BETHLEHEM, Pa. –
Lehigh wrestler Eric Hess has been sidelined from competition
indefinitely due to issues stemming from his successful
treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hess, who has started all six
of the Mountain Hawks’ duals this season at 165, is in his
first season of eligibility for Lehigh. He was previously
diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the spring of 2010 and
successfully beat the disease enabling a return to
“It comes with
deep sadness to give an update regarding my current state of
health,” Hess said. “Recently I underwent a series of medical
tests concerning several unexplained symptoms that have been
occurring throughout this 2012-13 wrestling season.”
condition is termed hypoxemia or low blood oxygen, a lower
than normal level of oxygen in your blood.
“As many of you
are aware, before attending Lehigh University I underwent
several chemotherapy and radiation treatments to treat
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” Hess said. “My doctors have reassured me
that these symptoms are not caused by a recurrence of cancer,
however they currently cannot give a definitive prognosis on
my condition. My physicians and several specialists have
placed me on an indefinite medical leave from the sport of
Hess amassed a
155-14 career record wrestling for Benton High School and
captured a pair of Pennsylvania AA state championships. After
originally signing with Lehigh in 2010, he deferred his
enrollment while receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Hess returned to competition in April 2011, going 4-2 in
freestyle at University Nationals. He enrolled at Lehigh in
the fall of 2011 and deferred his eligibility, posting a 21-6
record while competing unattached in open tournaments. Hess
won the 157-pound title at the UB Open in November 2011 and
added three more runner-up finishes in his deferred year.
This season, Hess
posted a 3-3 mark as Lehigh’s starter at 165, with falls in
each of his first two appearances in front of the home fans at
Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall.
“I will continue
to meet with specialists to explore any and all options that
could lead to a safe return to the sport,” Hess said. “It has
been an honor to be a member of the Mountain Hawk family and
it is my intention to continue to surround myself with the
wonderful people who are involved with our program.
Furthermore, I am confident that our team will continue down
the path of success, on and off of the wrestling mat. Thank
you for the support you have shown my family and myself, both
in times of happiness and in times of distress. We are and
always will be proud to be Mountain Hawks.”
wrestling program is deeply saddened by Eric’s news,” said
Lehigh head coach Pat Santoro. “Ultimately Eric’s health is
the number one priority and although he may not be actively
wrestling, he will remain a member of our wrestling family and
integral part of our team. I have found Eric to be an amazing
individual and a strong leader. His faith and commitment are
an inspiration to all who know him and I feel very blessed to
have him in our lives.
“Eric has become an extension of our family; our kids love him
and we look forward to spending more time with him. We will
always support him and keep his best interests in mind as we
move forward. We are fortunate to have him be a part of the
Brian Brill is expected to take over at 165 for the Mountain
Hawks, when they return to action at the 50th Ken Kraft
Midlands Championships, December 29-30 in Evanston, Illinois.
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