WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Jim Poole

2014-05-05T19:00:00Z 2014-05-05T21:17:42Z WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Jim PooleMike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com

At 6-foot-7, Jim Poole looks like he can drive a golf ball straight down the fairway and nothing can keep him down.

A PGA professional, Poole loves the game and loves watching his twin sons Luke and Mark compete.

Poole is battling a bigger challenge than he has ever encountered as a basketball player at Bishop Noll or at Marian College (now Marian University). He is in the late stages of metastatic prostate cancer.

He would prefer to talk about his family and his twin sons Luke and Mark who played on Team Indiana, one of six teams to qualify for the PGA Jr. League national tournament. The family appeared Saturday on CBS-TV's "Beyond the Green" and Poole said having the crew in his house made him feel like he was on "Reality TV."

Maybe such words couldn't be truer when one looks at his situation. The 48-year-old, 1984 Bishop Noll grad was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. A normal Prostate Service Antigen (PSA) test is 0-4.

"My PSA was 1,400," Poole said. "My family physician, who is a friend of mine came right out and told me 'You have prostate cancer.' He had never seen a number that high and I asked him and he told me he has screened thousands of patients."

He said through prayers, faith, family, and medication, his PSA is under 1. He also said he was lucky if someone can be in his situation.

"If I had gotten prostate cancer two years earlier, I would be dead," Poole said. "I got diagnosed in 2011 and the drug (Zytiga) came out in 2011."

He said he was told the medication could extend his life six months. He has been on it for almost two years.

He also has a piece of advice to men.

"Get tested every year if you are over 40," Poole said. "I was last tested at 42 and waited three years. We might have caught it in the early stages."

He said it started with fatigue and he went in for a regular checkup and the doctor decided to do a PSA.

"It was tough because I still played with my kids, catch in the front yard, hit golf balls," Poole said. "It was hard sometimes, but I wanted to play with them, but the cancer has metastasized throughout my body. You name it, ribs, back, spine ... "

Despite his setbacks, Poole said he loves his life and family. His wife Kelly is a cancer survivor, too. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma when Mark and Luke were only nine months old, and has been cancer free for more than 11 years

The couple have been married for 19 years and met at Marian. He said he is happy to see his 12-year-old sons growing up.

"It was so neat because the golf league was like a Little League all-star team," Poole said. "We got to travel and even came up to Chicago to Cog Hill (in Lemont, Ill.) for the regional qualifier. My boys love the game.

"One thing I did with my sons was to not push them. I give advice, but I let them have fun. When I teach, that is what I teach. You do not want to burn the kids out when they are 10 years old."

To submit a "Where Are They Now?" idea, contact Mike Nieto at mike.nieto@nwi.com or (219) 933-3232.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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