SUNY Cobleskill Student Named NEAC Inspirational Award Winner After Leukemia Battle

Anthony Yevoli, a member of the SUNY Cobleskill men’s lacrosse team and a Leukemia survivor, has been named one of the North Eastern Athletic Conference’s Inspirational Award Winners for the 2015-16 academic year.

The NEAC Inspirational Award is presented annually to athletes who have endured personal hardships and demonstrated bravery and dedication in athletics through participation, volunteerism, coaching, or administration.

Yevoli, a sophomore Business/Mass Communications major, was grateful to the NEAC Executive Committee and to the Fighting Tiger athletic program for their support during his battle with the disease.

image_handler-1“[Their] support gave me the courage to battle to get well and the drive to play again,” Yevoli said. “I was also in a ward with the children cancer patients and to see all of those little kids every day gave me insight into how fragile life really is. Every day is a blessing and I’m going to make the most of it from now on.”

Yevoli was looking toward the 2016 men’s lacrosse season as a breakout year. After a freshman season that saw him score seven goals, pass out two assists and scoop up 34 ground balls in 14 appearances as a midfielder, all indications pointed in that direction. Upon the completion of the fall season, however, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

He was admitted to Albany Medical Center just after Christmas, where he spent the next five months undergoing chemotherapy, drug treatment and bed rest to battle the disease. Throughout that time in the hospital, Anthony stayed in touch with his teammates and coaches in as many ways as he could, using social media, email, text messages and phone conversations to offer encouragement to his fellow Fighting Tigers on a near daily basis.  While dealing with the ups and downs of his own situation, Anthony kept encouraging his teammates and coaches to keep battling as they went through a tough 2016 season. His support in the face of his own problems went a long way in inspiring the entire program to keep focused throughout the year.

In the News

Beyond the Games: Anthony Yevoli Interview on WRGB Sports

“I have so much respect for Anthony and how he approached his battle with AML,” said SUNY Cobleskill head men’s lacrosse coach Ryan Gunzinger. “Six rounds of chemotherapy treatments absolutely wiped out his immune system and took a toll on him physically. It was an emotional time for his family but he stayed determined and optimistic throughout his recovery.”

Anthony was declared cancer-free in May and is planning to return to the field for the 2017 season.

“Anthony is a true fighter,” said interim SUNY Cobleskill Athletics Director Mary Irving. “The strength he displayed throughout his treatment and his positive attitude is inspiring to all of us in the athletics program. I can’t wait to see him back on this field this spring.”

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