space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Junior Golfers Compete in FORE Their Future Golf Tournaments
* Wildlife Stamp Sales Restores Habitat Areas
* Peshtigo 10u Battles For Second Place Finish in War on the Shore Tournament
* Shockers Are Regional Champions; Marinette Comes Up One Game Shy
* Niagara Comes Up Short Against West DePere in Tournament Championship

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
07-29-2015Sports
Junior Golfers Compete in FORE Their Future Golf Tournaments

07-29-2015Sports
Wildlife Stamp Sales Restores Habitat Areas

07-29-2015Sports
Peshtigo 10u Battles For Second Place Finish in War on the Shore Tournament

07-29-2015Sports
Shockers Are Regional Champions; Marinette Comes Up One Game Shy

07-29-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-29-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-29-2015Perspectives
From our readers

07-29-2015Obituaries
Thomas F. Yoke

07-29-2015Obituaries
Judi M. Wilson

07-29-2015Obituaries
Beverly J. Waters

07-29-2015Obituaries
Andrea Stevenson

07-29-2015Obituaries
Lucille Smith

07-29-2015Obituaries
Florence M. Root

07-29-2015Obituaries
Ethelyn Parafiniuk

07-29-2015Obituaries
Lois M. Nicholas

07-29-2015Obituaries
Jeffrey Kruhmin

07-29-2015Obituaries
Leonard E. Jashinsky

07-29-2015Obituaries
Ruth M. Gillette

07-29-2015Obituaries
Rylie R. Eckes

07-29-2015Obituaries
Jeanette Clark

07-29-2015Obituaries
John J. Chucka

07-29-2015Obituaries
Myril A. Brix, Jr.

07-29-2015Obituaries
Shirley M. Young

07-29-2015Obituaries
Wayne A. Walla

07-29-2015Obituaries
Alvin Pearson

07-29-2015Obituaries
David R. Nienhaus

07-29-2015Obituaries
Wallace R. Gunderson

07-29-2015Obituaries
Helen J. Baumann 

07-29-2015Obituaries
Doris M. Anderson

07-29-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Legion Held Picnic July 25

07-29-2015Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Acts On Gravel Bids, Two Garage Variances

07-29-2015Community - Wausaukee
Plan Wausaukee 1970’s Reunion

07-29-2015Community - Wausaukee
Announce MCS Scholarship Awards

07-29-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Free Movies in Park

07-29-2015Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Has Special Meeting

07-29-2015Community - Crivitz
Late Al Zielinski Legacy Continues

07-29-2015Community - Crivitz
Police, Dogs Give Picnic Demonstration

07-29-2015Community - Coleman
White Potato Outfitters Handles Golden Hawk Canoes

07-29-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Principal Reports On Student Survey Results

07-29-2015Community - Coleman
Village Board Meeting Aug. 3

07-29-2015News
Senior Club To Meet at Pound

07-29-2015News
John Deschane To Speak at Loomis Meet

07-29-2015News
Caregiver Support Meeting Dates

07-29-2015News
6 Area Students Given Scholarships

07-29-2015Front Page
Korean War Memorial Dedication at Cemetery

07-29-2015Front Page
$30 Million Is Estimated Cost of New Peshtigo High School

07-29-2015Front Page
Oconto Jail Project On Schedule, Over Budget

07-29-2015Front Page
Peshtigo Historical Cemetery Walk Into the Past Aug. 22

07-29-2015Front Page
Architect, Contractor, Probable Site Chosen For New Marinette Hospital

07-22-2015Sports
Niagara Comes Up Short Against West DePere in Tournament Championship

07-22-2015Sports
Hunt, Trap, Spear Deadline Is Aug.1

07-22-2015Sports
Predators Fall to Redbirds, Take Two from Tri-Cities

07-22-2015Sports
Marinette Struggles, Holds Off Oconto

07-22-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-22-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-22-2015Obituaries
Josephine E. Wood

07-22-2015Obituaries
Ronald Thome

07-22-2015Obituaries
Howard R. Stillman

07-22-2015Obituaries
Raymond J. Smith

07-22-2015Obituaries
Dorothy A. Revall

07-22-2015Obituaries
James P. Powell

07-22-2015Obituaries
Jerome Engebos

07-22-2015Obituaries
Clara M. Gibson

07-22-2015Obituaries
Mary J. Delfosse

07-22-2015Obituaries
Kathryn M. Gauthier

07-22-2015Obituaries
Lyla Perkins

07-22-2015Obituaries
Julie A. Bayerl

07-22-2015Obituaries
Raeburn Williams

07-22-2015Obituaries
Carolyn G. Wiandt

07-22-2015Obituaries
Jon Joseph Nielson

07-22-2015Obituaries
Alvin C. Krueger

07-22-2015Obituaries
Laurine Klaver

07-22-2015Obituaries
Stefanie Kanack

07-22-2015Obituaries
Helen L. Johnson

07-22-2015Obituaries
Raymond F. Clements

07-22-2015Obituaries
John H. Bertoldi

07-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Department Fundraiser Picnic July 25

