‘Sun-Times’ Sports Columnist Reveals His Grave Illnesses

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By: E&P Staff

In a special report on Illinois’ waiting list for organ transplants Sunday, Chicago Sun-Times sports columnist Lacy J. Banks told readers that he has just learned he has prostate cancer in addition to progressive heart disease.

The cancer at least temporarily eliminates any chance of a heart transplant for Banks, who had a successful triple-bypass operation seven years ago. “I represent about 5 million Americans presently suffering to varying degrees from congestive heart failure,” he wrote.

Banks, 64, said he needs a new heart because his mitral valve is defective, and his left ventricle has become enlarged after years of heart disease.

“I’m depending upon prayer, a miracle and the skill of my doctors to stop the spread of my cancer and repair my heart,” Banks wrote. “I have so much to still live for as I approach the end of my Sun-Times career, which will reach 36 years in August.”

Banks and his wife are planning “a wonderful vacation to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this July, and I hope we can still do so,” added the father of three grown daughters, and the grandfather of five.

“Regardless of what God decides to do, I won’t be shortchanged,” concluded the column. “And I sure won’t complain. I’ve already been blessed with treasure beyond measure.”

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