Winning Ohio Coach Survives Brain Tumor With 'Awake' Surgery

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"We kind of planned on doing it around that time," he said. "At first you feel sorry for yourself, but we decided we were not going to let [cancer] change that. There was no time like the present, so we got pregnant."

Since his ordeal, Englander has been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at Wooster College in Ohio, where he played baseball as an undergraduate. He has also run two marathons and is training for a third.

"Being an athlete has certainly helped me," he said. "You don't overcome [cancer] but you deal with it and handle it and kind of frame a way to fight it. It has certainly helped me be a better coach. I remind our guys that it's hard to do something great without a great obstacle or great opponent."

His athletes agree. Senior pitcher Ray Kelly said Englander is a "great coach and great mentor."

"His relentless personality shows in everything he does in life," said Kelly, 22, of Rochester, N.Y. "Viewing his cancer diagnosis as an opportunity and then meeting that challenge head-on was no doubt inspiring to our team. He constantly strives to make us better baseball players, but more importantly, he strives to make us better young men. That makes him an awesome guy to play for."

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