07-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Dessert Walk at Wagner Picnic

07-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Benefit Bake Sale at Wausaukee

07-22-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Activities Code Meeting, Talk on Nutrition

07-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Weekly Movies in Park

07-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Ride for Rescue at Crivitz July 25

07-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Parish Picnic Aug. 9

07-22-2015Community - Crivitz
Big Loomis Legion Fun Day July 25

07-22-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman 1970 Reunion Aug. 22

07-22-2015Community - Coleman
List Winners in Coleman Fireman’s Picnic Activities

07-22-2015Community - Coleman
Library Program Picnic July 28

07-22-2015Community - Coleman
275 Students Attend Coleman Summer Classes

07-22-2015News
St. Mary Festival at Badger Park Aug. 2

07-22-2015News
Seek Volunteers To Take Donations

07-22-2015News
Polar Plunge at Badger Park July 25

07-22-2015News
Lake Noquebay Topic of Meeting

07-22-2015Front Page
Wausaukee School District Receives New Outdoor Sign

07-22-2015Front Page
Dedicate Korean War Memorial At Peshtigo Cemetery July 27

07-22-2015Front Page
Marinette School Board to Negotiate Land with City

07-22-2015Front Page
Peshtigo Board Okays Referendum for New School

07-22-2015Front Page
Hundreds Watch Launch Of LCS Little Rock At Marinette

07-15-2015Sports
Predators Win Double Header Over Crivitz

07-15-2015Sports
UPIR Blast From the Past July 18

07-15-2015Sports
Marinette Boys Win Two; Eliminated by Dodgeville

07-15-2015Sports
Peshtigo Girls Fight Their Way to Championship Game in Allouez

07-15-2015Perspectives
Country Cousin

07-15-2015Perspectives
From our readers

07-15-2015Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

07-15-2015Obituaries
Caroline Zahn-Henningsen

07-15-2015Obituaries
Jeanine C. Wojakowski

07-15-2015Obituaries
Davis G. Whittier

07-15-2015Obituaries
Andrea Stevenson

07-15-2015Obituaries
Darryl C. St. John

07-15-2015Obituaries
G. Ross Popkey

07-15-2015Obituaries
Henry P. Paque

07-15-2015Obituaries
Raymond L. Outcelt

07-15-2015Obituaries
Marlene R. McGowan

07-15-2015Obituaries
Robert Johnson

07-15-2015Obituaries
Helen L. Johnson

07-15-2015Obituaries
Marlene E. Hansen

07-15-2015Obituaries
Kathryn M. Gauthier

07-15-2015Obituaries
Jennifer M. Brabant

07-15-2015Obituaries
Dale R. Witak

07-15-2015Obituaries
Karin C. Wanholm

07-15-2015Obituaries
Joyce H. Timm-Witthuhn

07-15-2015Obituaries
Robert D. Spencer

07-15-2015Obituaries
Ann R. Ruus

07-15-2015Obituaries
Joseph V. Ruatti

07-15-2015Obituaries
LaVonne C. Pagel

07-15-2015Obituaries
Jon J. Nielson

07-15-2015Obituaries
Nevaeh M. Moore

07-15-2015Obituaries
Marie E. Miller

07-15-2015Obituaries
Judith A. Mason 

07-15-2015Obituaries
Louis C. Hellermann

07-15-2015Obituaries
Dardanella A. Gremban

07-15-2015Obituaries
Dominic C. Godfrey

07-15-2015Obituaries
Myron L. Erickson

07-15-2015Obituaries
John G. Ellison

07-15-2015Obituaries
Roger Devroy

07-15-2015Obituaries
Lucille Carroll-Skarban

07-15-2015Obituaries
Audrey D. Busch

07-15-2015Community - Wausaukee
10 Wausaukee Students, 2 Teachers Help Build School in Ecuador

07-15-2015Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Dept. Big Fundraiser Picnic July 25

07-15-2015Community - Wausaukee
Dessert Walk at Wagner Picnic

07-15-2015Community - Wausaukee
Silver Cliff Fire Rescue Picnic, Parade is Aug. 8

07-15-2015Community - Crivitz
Lake Noquebay Topic of Historical Society Meeting

07-15-2015Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Gun, Knife Show Aug. 1

07-15-2015Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Acts On Bids, Driveway Plowing, Parking

07-15-2015Community - Crivitz
Big Loomis Legion Fun Day July 25

07-15-2015Community - Coleman
Coleman Area Firemen’s Parade, Picnic July 17

07-15-2015Community - Coleman
Over 200 Entries In Village of Pound Car Show

07-15-2015Community - Coleman
Children, Adult VBS at Coleman

07-15-2015Community - Coleman
Brazeau Emergency Services Fundraiser/Picnic July 25th

07-15-2015Front Page
Navy Secretary To Attend Launch Of USS Little Rock


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Have you been driving more now that gas prices are coming down?
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
© 2000-2015
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites