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Meet Adaptive Athlete: Bob Barker

 

 

Bob Barker

DOB: January 31st, 1955

DOI: May 1991 (Leukemia) / January 2015 (Amputation)

Injury: Leukemia Cancer Survivor / Below Knee Amputee

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Born a Texan, Bob represented the cowboy in all of us competing in bull riding! He played a bunch of other sports but found a love for golfing. After high school, he got married and had a son, 39, who now lives in Houston. Bob remained very active into his adult life, playing softball, flag football and golf before he was suddenly diagnosed with Leukemia at 36 years old.

Bob immediately started treatments, doing chemo and full body radiation therapy. He then received a bone marrow transplant from his sister that resulted in partial remission for 6 month before it came back and he decided to try a stem cell transplant. There were a lot of complications at first but since June 1992, Bob has been leukemia cancer free!

As a result of the bone marrow transplant, Bob contracted GvHD (Graft vs Host Disease). When a person has a transplant, sometimes the bone marrow identifies the recipient's body as foreign and attacks the body. The disease usually goes away, but unfortunately for Bob side effects have persisted.

In January 2015, Bob was diagnosed with skin cancer on his right foot. Due to the GvHD, they could not remove the affected skin but were able to treat it with radiation. The radiation unfortunately led to further complications resulting in a bone infection and in the end, Bob had to make the decision to amputate. 

Through all of these hardships, Bob remains a loud and impactful voice for the leukemia community. He has been an ambassador for them since 1997 and is involved in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society hosting golf tournaments to help pay for treatments and other expenses. Bob is now excited to pour into himself through ATF’s program in order to help put weight back on and become stronger. He has been unable to do both since his cancer treatments so Bob is excited to get back to doing what he truly loves, helping others.



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