space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* WIAA Announces Fall Sportsmanship Recipients
* DNR Puts Aside Proposal to Stock Big Green Lake with Atlantic Salmon
* Crivitz Players Top Scorers in Hoops Club
* Coleman Wrestlers Take Care Of Esky; Wolverines Also Notch Win
* Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Comments Chart Next Steps

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
12-17-2014Sports
WIAA Announces Fall Sportsmanship Recipients

12-17-2014Sports
DNR Puts Aside Proposal to Stock Big Green Lake with Atlantic Salmon

12-17-2014Sports
Crivitz Players Top Scorers in Hoops Club

12-17-2014Sports
Coleman Wrestlers Take Care Of Esky; Wolverines Also Notch Win

12-17-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-17-2014Perspectives
From our readers

12-17-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

12-17-2014Obituaries
Josephine V. Truel

12-17-2014Obituaries
Lois G. Sielaff

12-17-2014Obituaries
William J. Shelton

12-17-2014Obituaries
John D. Maye

12-17-2014Obituaries
Arbutus A. Lowry Lutri

12-17-2014Obituaries
Cecil E. Kuhnle

12-17-2014Obituaries
Judith Francour

12-17-2014Obituaries
Charles B. Drewry Jr.

12-17-2014Obituaries
Milton E. Dettman

12-17-2014Obituaries
Paul B. Sutek

12-17-2014Obituaries
Jodine S. Stone

12-17-2014Obituaries
Dr. Yulia Seledsova-Mamonov

12-17-2014Obituaries
Chase M. Polfus

12-17-2014Obituaries
Irene T. Miller

12-17-2014Obituaries
Ethel H. Brouette

12-17-2014Obituaries
Bernice F. Gronnert

12-17-2014Obituaries
Bonnie L. Gorshe

12-17-2014Obituaries
Mary Bradley

12-17-2014Obituaries
Clarence Bird

12-17-2014Obituaries
James E. Betzinger

12-17-2014Obituaries
Allan J. Belair

12-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Okays Ordinances, Tire Recycling Costs

12-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
T/Wausaukee Buys Voting Machine, Increase Wages

12-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Updated On Rescue Squad Contract

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Podiatrist at Assisted Living

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Auxiliary Unit Given Certificates of Awards

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
200 Enjoy Village Sleigh Ride, Santa

12-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Christmas Gospel Jam is Dec. 19

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Lists Students of Month

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
CHS Financial Aid Meet Jan. 6

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Library January Events

12-17-2014Community - Coleman
Markiewicz Bank Branch Manager

12-17-2014News
Christmas Gospel Jam is Dec. 19

12-17-2014News
Area Graduates UW-M Dec. 14

12-17-2014News
Wausaukee Legion Party Dec. 21

12-17-2014Front Page
Over 100 Attend Chamber Christmas Tree Lighting Event

12-17-2014Front Page
Board Chair Sends 40-Week Petition Back To Committee

12-17-2014Front Page
Town Peshtigo OKs $1,000 A Year Raise For Fire Chief

12-17-2014Front Page
Propose New Type Of Littoral Combat Ship

12-17-2014Front Page
Riverside Cemetery To Choose Trustees, Set Rules In February

12-10-2014Sports
Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Comments Chart Next Steps

12-10-2014Sports
Bulldogs Fall To Blue Devils; Cougars On Top In Pulaski

12-10-2014Sports
Majewski, Klaver Power Bulldogs To Blowout Victory Over Suring

12-10-2014Sports
Crivitz Prevails Over Oconto

12-10-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-10-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

12-10-2014Obituaries
Harold Lawrence Wolff

12-10-2014Obituaries
Robert J. Vandenberg

12-10-2014Obituaries
Ralph J. Tiegs

12-10-2014Obituaries
Vivian R. Sturman

12-10-2014Obituaries
Ralph A. Schneider

12-10-2014Obituaries
Fay L. Schmidt

12-10-2014Obituaries
Allan Schmidt

12-10-2014Obituaries
Sybil I. Schaut

12-10-2014Obituaries
Mike H. Opolka

12-10-2014Obituaries
Scott L. Colson

12-10-2014Obituaries
Bruce L. Borgen

12-10-2014Obituaries
Robert J. Becker Sr.

12-10-2014Obituaries
Donald R. Anderson, M.D.

