One Year After Brain Cancer Diagnosis, OIT's Matt Miles Continues to Fight Adversity with Positivity

After being diagnosed with stage four gliosarcoma brain cancer a year ago, Oregon Tech's head baseball coach continues to fight back with a positive outlook, a healthy diet and coaching.

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 5:59 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 7:03 PM

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.—On February 8, 2017, Oregon Tech head baseball coach Matt Miles finally consulted a doctor.

He’d been dealing with debilitating headaches and lapses in memory since August of the year before.

"I was getting headaches so bad that I couldn't even remember we watched a movie last night,” Miles said. “I'm a guy that's never taken any medication in my life, so I waited all the way until February."

Matt drove himself to Portland and upon receiving an MRI, the diagnosis was even more severe than he imagined.

"The doctor came in and told me you've got stage four gliosarcoma brain cancer,” he said. “‘It's really aggressive and if you don't get it out now you probably only have two to three weeks left and if you do get it out, three months would be a good run."

"They said 90 days. He had 90 days so that wouldn't even get to our son's graduation," his wife, Beverley, said.

"At that point, I was thinking, life is too beautiful,” Matt said. “I'm going to fight this battle better than I can do anything in my life."

For the past year, that’s exactly what he’s done, stagnating the most aggressive form of brain cancer with unwavering positivity.

"I get angry. I think why us,” Beverley said. “I do that sometimes and then he's always like look, ‘If this is my path, I have to walk it and I'm going to walk it well.’”

Matt successfully underwent chemotherapy and radiation. He made it to his son’s graduation in May and his 29th wedding anniversary in September.

He missed six weeks of the 2017 baseball season, but returned in time to see his team make a playoff run for the first time since 2013.

One year after the diagnosis, he’s coaching like he never left.

"Nobody would've blamed him if he said, ‘Hey, I need to take a step back.’ But he didn't, he just kept on going with his life," pitching coach Michael McCall said.

"He always talks about living life like a 3-1 count, which means you can swing for the fences,” Beverley said. “It’s that thing where you have this chance to swing and you fight. You just don't go down without a fight."

Doctors have given Miles timetables for him to live on six different occasions. Each time, he’s blown past them.

He’s no longer on any medical treatment, and instead continues to fight with a ketogenic diet, weight lifting and coaching.

He said his current state is complete belief he’s going to beat it.

"Believing that you're going to beat it I think is the true solution,” he said. “My goal is not only this year, but it is future years here too. I'm recruiting for next year, doing all those things. The one thing I told them, if I'm wrong, it wasn't because of lack of effort."

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