A battle with an illness will temporarily keep Alabama athletics director Bill Battle away from work.
The 73 year old will take a leave of absence from his post to receive a stem cell transplant as part of treatment for multiple myeloma, according to a Tuesday afternoon release from the university.
The cancer treatment will take place at The Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. under the supervision of Sagar Lonial, M.D., a world-renowned expert in the area.
“Mr. Battle has been receiving treatment for multiple myeloma and has done very well,” said Dr. Lonial, who serves as the Winship Cancer Institute’s chief medical officer. “He will be undergoing stem cell transplantation, which is a routine part of treatment for myeloma. We anticipate his response and outcome will be outstanding and I fully expect to see him back on the sidelines in the fall, cheering Alabama on.”
Battle is expected to miss a few weeks of work during the rehab process, but will be in daily contact with the athletics department according to Cecil Hurt of The Tuscaloosa News.
Battle had this to say in the release:
“In the spring of 2014, I was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer,” Battle said. “Subsequent to that diagnosis my wife, Mary, and I visited with doctors at The University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center; University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; the Lewis and Faye Manderson Cancer Center at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa; and the Winship Cancer Institute to determine the best treatment options. I am very comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment plan. I am looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing my active lifestyle, as well as continuing to lead our Athletics Department. My experience has made it clear to me that cancer can be a treatable disease that can be dealt with while maintaining a high quality of life.”