Villanova's Frances Koons Taking Medical Redshirt For Cross Country Season
Sept. 17, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova All-American and BIG EAST Champion Frances Koons will redshirt the 2007 cross country season after being diagnosed with clear cell renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer, earlier this summer. Koons has already undergone surgery at the North Shore University Hospital in Long Island, N.Y. to remove the ping-pong ball size tumor from her left kidney.
Koons, who is young and in impeccable shape, does not fit the typical patient profile for this type of cancer, which often develops in people over the age of 40. Although the exact cause of the disease is unknown, Koons was fortunate enough to be offered laparoscopic surgery, which is the least invasive surgical procedure. As a result, her surgeon was able to remove just the tumor, allowing Koons to keep her kidney.
After struggling through both races and workouts during the outdoor season, Wildcat head coach Gina Procaccio shut down her elite runner for an entire month after she was unable to advance to the finals in the 1500m at the NCAA East Regionals. A June visit to an urologist was when doctors discovered the tumor on her kidney. With the surgery already behind her, Koons is expected to regain full use of the kidney and make a full recovery.
Since the surgery, Koons has taken full advantage of her necessary recovery time and has already started light running again. As of now, her status for the upcoming indoor season is unclear as she will not resume intense training until January, 2008.