Kansas head basketball coach Bill Self offers comfort, support for cancer-stricken woman

Aug 15, 2015, 4:42 PM | Updated: Aug 16, 2015, 12:50 am
Kansas head coach Bill Self talks to reporters during a news conference in New Orleans, Thursday, March 29, 2012. Kansas is scheduled to play Ohio State in an NCAA tournament Final Four semifinal college basketball game on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Sometimes a phone call can make a difference.

For sportswriter and Kansas native David Dorsey, a phone call from the state’s most recognizable face meant the world.

With his mother Nancy on her death bed and her fight against Stage IV triple negative breast cancer reaching its end, Dorsey, searching for a way to bring comfort and a little levity to his family in the final hours of his mother’s life, reached out to the one person he felt would lift the spirits of his mother and those around her.

Kansas head basketball Bill Self.

A diehard Jayhawks fan, Dorsey, currently a journalist for the The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida, first contacted the Kansas basketball office with the hope of reaching someone who would pass along his request for a phone call from the 52-year-old Jayhawks head man.

Nearly passed two weeks passed without word from Self, until Dorsey’s father Gene received a call and subsequent voice message from Self after missing the coach’s call.  In the message, Self apologized for his late response to Dorsey’s original message, offered his condolences and requested the family call him back.

The family did, reaching Self on his direct line.

According to Dorsey, Self first spoke with Gene, giving him a “pep talk” and other words of encouragement before Gene handed Self off to Nancy.

“Do you know of any cleaning ladies who can help my husband?”, said Nancy to Self when she received the phone, feeling the effects of painkillers and sedatives.

The rest of the details of Nancy’s conversation with Self are unknown, as approximately 90 minutes after their talk, Nancy fell asleep.  The following day, Nancy passed away.

Dorsey says Self was the last person outside of his parent’s home to talk to his ill mother.

While Nancy Dorsey was unable to attend the “fun-filled party” she wanted in the final days before her passing, the coach’s call surely served as a ray of light for an ailing family during a dark and mournful time.

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