All people face adversity. It’s what they do with the experience that can make all the difference.
“People joke wrestling saved by life,” said Dan Kornberg.
Kornberg’s college career and place on the University of Pittsburgh wrestling team were put on hold by cancer. He was diagnosed in 2013 after a knee injury in his sophomore year.
“We met with the doctor, and he points out on the screen,” Kornberg said, “He’s like, ‘Your knee looks good, slightly torn meniscus, but I don’t know what this is. This worries me.’”
It was Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare malignant tumor of bone and soft tissue. The Pitt athlete was suddenly undergoing surgery and spending a year in intense chemotherapy.
He's cancer-free now, and paying it forward by visiting sick kids each week at Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville.
“I understand what these kids are going through, and I want to just be able to bring a smile to them and make them happy and just forget about being in the hospital for an hour,” said Kornberg.
He plays games with the kids, assembles toys and even helps the nurses with those who don’t want to get shots or exams.
Kornberg is even back with the Pitt wresting team. Kornberg doesn’t compete anymore, but he helps to coach high school wrestlers through a regional wrestling program.
“When you're going through hard stuff in life in general and you have a positive attitude, it will really help you out,” he said.
He graduates next year and said he hopes to go to law school.
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