’s looking to cut his life very short.

Thill returned to Madison for testing and as of now, another bone marrow transplant is one of the options on the table, this time in the form of a biological match from his brother Justin. But a new outpatient treatment involving a protein-based drug, administered through a port inserted in Adam’s chest, has been yielding positive results that could eliminate the need for a second transplant. As a matter of fact, the Thill family got some much-deserved good news just last week as doctors are reporting that the new cancer growth in Adam’s abdomen has regressed significantly.

With all this going on, what’s he doing pitching this weekend at Miller Park in an all star game?

The thing about Adam Thill and his illness that couldn’t be any clearer is this:

The young man is absolutely NOT afraid of cancer.

And his story goes to another level of special once the sources of his strength are revealed.

Adam’s mother, Lori Thill, has also beaten Hodgkins Disease. She beat it 18 years ago when Adam was an infant and she never looked back.

To have that example of perseverance so close at all times has given Adam what he needs to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s critical. She’s been there every step of the way with me through this and I know that she will be going forward, said Thill when asked how much his mother’s past experience with the very same disease has benefited him so far. I know that when she beat it, 18 or 19 years ago, the technology they were working with was no way near what they are using now.

With his mother’s own experience to draw strength from, Adam’s outlook on his situation couldn’t be any more positive. But his well of support doesn’t stop at the front door of the family’s home, as Mrs. Thill is quick to point out.

The doctors that Adam has worked with have been incredible, both here in Marinette and in Madison, Lori Thill said of the support Adam is getting. He’s surrounded by us as well as his extended family, a lot of positive friends, teachers and a community that has rallied around him. It’s been an incredible outpouring of emotional support and I think that, along with our faith, gives him all the more power to fight what he’s dealing with.

Yes, the list of supporters in Adam’s corner is lengthy and there are many standouts. One such contributor standing by Thill’s side is his grandfather and Lori’s father, Dale Minzlaff, longtime head of the Marinette Legion baseball program.

It’s quite an honor for Adam to be chosen to pitch in this game, said Dale when asked to talk about how proud he is to see his grandson being honored within the baseball system he’s so familiar with. The directors within Legion baseball look at all of the applications they get from coaches who are trying to get one of their players onto the team and have to decide. I think they took into consideration a little bit of Adam’s history. You know, I remember talking to folks who were at those games where he was pitching after taking treatment earlier in the day. They were just amazed that he could turn around and play a full game after dealing with treatment the same day.

The fight to rid Adam’s system of Hodgkins continues.

Currently, the protein-based treatment Thill is receiving, while not as invasive and draining on his system as chemotherapy, is tedious nonetheless. What person at 19 years of age has the patience to sit in a recliner for a solid hour with an apparatus attached to a port in their chest?

It gets old after awhile, Adam says of the treatment regimen his doctors have him on currently. But it’s not the worst thing. I’m in and out in an hour and I like seeing everybody in oncology at this point. I actually have had days where I start off with treatment, go to school for a couple of hours and then pitch a complete game. I’m worn out after the fact but it’s not too bad

When it comes to his illness, that’s about as complicated as it gets these days, according to Thill. But there’s another piece to the tapestry of strength that shields him from adversity. That piece comes from the fact that he’s now forced to walk down his path without the benefit of having his best friend at his side.

In June, a longtime teammate and dear friend of Adam’s passed away when a tragic dirt bike accident claimed the life of Chris Mylener.

Of all the things adversity has thrown at him, Mylener’s untimely death is the event in his life that gives him pause, instantly erases his smile.

This summer’s tragedy was devastating for us, said Mrs. Thill. Our families are very close and it’s going to be quite a battle to get through.

Adam isn’t quick to talk about it.

Understandable.

There’s only so much adversity one can face while maintaining a positive attitude. He feels robbed of a companion, a friend and fellow competitor who likely would have been playing by his side through much of his success in athletics.

It would be safe to say that there’s going to be considerable inspiration provided courtesy of Mylener, 2010’s M-O Conference Most Valuable Pitcher, behind a few of Thill’s heaters this Sunday at Miller Park.

