The success of New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston is easily one of the best subplots of the MLS Playoffs, as the cancer-battling veteran has inspired many en route to the Eastern Conference finals.
Vice Sports writer Kevin Koczwara has the story of Alston’s fight with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a disease that until recently was a short-term death sentence. Now, thanks to new treatments, patients are living much longer. And Alston is 90 minutes away from the MLS Cup final.
He couldn’t work out or train—the doctor said he could not run until his blood levels evened out and his spleen returned to its normal size—but that gave him the freedom to explore the city. He needed that outlet. When Alston stayed home alone, his mind would wander and take him to a dark place.
“It’s like I almost block it out of my head, what’s going to happen down the road,” says Alston. “Sometimes I’ll think about it, but I’ll just try to pretend it’s not even there. That’s the biggest challenge: is the medicine going to keep working? What’s going to happen five years from now? The medicine is so new that they don’t know what is going to happen down the road. What is going to happen down the road? So, just being able to block that out is the main fight I have every day.”
It’s a good read, and a reminder that the fight goes on for Alston well after his 2013 MLS Comeback Player of the Year award. All the best from PST to Alston.