Central Michigan DB Derrick Nash dies from leukemia


Central Michigan DB Derrick Nash has passed away after a battle with leukemia.

Central Michigan freshman defensive back Derrick Nash has lost his two-year battle with leukemia. He was only 20 years old.

Nash was a highly touted player in high school, playing both sides of the ball as a running back and defensive back. He turned heads as a runner, especially during his senior campaign when he amassed 1,967 yards and 28 touchdowns, efforts that earned him all-state accolades.

After signing with the Chippewas in 2013, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that May. He did show progress in overcoming the illness and returned to spring practice in 2014, however it was discovered that his leukemia had returned and he would not play again.

Central Michigan’s athletic director Dave Heeke and head football coach John Bonamego released statements through the school’s website.

“This is a very difficult loss for our football program and entire Chippewa Athletic Program,”  Heeke said. “Derrick was an inspiration to us all and the fight he showed will never be forgotten. The incredible courage he exhibited in never allowing this terrible disease to dampen his positive outlook on life, is a tremendous representation of the type of man he was. Our thoughts and prayers are with Derrick’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

“Derrick fought a great fight and he will never be forgotten,”Bonamego said. “I know everyone can learn a lot from the way he lived his life and the passion and enthusiasm he showed even during the tough times. We will do whatever we need to do to help his family get through this difficult time.

“I never got to coach Derrick on the football field, but I am proud to have been his coach the last few months. He is one of the toughest young men I have ever known and the determination and resolve he showed is how we will always remember him.”

This is certainly devastating news for the program and puts into perspective just how fragile life can be.

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