READING, Pa. - The Reading Fightin Phils are rallying around one of their own.
Bill Richards started as an intern for the Fightin Phils in January, but just two months later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Despite his uphill battle, Richards said he's not going down without a fight.
"So it was all very shocking to get that diagnosis and also definitely scary," said Richards, 23, as he recounted the moment he found out he had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
Richards initially saw a doctor for pain in his hip. That is when doctors found a tumor in his hip and said the cancer spread to his lungs and jaw.
"I see it more now as a challenge than I do something I am scared of. It is not something that I am just going to die from. It is something that I can beat," said Richards.
After seeing Richards persevere through his cancer treatments, the Fightin Phils decided to have a blood drive in his name.
"It is not often you have an intern who is battling something like Bill right now. So as a front office, we try to rally around Bill, try to make every day a good one for him," said Eric Scarcella, public relations director.
"He has grown to be one of my good friends here at the office. I played football with him, and when I learned about his diagnosis, I was kind of shocked as everyone was here," said blood donor Brandon Jarmoska. "I am glad they came up with this idea to do the blood drive for him."
As for Richards, he said he is taking it day by day, trying to live a normal life.
"You are just living your life just like everybody else. So I am trying not to live in fear and thinking like, 'Oh my God, I am a completely different person now,' which I am not. I am the same guy with a different haircut," said Richards, who is scheduled to have a bone marrow transplant in October.
The Fightin Phils plan to host another blood drive for Richards on Sept. 3, 2013.
Allentown, PA 18102