BOONE — Appalachian State women’s basketball head coach Angel Elderkin had some tough news to share with her team, coaching staff and fans. Elderkin announced last week that she has been diagnosed with endometrial cancer.
In a letter to the Appalachian State community, she said that the surgical portion of the treatment has been completed and the cancer has been removed.
The battle still continues though as she will undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“I have already undergone two of six planned chemotherapy treatment cycles and the good news is that I am feeling great and tolerating the treatments very well,” Elderkin said. “I have a tremendous team of doctors overseeing my car. As I have told my family, friends, coaching staff, team and administration, I will beat this! I am grateful to all for their support.”
If all goes as planned, Elderkin’s treatments will be completed before the start of the upcoming 2016-17 season.
“Coach Elderkin is a tremendous asset to our University, athletics department, students and community. Her attitude and determination in this time is an inspiration to all of us. We all support Angel as she undergoes her treatments while continuing to lead our women’s basketball student-athletes and staff. We look forward to seeing her on the bench when play begins in November,” said Appalachian State University Director of Athletics, Doug Gillin, in a statement last week.
Elderkin made sure to let everyone know that she will continue to battle the disease and not allow it to change how much she dedicates to the women’s basketball program.
“While I must make some adjustments, this will not impact my ability to lead the Appalachian State program now or in the future. I have a talented, hard-working and dedicated coaching staff, all of whom are working towards a successful season under my leadership,” she said. “I also have the most supportive group of student-athletes that any coach could ask for. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate all of them for standing with me as I continue this journey. Just as I ask my team to do on a daily basis, I remain positive, resilient and full of fight!”
App State Chancellor, Dr. Sheri N. Everts, also issued a statement and is very familiar with what Elderkin is going through.
“Since her arrival at Appalachian, Coach Elderkin has worked tirelessly to be an excellent mentor and coach. In this process, she has earned the respect of her team and displayed an amazing amount of heart. As someone who has fought a similar fight, I understand the battle and she has my wholehearted support,” Everts said. “Also, I know the entire Appalachian Community stands with Angel as she faces the challenge ahead of her. We will continue to keep her in our thoughts and in our hearts.”
Elderkin is entering her third year as the Mountaineers’ head coach.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.