By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/12/17
Few have traveled as difficult and arduous a road to the Hall of Fame as Bill McGlone.
The former Ridley High and Maryland midfield great was one of 12 inducted into the Eastern Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame Saturday night at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. And few could appreciate what McGlone has endured – health-wise – to reach this incredible plateau.
“The amount of gratitude that I have – especially for moments like this – knowing where I came from, is amazing,” said McGlone. “I have conquered health issues as well as some personal issues.”
McGlone was a two-time High School All-American and standout on back-to-back Ridley State title teams (2001-02) and a three-time All-American at Maryland. He played indoor and outdoor pro lacrosse and later was a member of the Philadelphia Wings until they moved to New England.
But in the fall of 2014 McGlone faced a challenge greater than any defender could offer.
McGlone began having headaches, loss of coordination and other symptoms and was not feeling right. He went to the University of Pennsylvania and Jefferson hospitals and then suffered two Grand mal seizures. A biopsy was performed on his brain and after cancer was ruled out he was diagnosed with Neurosarcoidosis — an immune disease that causes an inflammation of the brain and affects the central nervous system.
McGlone’s brain swelled so much it put great pressure on his cerebral cortex and he underwent emergency surgery on Sept. 20 doctors removed a large part of his skull so the brain could swell and not cause him to be permanently paralyzed.
“They removed a large piece of my skull so the brain had space to swell out,” said McGlone. “I had half a head or half a skull for a little over 4 months. I have a pretty gnarly scar.”
McGlone, not surprisingly, said he tackled his rehab “aggressively.” He was supposed to spend several months at Bryn Mawr rehab because he had to learn how to walk and talk. But he said his brain healed quickly and within 3 weeks he left Bryn Mawr. He had his skull put back in place after 4 months. Overall, it took at least a half year to begin his life again and still he had deal with vertigo and other struggles.
“It took me to that took me to that summer to feeling somewhat normal,” said McGlone. “I just got off steroids 6 weeks ago.”
McGlone, who had done a lot of coaching before his disease hit, began coaching at camps last summer and later was hired full-time by Trilogy Lacrosse as an Account Manager in charge of sales while also serving as a director of events.
He is living happily in Princeton and humbled to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“The the lower you get the higher your highs and the more you appreciate and the more gratitude you have for moments like these,” he said. “The feeling can’t be described. I am happy to be alive; it’s such a blessing hat I had to go through that.
“I turned it into an asset. Whenever I am struggling I think about where I was.”