Adversity hasn’t come anywhere close to keeping Adam Thill out of the game of life. And with the support system he and his family already have in place, coupled with an extraordinary will to live, that fact doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
09-20-2017Obituaries
Arnold E. Witzke

09-20-2017Obituaries
Marion A. Walls

09-20-2017Obituaries
Susan Van Roy

09-20-2017Obituaries
Joseph E. Truitt

09-20-2017Obituaries
Duane O. Thompson

09-20-2017Obituaries
Lillie M. Rudolph

09-20-2017Obituaries
Victoria L. Reiswitz

09-20-2017Obituaries
Thomas C. Pichette

09-20-2017Obituaries
Donald C. Millbrook

09-20-2017Obituaries
Joyce R. Lund

09-20-2017Obituaries
Nancy Lee Looney

09-20-2017Obituaries
Stanley V. Kupczynski,

09-20-2017Obituaries
Lois L. Kostreva

09-20-2017Obituaries
Timm R. Jensen

09-20-2017Obituaries
David D. Jaeger

09-20-2017Obituaries
Mary J. Ihander

09-20-2017Obituaries
Timothy J. Hunter

09-20-2017Obituaries
Ronald G. Frease

09-20-2017Obituaries
Marvin J. Chamberlain

09-20-2017Obituaries
Darlene K. Bruette

09-20-2017Obituaries
Howard H. Schowalter

09-20-2017Obituaries
Donald E. Wolfe

09-20-2017Obituaries
Marvin C. Baake

09-20-2017Obituaries
Myrtle I. Pennington

09-20-2017Obituaries
Glenn G. Nelson Jr.

09-20-2017Obituaries
Diane C. Lotter

09-20-2017Obituaries
"Michael D. Lemieux

09-20-2017Obituaries
Don D. Hawkins

09-20-2017Obituaries
Roman A. Gipp

09-20-2017Obituaries
Violet T. Foat

09-20-2017Sports
Bulldogs Snag Silver at Antigo Soccer Invite

09-20-2017Sports
18th Annual Della Deau Memorial Golf Outing

09-20-2017Sports
Wolves Defeat Bulldogs in Straight Sets

09-20-2017Sports
Wolverines Unable to Repel Rebel Assault

09-20-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-20-2017Perspectives
From My Window

09-20-2017Perspectives
From our readers

09-20-2017Community - Wausaukee
Ranger Booster Club Tailgate Party Sept. 22

09-20-2017Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Clean Up Day Oct. 14-15

09-20-2017Community - Wausaukee
County To Collect Town Wagner Taxes

09-20-2017Community - Wausaukee
Town Wausaukee Winter Garbage Pickup in Effect

09-20-2017Community - Crivitz
Replace Flag at New Care Assisted Living

09-20-2017Community - Crivitz
Plan Trip to Our Lady Shrine Oct. 11

09-20-2017Community - Crivitz
Change School Board Meeting

09-20-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Implements New Program Called ACP

09-20-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Classes 1952-57 Plan Gathering for Oct. 4

09-20-2017Community - Coleman
Softball, Bean Bag Tourneys at Equity

09-20-2017Community - Coleman
Woman's Club View New Box for Books

09-20-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Cougars Team Up to Tackle Cancer

09-20-2017Front Page
McGowan Speaks at POW/MIA Recognition

09-20-2017Front Page
Work on Marinette County Wage Study is Nearly Done

09-20-2017Front Page
No Action On Proposal For MCABI To Take On Tourism

09-20-2017Front Page
Twin County Airport License In Jeopardy

09-20-2017Front Page
Peshtigo Water & Sewer Weighs Sewer Rate Increase

09-13-2017Obituaries
Bertie Shafer

09-13-2017Obituaries
Harold E. Salzman

09-13-2017Obituaries
Otto "Butch" E. Risner, Jr.

