BYU recognized Evan Gardener, a 39-year-old from American Fork, as Thursday’s Hero earlier this evening. Up until a year ago, life was normal as Gardener was working as a tax accountant for BYU; but soon he and his family would undergo a life-changing event.
Gardener was diagnosed with a stage-four malignant brain tumor the size of a walnut in the middle of his brain, making it inoperable. The doctors gave him 11 months to live and 13 months later he’s standing on the sidelines watching the Cougar football team practice.
Gardener has gone through nine months of chemotherapy and for the past six weeks has been receiving radiation treatments every other week. He is unable to work and has vision, mobility and memory impairments.
Being Thursday’s Hero, Gardener was given a flag and poster signed by the team. Present with him were his wife and two children, who are just as big BYU fans as he is.
Following the presentation, the team held its traditional Thursday Night Football.
Prior to its game against Wyoming, the team will hold a fireside at 7 p.m. Friday night. This week's fireside will be at the American Fork Tabernacle at 110 E. Main Street.
After a few weeks off, we have resumed player chats here on www.byucougars.com. Every Wednesday throughout the remainder of the season a member of the team will be available to answer questions from the fans. Our first chat of the season will be with junior defensive back Scott Johnson. Scott's chat will take place at 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23. Don't forget to submit your questions!