The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

June 29, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN: Robinson keeps his faith through difficulties

MORGANTOWN — Faith, Maurice Robinson is saying, that is what’s keeping him and his family going.

He can’t really define what faith is. No one can, but he knows he has it and it is unwavering.

It has to be.

The last time we had talked was just before he was inducted into the West Virginia University Athletic Hall of Fame.

It was, he is remembering, a wonderful time, as well it should have been for few deserved such an honor more than he.

But even in the midst of that, there was heartache. His son, Marlan, who had survived a horrific automobile accident a couple of years earlier,

“He got burned. The car flipped over on him. The catalytic converter came down on the left side of his head and his shoulder. He was burned down to his skull and down to the bone in the left shoulder. Even the bone was burned,” Robinson recalled when we talked previously.

It wasn’t an easy recovery, but Marlan worked through it, received his undergraduate degree and his master’s.

All was well until the night of April 27, 2011, when police found him at 9:15 p.m. in a pool of blood in a Morgantown parking lot, a victim of being shot by a pair of teens while he was out doing a favor for a friend.

“He lost his spleen. He tore up his small intestines,” Robinson said.

That night they prayed at the university hospital.

“We didn’t think he was going to make it. The doctor didn’t think he was going to make it. Thanks to the trauma unit at the university, they saved his life. It was very much touch and go,” Robinson said, thinking back to that night.

“Initially, we couldn’t even see him. There was a priest there going in and out; he was keeping us informed what was going on. He was telling us he was still alive and they were still working on him.”

Again faith got them through, Marlan’s most lasting problem being trouble with his right arm and hand.

Certainly, it isn’t perfect, but considering that he lingered on death’s door, his recovery was remarkable and the family hoped all there problems were behind them.

They weren’t.

Today Maurice Robinson has another son, Marcel, in a battle with sickle cell anemia, a disease from which 70,000 people suffer and from which there is no cure. He has fought sickle cell all of his life, but while there is no cure, the symptoms and complications can be helped through blood and bone marrow transplants.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) is researching new techniques to reduce the toxicities of the bone marrow transplantation procedures for patients with severe congenital anemia, and that is where Marcel is now with his wife, Tiffany, preparing to receive a bone marrow transplant from his mother, Roselle.

While not a perfect match, Roselle is a 7 and that’s as close as anyone in the family comes. Through the generosity of her employer, Mylan Pharmaceutical, she is able to spend the necessary time in Washington, D.C., preparing for the transplant.

As for Marcel, he and wife Tiffany must spend 3 to 5 months at the facility and living within 20 miles of it.

This is terribly costly, as they are on unpaid leaves from their jobs and have their normal house payments and the like back in Morgantown in addition to expenses living in D.C.

“We have had just wonderful friends who are helping out,” Robinson said.

One of them is Laurie King of Morgantown, who has started a webpage soliciting donations, 100 percent of which will go to Marcel’s expenses. The goal is $10,000 and they already have raised more than $3,200.

“You do not like to ask people for money,” Mo Robinson admitted, “but people have just been so wonderful and caring.”

It is hard to imagine they would not be, and not just because this is the family of one of the greatest and most beloved players in WVU basketball history.

“I’d like to think they would do this for anyone in such a situation,” Robinson said.

Just the stress, strain and anxiety of this situation is as much as any man should have to endure when it comes to his children, but to add in the car accident and the shooting, it is difficult to understand how they have endured.

There are those who would tell you that in part it would come from the preparation of being an athlete, but Robinson says he’s not so sure that played a great role in it.

“There is nothing that can get you ready for something like we’ve had,” he said.

To contribute to the Robinsons, go to this website: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/tnh2/heres-to-you-mr-mrs-robinson

Contact Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos