Koenig Beats Leukemia To Return To Court - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/16/08 - Tyler

Koenig Beats Leukemia To Return To Court

Near the end of his senior year of high school, it almost all ended for UT Tyler's Marcus Koenig.

"I was playing tennis, practicing," Koenig said, "and all of a sudden I had a really sharp pain in my leg. It never really went away and one morning, I woke up and couldn't walk."

"They took me to the emergency room, and they diagnosed me with leukemia. That triggered the leg pain."

Marcus had surgery almost immediately, and was then moved to ICU at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Weeks of further surgeries and chemotherapy took their toll on the young athlete.

"Going in before it happened, I was probably in the best shape of my life," he said. "I lost 65 to 70 pounds while I was in the hospital because I couldn't eat anything because of the medicine."

"Doctors told me in the beginning...the chances of me never walking again were better than the chances of me walking again. It was a pretty hard thing to deal with, the pain and the fact that  everything you had going for you, in one day was gone."

Marcus graduated high school on time, walking the stage with the aid of a cane. He then came to UT Tyler, and sat out his freshman year unable to walk or play.

"It was frustrating," he admitted, "whenever I felt that I could compete. My mind was there with things I knew I wanted to do, but when your body doesn't let you do those things, it's really frustrating."

Frustration turned to determination, and Marcus kept playing, and kept proving them wrong.

"When I think about it, it doesn't make me angry. Everything happens for a reason. I felt strong enough to go through it, that's probably why it happened to me, but it was a pretty hard thing to deal with."

This weekend, UT Tyler will host their conference tournament, and Marcus will finish his journey from a hospital bed to the championship court.

Reid Kerr can be reached at rkerr@kltv.com.

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