09-13-2017Obituaries
Paul P. Pitroski

09-13-2017Obituaries
William R. Philipps

09-13-2017Obituaries
Steven L. Paugh

09-13-2017Obituaries
Charles R. Neff

09-13-2017Obituaries
Judith I. Mingle

09-13-2017Obituaries
Betty H. Miller

09-13-2017Obituaries
Eugenie E. Johnson

09-13-2017Obituaries
Bertil C. Johnson

09-13-2017Obituaries
Ashley R. Hash-Havelka

09-13-2017Obituaries
Kathleen L. Gilligan 

09-13-2017Obituaries
Roger E. Folkerts

09-13-2017Obituaries
Georgette Dedamos

09-13-2017Obituaries
Stephen J. Dausey

09-13-2017Obituaries
Marie I. Crocker

09-13-2017Obituaries
Alice J. Baker

09-13-2017Obituaries
Barbara D. Anderson

09-13-2017Obituaries
Thomas A. Walk

09-13-2017Obituaries
Brian Stewart

09-13-2017Obituaries
Suzanne Steffeck

09-13-2017Obituaries
Jane I. Prim

09-13-2017Obituaries
Shirley A. Pentony

09-13-2017Obituaries
Thomas M. Nowack

09-13-2017Obituaries
Marilyn D. Moreau

09-13-2017
Urban R. Meyer

09-13-2017Obituaries
Adalynn R. McDonald

09-13-2017Obituaries
Joyce A. Girczyc

09-13-2017Obituaries
(Janina) Joan Gauthier

09-13-2017Obituaries
Brian K. Friebel

09-13-2017Obituaries
Daniel R. Burschinger, MD

09-13-2017Obituaries
Douglas E. Augustine

09-13-2017Sports
Chenier's Medalist Round Leads Marines to Silver

09-13-2017Sports
Bulldog Boys Run to Shawano D2 Title

09-13-2017Sports
Wolverines Early Front Runners in M&O

09-13-2017Sports
Bulldogs "Pass" Cougars For Highway B Rivalry Win

09-13-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-13-2017Perspectives
From our readers

09-13-2017Perspectives
From My Window

09-13-2017Community - Wausaukee
Iron Mountain VA to Host POW/MIA

09-13-2017Community - Wausaukee
Raindancers to Meet Oct. 5th

09-13-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is Sept. 25  

09-13-2017Community - Wausaukee
Meyer is Acting Unit Chaplain

09-13-2017Community - Crivitz
Marty Flom Benefit at Crivitz on Sept. 23

09-13-2017Community - Crivitz
Rally for Breast Cancer on Sept. 17

09-13-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Gun Show

09-13-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Public Works to Replace Village Hall Lighting

09-13-2017Community - Coleman
North Country Kickers Western Style Dance

09-13-2017Community - Coleman
Lena Lions List Coming Projects

09-13-2017Community - Coleman
Lena School Board Reviews Two Water Erosion Solutions

09-13-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board to Approve Budget

09-13-2017Front Page
Eklund Insurance Sold To Wagner-Casper Agency

09-13-2017Front Page
County Board May Consider Cutting Supervisor Positions

09-13-2017Front Page
Marinette POW/MIA Recognition Day Sept. 15

09-13-2017Front Page
MCABI Okays Lease For Medical Center

09-13-2017Front Page
Land Information Okays Conditional Use Permit

09-06-2017Obituaries
Jean F. Prestine

09-06-2017Obituaries
Edward Petrash

09-06-2017Obituaries
Virginia Padgett

09-06-2017Obituaries
Zina Miedziak

09-06-2017Obituaries
Charmaine K. Ehlen

09-06-2017Obituaries
Francis R. Daul   

09-06-2017Obituaries
Erva J. Wessel

09-06-2017Obituaries
Rose M. Weissgerber

09-06-2017Obituaries
Raymond H. Weigelt

09-06-2017Obituaries
Otto E. Risner, Jr.

09-06-2017Obituaries
Marlene Ponis

09-06-2017Obituaries
William R. Philipps

09-06-2017Obituaries
Gail M. Phillips

09-06-2017Obituaries
Joan F. Pfister

09-06-2017Obituaries
Thomas C. Nelson

09-06-2017Obituaries
Jerome P. Murphy 

09-06-2017Obituaries
Marie Laduron

09-06-2017Obituaries
Engleberth P. Heiden

09-06-2017Obituaries
James J. Harter

09-06-2017Obituaries
Robert Hammerberg

09-06-2017Obituaries
Dorothy L. Curtis

09-06-2017Obituaries
Violet Black

09-06-2017Obituaries
Ruth B. Schneider

09-06-2017Obituaries
Richard J. Pagel

09-06-2017Obituaries
Shirley J. Madon

09-06-2017Obituaries
Annette M. Jepson

09-06-2017Obituaries
Patricia Brethouwer

09-06-2017Sports
Area Runners Shine at Freedom Invitational

09-06-2017Sports
Bulldogs Serve Up Sweeps Over Marines and Maroons

09-06-2017Sports
Marinette & Menominee Claim Road Victories

09-06-2017Sports
Bulldogs Hold Off Clippers for First Win

09-06-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-06-2017Perspectives
From My Window

09-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 Plan Chili Fest

09-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Board Meeting Sept. 13

09-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Sept. 25th

09-06-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Board Awards MJB Bid

09-06-2017Community - Crivitz
Oktoberfest Returns to Downtown Iron Mtn.

09-06-2017Community - Crivitz
Youth Group Open House


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should the Marinette County Board be reduced in size?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2017
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites