By Alan Gionet
(CBS4) – Tyler Swanson is a pretty tough guy. A former defensive lineman in college, he went into coaching at Mead High School. But the hit Tyler took from his health was a hard one; brain cancer.
He delayed a little getting checked before it was found.
“I did, you’d probably call it the guy thing, where I brushed it off, it’s just a phase, I’ll be OK,” said Tyler.
We were sitting at the Drip coffee shop on Lincoln. Tyler will tell you how his wife and two little girls are everything to him. It was his wife who made him go to the doctor. He was teaching 6th grade and working on a master’s degree with two little girls at home.
“I just chalked it up to me being tired and fatigued.”
His eye wasn’t working right.
“It would just kind of gaze and do whatever,” Tyler said.
An eye doctor gave him a film for his glasses that helped, but there was also confusion. Tyler wasn’t wrapping his head around things like he always did. His wife made him get to the doctor. They found a tumor the size of a golf ball in the middle of his brain.
Tyler is a player and a fan, so when Broncos safety Justin Simmons stopped by to talk to him, he got a real kick out of it.
Simmons told the story of the loss of his own grandfather to prostate cancer two years ago.
“I know that he didn’t go to go get like checked up on when he was feeling symptoms early and that obviously didn’t help him in the long run,” said Simmons.
UCHealth sponsored Justin’s visit. It is working to increase discussion during Men’s Health Awareness Month. The campaign is called “Mantenance.”
Simmons points out how he is always listening to his body.
Many health issues come on for no apparent reason.
“What happens to you is almost not preventable,” said Simmons.
Taking action, he pointed out, is.
Tyler is with him on that point.
“What I’ve learned from this is that I am going to listen to my body,” said Tyler about his cancer.
With treatment at UCHealth and Children’s Hospital, he’s doing well. Tyler is there for the wife and little girls he treasures so much.