Cards’ Nick Eason thinking of his Mom as he focuses on football

Jul 27, 2012, 5:11 PM | Updated: 6:17 pm

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — For Nick Eason there was never any
question whether or not he’d report to training camp on
time. A veteran of nine NFL seasons — including last
season with the Cardinals — he has a job to do.

No one, however, would have given it a second thought if
he had arrived late.

“I wasn’t going to miss any more time,” he said.

Eason missed the last week of OTAs and the three-day
minicamp in June.

“I was taking care of my mom day in and day out, waking up
every three hours in the middle of the night making sure
she gets her pain meds, making sure she’s taking her
medicine. She was depending on me to do that.”

There were emergency room trips and hospital stays. Eason
said he often found himself sleeping on a sofa bed just so
he could be there for his mom.

The Cardinals told him to take as much time as he needed.

“They’re very understanding,” Eason said. “(Ken
Whisenhunt) is understanding. Mr. Bidwill is
understanding. Rod (Graves) — they’re all on the same
page with that. They all are family guys. They know things
sometimes happen that we can’t control. It’s very true,
family does come first.”

Eason’s mom, Iris Wilcox, has stage IV breast cancer that,
according to Eason, has “moved to the lung area.”

“I know that God is a miracle worker,” he said. “I’ve
heard a lot of success stories where people have been in
her state and lived very, very long lives and go into
remission. I’m very positive about. She has a positive
outlook on it as well.”

As Eason was reporting to camp Tuesday, his mom was being
discharged from a Georgia hospital and transported to
Goodyear and the Cancer Treatment Centers of America:

“They can facilitate all her needs even better than I
can,” he said. “She’s in really good hands.”

Eason said he talks to his mom two or three times a day;
and once camp ends, he’ll only be a 45-minute drive away
from his home in Chandler.

As difficult as the past month has been — one of his
uncles “who was basically a brother to me” died in June
and a cousin passed away not long thereafter, he has not
found it difficult to focus on football.

“It all comes down to prayer and preparation,” he said.
“I’m a man of faith. At the end of the day, everything is
in God’s will and it’s not really under my control. It is
really tough to watch someone who is sick and in pain but
you really can’t do anything for them besides smile and
try to keep their spirits up.

“I come out (to the field). I know I have a job to do. I
can separate the two. I’m a veteran guy. I’m been doing
this for a really long time. It’s not the first time
something has taken place while I’ve been playing during
the season.”

Three years ago, Eason said his father — whom he lost in
May 2011, had a stroke the week of the first game of the
season.

“When I’m (on the field) it’s all about trying to win a
Super Bowl. Then, when I leave (the field), I’ll give (my
mom) a call as soon as I get into the locker room, just
make sure she’s all right and being taken care of. Of
course, you only have one mom.

“The biggest thing is I know she’s being taken good care
of there and I’ll do what I do here on the football
field.”

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