Family, faith and football help former coach fight cancer

Family, faith and football help former coach fight cancer

It’s a battle on the field for 60 minutes every Friday night, but for one former coach his battle comes home with him.

"Told me I had stage four cancer in the pancreas and liver. My liver was completely black" said Coach John Peacock. "You feel like your feet have been knocked out from under you."

Coach Peacock coached at Dodge county for ten seasons. He’s won more than 180 games in his career, including big playoff matchups. Still, he hope his biggest victory is yet to come. 

"Right now I’m doing good" said Peacock. 

It’s a fight with cancer, he’s not fighting alone. He has his wife Sue, his family, and a little help from the man upstairs.

"When you get in a bad situation you pray and if you can pray god will answer."


So for now he waits at his home in Eastman, where the community he’s grown to love offers their support.

"I get cards and I think gosh I didn’t think they liked me. People have been so good for us."

And whether it’s a card, a prayer, or just a hello, the people in Dodge County are helping him fight. 

"Some come in spend hours with us then apologize, and I say don’t apologize you kept my mind of cancer for a couple hours!"

A couple hours with no worries, just like on on Friday nights but this time it’s at his second home.

Coach John Peacock sits under a sign dedicated to him.

In 2011, Dodge County made it official: Memorial Stadium forever known as Coach John Peacock Field. 

"They called and said coach we named the field after you and I said What? It’s good to something named after you while you are still alive."

Alive and in good spirits, 140 pounds lighter than he was just 18 months ago. 

"I can wear my high school jacket again."

While the jacket is a new look for him at his age he still has the same old love for football.

"It teaches you a value of life. And I don’t want to forget that."

Memories and values he hopes he can pass on to generations.

"You got to give everyday you can’t quit. We try to put life lessons into football. If you get knocked down you can stay down in football you better get up."

And Coach practices what he preaches, he’s not quitting anytime soon. 

"God decided I was gonna stay for a little while. I figure I got something left to do."

But what’s left for a man who’s accomplished so much?

"I’m not a legacy I’m only what those kids did for me and those assistant coaches. I just steered the ship."

Humbleness, faithfulness, and gratefulness, Coach Peacock is just happy to be where he is.

"God’s always first God has been so good to us. I wouldn’t trade it for nothing in the world I would have did it again."

Judging by the love his fans show him, it's safe to say they wouldn't change a thing neither. 

Coach says his wife Sue of 44 years along with his two daughters and seven grandchildren keep him going and are there for him every step of his battle. 

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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