Hope for Holcomb: Kingwood community rallies around soccer coach diagnosed with cancer
KINGWOOD - The true impact of a coach can't always measured by the number of win and losses, the number of district championships or even runs at a state title.
This story goes beyond any of that.
In reality, the impact a coach is seen whenever they become the one that is in need of the support that they have been providing to others their entire career.
Kingwood girls soccer coach Pres Holcomb, who is set to begin chemotherapy to battle Stage 4 colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with on December 20, is seeing his impact as the Kingwood and soccer community has rallied around him and his family with messages, wristbands, t-shirts, donations and more.
"It's overwhelming in a good way," Holcomb said. "It's kind of crazy when you see your own name across stuff like that. Once we went public with it, the support has been amazing. People you haven't talked to in years are reaching out to you."
Since they've gone public with it the "Hope for Holcomb" campaign has taken off.
The soccer team - which was told about Holcomb's battle in a group setting - created blue wristbands with the phrase on them. It started with the girls wearing them during matches and expanded to them being sold at different places in the community.
They started by ordering just 300.
Then an order of 500 more was needed and that still wasn't enough. The wristbands have sold more than 1,000.
"You don't even think you know that many people," Holcomb said.
The other parts of the community support have come on a "Hope for Holcomb" Facebook page and a GoFundMe page that has also been set up.
On the GoFundMe page - CLICK HERE TO DONATE - as of Saturday morning, $3,815 has been raised of the initial goal of $250,000.
"Coach Holcomb is an amazing coach and person as well as a role model even though I'm hundreds of miles away in Lima Ohio I still think of him and the lessons he taught me!!!," Lea Stewart wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Love you Holcomb!! I'm praying for you!!!"
Former player, family members of players and many others have donated anywhere from $25 to $100 to the "Hope for Holcomb" campaign. And seeing that support is overwhelming to say the least.
"It's kind of weird, at first unrealistic," Holcomb said. "The bands are for me, all of that is for me. It's kind of out-of-body a little bit. It's definitely humbling to see the depths of the reach of the people that even remember who you are."
Along with the GoFundMe page and wristbands, t-shirts have also started being sold in support by ASH Apparel. For every t-shirt sold, over 50% of the proceeds will go to the Holcomb family. - CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE A T-SHIRT
Outside of being tired and some abdominal pain, Holcomb said he is doing OK right now as the team's season is currently getting underway.
"They don't know the day-to-day stuff but they've been really understanding," Holcomb said about his team. "I've missed a couple of games and things like that. They're taking it well I think."
Holcomb has missed a few games and practices and will miss the Georgetown Lady Governor's Cup next week with his chemotherapy beginning on Wednesday.
"I want to start it as soon as I can," Holcomb said about the chemotherapy. "I tell the girls all the time family and life are more important than soccer. So, I'm glad it's starting next week, I've been waiting for a while. But to miss one of the highlights of the year to go to an away tournament has been mentally rough. It's the new reality, just have to roll with it.
"It's one of those things that hasn't quite sunk in yet. I'm very good at compartmentalizing things and pushing things back. But when I went to the chemo training, what they're going to put into me and all of the side effects, I was like that's real now. When I get my first treatment it'll be realistic."