space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From our readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Menominee Scores Big in 6th Grade Hoops
* Niagara, Suring Advance To Set Up Thursday Showdown
* Tyler Nault & Oconto Falls Boys Head To State
* 3 M&O Teams Fall; Gillett Left Standing
* Coleman Finishes Undefeated, On Top Of M-O

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
10-29-2014Obituaries
David A. Varklick Sr.

10-29-2014Obituaries
Joan Y. Timm

10-29-2014Obituaries
Edna C. Rusch

10-29-2014Obituaries
David J. Rosenfeldt, Sr.

10-29-2014Obituaries
Bruce D. Robinson

10-29-2014Obituaries
Audrey Rietz

10-29-2014Obituaries
Margaret Pelkey

10-29-2014Obituaries
Mabel Konell

10-29-2014Obituaries
Doris R. Hardrath

10-29-2014Obituaries
Francis D. Froze

10-29-2014Obituaries
Bernice L. Darne

10-29-2014Obituaries
Harold A. Techmeier

10-29-2014Obituaries
Neil H. Shively

10-29-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Polzin

10-29-2014Obituaries
Elden J. Outcalt

10-29-2014Obituaries
Maryann E. Longrie

10-29-2014Obituaries
Geraldine L. Lambrecht

10-29-2014Obituaries
Rusty Holman

10-29-2014Obituaries
Christian Deckert

10-29-2014Obituaries
Jacqueline M. Dashut

10-29-2014Obituaries
Ronald J. Cubalchini

10-29-2014Obituaries
Sherry S. Carviou

10-29-2014Obituaries
Helen C. Buyarski

10-29-2014Obituaries
Donald G. Bice

10-29-2014Obituaries
Ellen M. Beyer

10-29-2014Sports
Menominee Scores Big in 6th Grade Hoops

10-29-2014Sports
Niagara, Suring Advance To Set Up Thursday Showdown

10-29-2014Sports
Tyler Nault & Oconto Falls Boys Head To State

10-29-2014Sports
3 M&O Teams Fall; Gillett Left Standing

10-29-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-29-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-29-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-29-2014News
Legion To Host Trick or Treaters

10-29-2014News
Lake Fire Hosts Trick, Treaters

10-29-2014News
Blood Drive at STAA on Nov. 7

10-29-2014News
Zion Trunk or Treat Oct. 31

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
Post 66 To Meet Nov. 1

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library E Books Class Nov. 5

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
Change Date of Wausaukee Blood Drive

10-29-2014Community - Wausaukee
WEA Trick or Treat for Canned Goods

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Board Approves School $8.62 Mill Rate

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Retired Judge To Speak at Loomis

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Women’s Club Holiday Auction Nov. 13

10-29-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Gun, Knife Show Nov. 1

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
Senior Club To Meet at Pound

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
Village Pound Trick or Treat Oct. 31

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
CCBA at 141 Ribbon Cutting

10-29-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Nov. 3

10-29-2014Front Page
Coleman Elementary World Series Reading Night Scores “Home Run”

10-29-2014Front Page
Judiciary Denies Request for School in Industrial Park

10-29-2014Front Page
Voters To Decide Nov. 4 State, Local Referendums

10-29-2014Front Page
Town of Peshtigo To Buy Tractor/Mower, Not Truck

10-29-2014Front Page
Seven Apply For Cemetery Board

10-23-2014Obituaries
Joyce A. Zorn

10-23-2014Obituaries
Genevieve Van Iten

10-23-2014Obituaries
Susan J. Tetzlaff

10-23-2014Obituaries
Ralph J. Schoch

10-23-2014Obituaries
Francis D. Menacher

10-23-2014Obituaries
Paul R. Madary

10-23-2014Obituaries
Kyle Adam Kobrow

10-23-2014Obituaries
Frances L. Hammersley

10-23-2014Obituaries
William Fumelle

10-23-2014Obituaries
Lucille M. (Opper) Dietzen

10-23-2014Obituaries
Betty E. Bourassa

10-23-2014Obituaries
Ruth J. Bolander

10-23-2014Obituaries
Kenneth Behnke

10-23-2014Obituaries
Lenore M. Teige

10-23-2014Obituaries
Arlene Smolander

10-23-2014Obituaries
Richard R. Moore

10-23-2014Obituaries
Cecil E. Kuhnle

10-23-2014Obituaries
Mabel Konell

10-23-2014Obituaries
Rev. Ralph J. Gillis

10-23-2014Obituaries
Lorraine Fritz

10-23-2014Obituaries
George E. Belaire

10-23-2014Obituaries
Mary F. Baron

10-23-2014Sports
Coleman Finishes Undefeated, On Top Of M-O

10-23-2014Sports
Maroons Make It Six Straight Over Marines

10-23-2014Sports
Free Basketball Clinic For Boys Grades 3-6

10-23-2014Sports
Michigan Muskies Fit To Fight In Wisconsin

10-23-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-23-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-23-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-23-2014News
Lake Fire Hosts Trick, Treaters

