Jason Enloe's wife progressing and in remission as she continues cancer battle

Jason Enloe's wife progressing and in remission as she continues cancer battle

Men

Jason Enloe's wife progressing and in remission as she continues cancer battle

LAS VEGAS – There’s no doubt it’s been a rough six weeks for Jason Enloe and his family following his wife Katie’s cancer diagnosis.

But the worried husband remains thankful for the aid they’ve received.

“That’s been the best part about it, seeing the goodness of people pulling together to help us,” Enloe said.

And now, matters are looking even better.

Katie Enloe was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on Jan. 17, and the shocking cancer reveal put everything into a frenzy. As his wife settled in for her cancer battle, Jason assumed more of the parental responsibilities – he’s also gotten help from a nanny and family members – for their two young daughters, Emma and Maddie.

All while continuing to serve as head coach of SMU’s men’s golf team. It’s already been a hectic and difficult start (chronicled here by Golf Channel) in what appears to be a long journey.

The early part of the battle looks promising, though.

In a Feb. 23 update, Katie revealed with great joy that her leukemia had gone into remission. She entered Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center with a blast count – a measure of the percentage of myeloblasts, immature cells, in the bone marrow – of 85 percent, and needed it to get below 5 percent to be considered in remission.

After her first round of chemotherapy, the results came in at 3 percent.

“We’re optimistic because the chemo’s working well,” Jason said. “We’re checking boxes off as we go, and bone marrow’s the next thing that’s on our mind.”

Katie is now dealing with maintenance chemotherapy, but the next step remains the all-important bone-marrow transplant, with doctors still searching for a match. The Enloes are hopeful one will be found for Katie and a transplant could happen this spring.

In order for a transplant to take place, though, Katie has to be in remission. So far she’s on track, and she’ll get another bone marrow test in a couple of weeks to ensure the blast ratio remains under 5 percent (doctors test every 28 days).

Katie is currently going back and forth to the hospital in Houston, and with spring break next week at SMU, Jason intends to bring their daughters there for a visit.

Last week, Katie was able to briefly return to their Dallas home, bringing the family back together temporarily in a tough time.

“It just seemed more normal, which was nice because the last six weeks haven’t been normal,” Jason said.

What the Enloes haven’t been low on is moral and financial support.

Hunter Mahan and his wife Kandi, Katie’s sister, started a YouCaring page over a month ago to help the Enloes with the increased expenses that come with a cancer fight. The page (which you can find here) has raised over $97,000 at the moment.

In SMU’s first tournament of the spring, the All-American Intercollegiate, host Rice offered its support as well.

One Owls team member, Mitchell Meissner, is the older brother of SMU player McClure Meissner. The elder Meissner and another teammate had heard about the Enloe’s situation and decided to turn a school project into a fundraiser for the tournament.

They made posters and ribbons, got teams wearing orange and set up a place for people to donate. Katie was even able to come out to the course to get a picture with the Rice team.

All in all, the gracious gesture – from a team that’s not even his, Jason notes – raised roughly $1,100 for the Enloe family in one weekend.

“I thought that was really cool,” Jason said. “It was just real heart-warming.”

The good deeds have Enloe in a giving mood. The Mahans are already in the midst of planning events to raise awareness and money for families going through a similar situation.

Enloe said he feels fortunate for the help they’ve gotten and can’t imagine how bad it is for those going through this without good emotional and financial support.

“Once we get through this, we want to be able to help some other families that don’t have what we’ve been fortunate enough to have,” Enloe said.

The coach believes wholeheartedly his wife will beat this cancer and will be back to her normal self within the next year.

SMU will continue to show its support Tuesday when the team dons orange socks during the second round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate. (Enloe quipped that with the team wearing orange and blue, the Mustangs will look like the Florida Gators.)

As for his mindset, the progress of his wife has allowed Enloe to be in a better place at the moment.

“I’m really optimistic. I’m still obviously scared but not as bad as it was when we originally got the diagnosis and saw what was ahead of us,” Enloe said. “I think we’ve all kind of got our feet firmly planted and kind of know what to expect now. Everybody’s I think a little more at ease right now with what’s going on.”

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