Olympia High School baseball coach Todd McDougall is in the intensive care unit at Seattles Virginia Mason Hospital after doctors found a brain tumor late last week.
McDougall, an English teacher at the high school, began having flu-like symptoms late in the week of Dec. 3, and a CT-scan at Olympias Providence St. Peter Hospital revealed the 3- to 4-centimeter tumor located in the center of his brain. He was transported via ambulance to Virginia Mason Hospital early last Thursday morning. McDougall had a biopsy Friday, Dec. 14, and the results from the biopsy will determine if the tumor is benign or cancerous.
Regardless if the tumor is benign or malignant, McDougall most likely will begin chemotherapy and radiation treatments because of the tumors location, said Capital High School principal and longtime family friend Chris Woods, who has visited Todd and his wife, Julie, at the hospital daily.
Woods said McDougall, 42, has some slight memory loss, but it very aware of his surroundings. He noted how both Todd and his wife, Julie, a science teacher at Olympias Marshall Middle School, have been overwhelmed with the support and gratitude for what the community has done.
Every day is a better day, he said. We will get a chuckle out of him at times and he will cry when people come by to see him, as his wife reads him the cards and letters that have come in.
McDougall had a temporary shunt put in to help drain the fluids and relieve pressure on his brain and once a permanent shunt is put in later this week, McDougall will be released from the hospital and return to his Olympia home for the holidays, Woods said. The plan of attack for the tumor, he added, will begin after the holidays and when the biopsy results are in.
McDougall has been the head baseball coach at Olympia since 1993 and also is on the football coaching staff as the defensive coordinator. He is a Stadium High School graduate and also played baseball at Whitworth University.
The McDougalls have three children 11-year-old daughter Marlee and 8-year-old twin sons, Andrew and Dylan.
Its been a pretty emotional time, said Tim Ahern, Olympia High Schools athletic director.
-- A Friends for Todd McDougall Facebook page has been created with frequent updates on McDougall.
HOW TO HELP
-- Accounts have been set up at any TwinStar Credit Union branch in Julie McDougalls name and PayPal with contributions going toward the family's travel costs to and from Seattle, hotel, meals and other expenses.
Letter from Julie McDougall to the community
"On behalf of Todd and our whole family, I would like to thank everyone who has helped and continues to help us get through this challenge. The response from family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, students and even strangers has lifted us up during what can often be overwhelming circumstances. Many people have commented about how strong we are being, but much of our strength is a direct result of all of your prayers, kind words and deeds. Words cannot express how grateful we are to the Olympia community. Our hope is that at some future time we will be able to pass this outpouring of love on to others just as you all have done for us." -- Julie McDougall, Todd McDougall's wife