10-23-2014News
4 Area Students Graduate UW-L

10-23-2014News
Lioness Raffles at Equity Nov. 7

10-23-2014News
Karla Blohm Benefit Oct. 25

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Pembine Senior Class Craft Fair

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Remove Decorations Wausaukee Cemetery

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Acts On Budget, Pumper Truck, Old Tires

10-23-2014Community - Wausaukee
Acts On Mobile Home Variance, ATV Route

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
Loomis Historical Thanksgiving Meal

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
FAB Event & Planning Business Opens in Crivitz

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
Dr. Nichols To Speak At Cornerstone Nov. 2

10-23-2014Community - Crivitz
CBA Lists Events, Seek New Director, Secretary

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Red Arrow Snowmobile ATV Club Booyah Party

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Lena Fall Craft, Bake Sale Oct. 26

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Lena School Hires Worker, Names Delegate

10-23-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Library Open House, Renovated

10-23-2014Front Page
LCS Detroit Launch Makes Big Splash

10-23-2014Front Page
Bill Reynolds Gets Tentative Nod As County Administrator

10-23-2014Front Page
Hwy. 141 Expressway To Give DOT Access Control

10-23-2014Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Works Out “No Increase” Budget

10-23-2014Front Page
Anderson, Pazynski Chair, Vice Chair At Twin County

10-15-2014Sports
Marinette County Deer Advisory Council Second Meeting Oct. 28

10-15-2014Sports
Another Big Invite, Another Strong Bulldogs Showing

10-15-2014Sports
Season Coming To Close, Badgers Still On Top Of M-O With Perfect 14-0 Mark

10-15-2014Sports
Playoff Picture Taking Shape

10-15-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-15-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-15-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-15-2014Obituaries
Nancy L. Trepanier

10-15-2014Obituaries
Donna L. Rowley

10-15-2014Obituaries
Clarence W. Retlick

10-15-2014Obituaries
Douglas J. Payette

10-15-2014Obituaries
Beverly A. Johnson

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marie P. Holquist

10-15-2014Obituaries
John (Jack) E. Voyle

10-15-2014Obituaries
Roger C. Utke

10-15-2014Obituaries
Betty L. and Lloyd Tuma

10-15-2014Obituaries
Jackie Teteak

10-15-2014Obituaries
Anne C. Smith

10-15-2014Obituaries
Eunice C. School

10-15-2014Obituaries
Phyllis M. Rothlesberger

10-15-2014Obituaries
Gladys K. Rhoades

10-15-2014Obituaries
Emily M. O’Connor

10-15-2014Obituaries
Robert L. Ness

10-15-2014Obituaries
Eunice F. Meinert

10-15-2014Obituaries
Joseph F. McAuliffe

10-15-2014Obituaries
Betty Ann Kress

10-15-2014Obituaries
Norbert J. Jaworski

10-15-2014Obituaries
Agnes M. Hoffman

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marie A. Harris

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marilyn P. Graham

10-15-2014Obituaries
Marjorie E. Chaney

10-15-2014Obituaries
John P. Butts

10-15-2014Obituaries
Irene M. Brekke

10-15-2014Obituaries
Penny L. Berger

10-15-2014Obituaries
Wesley W. Anderson

10-15-2014Obituaries
Gene H. Albers

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library Digital on e Books

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Clerk is Institute Grad

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire, Rescue Plans Bake Sale

10-15-2014Community - Wausaukee
Big Crowd Attends Fall Fest at Wausaukee Oct. 4

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
Halloween at Assisted Living

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Kindergartners Take Part in “Flat Stanley” Project

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
Haunted Hallways, Bingo at School Oct. 30

10-15-2014Community - Crivitz
MI Special Meet To Finalize Budget

10-15-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman-Pound Lions List Coming Events

10-15-2014Community - Coleman
T/Pound Board Asks Plan Unit To View Lot Coverage

10-15-2014Community - Coleman
Kickers Halloween Party at Equity


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Republicans will take control of the U.S. Senate in the November 4 election?
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
© 2000-2014
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites