Mansfield football coach Daniel Maberry was forced to take an 11-month break from coaching games as he battled an incurable disease.
The last two weeks, Maberry was finally feeling well enough that he could pause his fight with cancer and coach his first two games of the season. His return to the sideline will be short-lived, however.
The 47-year-old Maberry said Tuesday night that he hopes to coach Friday when Mansfield (1-3, 0-1 District 7-6A) plays South Grand Prairie (2-2, 1-0) at 7:30 p.m. at the Gopher-Warrior Bowl in Grand Prairie. But that will be his last game of the season, as he prepares to begin eight weeks of treatment in early October, with the first two weeks spent in the hospital.
“I plan to be on the sideline [Friday], but it will depend on what I can do,” he said.
Maberry coached last Friday after getting radiation treatment earlier in the day. “It zaps you,” he said, but he handled the head coaching duties while interim coach Greg George returned to his role as offensive coordinator.
“It was awesome,” said Maberry, who had to take a break from coaching last season after Mansfield’s game against DeSoto on Oct. 12, 2018. “Having an opportunity to coach my kids and be excited with them. I had been away from it for too long.”
Maberry was diagnosed with Stage 4 lymphoma in January 2018, but in June of that year doctors told him that his disease was basically in remission, and had become “inactive.” That wouldn’t be the last time he would hear that, only to see the lymphoma return.
Three to four months later, Maberry’s disease had morphed into an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma called diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. After undergoing chemotherapy, Maberry was told in March that he was clear of it, that it was back in remission.
Maberry had a stem cell transplant in April, only for doctors to detect a small spot on his rib cage in early August. He started radiation treatment last week, but he’s not giving up and credits his family and the Mansfield community with helping him throughout the grueling ordeal.
“God has used a lot of people to pick me up,” he said. “It has been a kick in the gut every single time. It has been incredibly hard, but I can’t allow this to rob me of my joy. I feel like I am going to get better. My faith is strong.”