12-10-2014Obituaries
Dolores H. Schroeder

12-10-2014Obituaries
Carol M. Rickaby

12-10-2014Obituaries
Ronald Reinert

12-10-2014Obituaries
William R. Presl

12-10-2014Obituaries
Dorothy G. Palmer

12-10-2014Obituaries
Harold J. LaCosse

12-10-2014Obituaries
Gladys I. Krei

12-10-2014Obituaries
Donna R. Johnson

12-10-2014Obituaries
Dorothea Jaeger

12-10-2014Obituaries
Kazmiera Gromoske

12-10-2014Obituaries
Judith A. Fuchs

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post/Unit 66 2014 Christmas Party

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire Auxiliary Christmas Party

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
29 Children at Silver Cliff Christmas Party

12-10-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Department Sportsmen Raffle Winners

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Students Earn Students of Month Honors

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
Christmas Gospel Jam is Dec. 1

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
CAWC Auction Realizes $4500

12-10-2014Community - Crivitz
17 At Active Seniors Dinner

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Dec. 15

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
7th Village of Pound Christmas Parade Dec. 13

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman School to Host Senior Citizens

12-10-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Names Students of Month

12-10-2014News
Wausaukee Legion Party Dec. 21

12-10-2014News
Santa Letters Due Dec. 14

12-10-2014News
Suring Church Cookie Walk on Dec. 13

12-10-2014News
Lena Cookie Walk Dec. 15

12-10-2014Front Page
Marinette Musician in Concertina Hall of Fame

12-10-2014Front Page
County To Reap Savings In Health/Dental Insurance Costs

12-10-2014Front Page
State Aid Payment Puts Grover Back In Black

12-10-2014Front Page
County Forest Income Keeps Setting Records

12-10-2014Front Page
Disposing of Drugs Is Becoming A Problem

12-03-2014Sports
Preliminary Deer Harvest is 191,550, Down 8 Percent

12-03-2014Sports
Cougars Claim Two Victories In Bonduel

12-03-2014Sports
Wolosyn Goes Wild, Scores 19 As Badgers Beat Up On Wolverines

12-03-2014Sports
Bulldogs Kick Off Season With Solid Win Over Marines

12-03-2014Perspectives
From our readers

12-03-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

12-03-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

12-03-2014Obituaries
Robert C White

12-03-2014Obituaries
Dale M. Vanderfin

12-03-2014Obituaries
Jerry A. Uecke

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lennice M. Swearingen

12-03-2014Obituaries
John Stiglitz

12-03-2014Obituaries
Mary E. Sodergren

12-03-2014Obituaries
Russell R. Schroeder

12-03-2014Obituaries
Edythe E. Sager

12-03-2014Obituaries
Joann M. Richardson

12-03-2014Obituaries
Arthur Plutchak

12-03-2014Obituaries
Margaret M. Patz

12-03-2014Obituaries
Raymond R. Olson

12-03-2014Obituaries
Thomas R. Mueller

12-03-2014Obituaries
Karl H. Missbach

12-03-2014Obituaries
Mary L. Miller

12-03-2014Obituaries
Francis J. McDougal

12-03-2014Obituaries
Nancy J. Makuen

12-03-2014Obituaries
Shirley A. Lisowe-Beaumia

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lew J. Jopek, Sr.

12-03-2014Obituaries
Myron D. Janik

12-03-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth Brown

12-03-2014Obituaries
Luella Swiatnicki

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lennice M. Swearingen

12-03-2014Obituaries
John Stiglitz

12-03-2014Obituaries
Mary E. Sodergren

12-03-2014Obituaries
Russell R. Schroeder

12-03-2014Obituaries
Alice C. Redfearn

12-03-2014Obituaries
Arthur Plutchak

12-03-2014Obituaries
Lawrence P. Ozechowski

12-03-2014Obituaries
Patsy L. Nuttall

12-03-2014Obituaries
Ronald E. Meyer

12-03-2014Obituaries
McCue Children

12-03-2014Obituaries
Arnold F. Marble

12-03-2014Obituaries
John C. Kobylarczyk

12-03-2014Obituaries
Nancy A. Kartheiser

12-03-2014Obituaries
Keith L. Kamps

12-03-2014Obituaries
Eunice M. Hollingsworth

12-03-2014Obituaries
Richard G. Hofer

12-03-2014Obituaries
Patricia L. Harper

12-03-2014Obituaries
Fannie M. Fillinger

12-03-2014Obituaries
Everett M. Edminster

12-03-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Bahl

12-03-2014Obituaries
Glen W. Anderla

12-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Grade 5-8 Basketball Tournaments

12-03-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Dec. 8th


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Is Christmas too commercialized?
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