Big 12 News

Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard Reveals Battle With Cancer

NCAA Football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State

On Wednesday morning Jamie Pollard released a heartfelt letter to Cyclone fans with a message that took everyone by surprise.

“I was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. I debated sharing this information widely to avoid my diagnosis being a distraction to our athletics program. However, the reality of hiding the news has also been stressful. Last week, I was scheduled to speak to more than 500 individuals in Benton Auditorium, a commitment made months ago. Regrettably, I had to miss my appearance on very short notice (due to surgery) and it was disheartening to be unable to share the real reason for my cancellation.”

About four weeks ago, I started to feel pain in my groin after a running workout. After several days of irritation, I identified a lump on my right testicle. After seeing a doctor for an ultrasound, it was determined that surgery was necessary. I had that testicle removed last Tuesday afternoon and, unfortunately, learned a day later it was cancerous. That was sobering news to hear the day before Thanksgiving.

This past Monday I had a CT scan and additional blood work. My wife, Ellen, and I met with the urologist (who performed my surgery) in the afternoon and learned the cancer had not spread from the original site. Furthermore, my bloodwork (i.e., tumor markers) was still testing normal. Both of those results were welcome news!

We also discussed next options, which include doing nothing other than monitoring my blood work and performing CT scans every 3-6 months, undergoing chemotherapy, or beginning radiation treatments. We visit an oncologist this Friday to learn more about my treatment options.


To say that Pollard has been through a lot in the last seven days would be an understatement. However, he remains positive through this process and thanks his wife, Ellen, for her support in navigating his career and personal life.

It is important to me to publicly thank my wife, Ellen. Although it is one thing for me to deal with the professional/personal boundaries, Ellen has had to deal with those same boundaries countless times, both as a mother and wife. It takes a really strong and special person to navigate that landscape.

In closing, I feel blessed to know the cancer has not spread and am ready to follow what my medical team feels is the best course of treatment. As Coach Campbell likes to say, “Trust the Process.” That’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Thank you for your continued support.

Cancer is a terrible disease that millions of Americans have to deal with every year, but it is always a good thing to catch it in the early stages. It sounds like Jamie Pollard has done just that and has a great plan in place to defeat it for good.

Along with Cyclone nation, we wish you the very best Mr. Pollard, and pray for your strength and healing throughout the process.

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