POTOMAC, Md. (DC News Now) – Growing up in Plattsburgh, New York, as a young boy, Mick Lacy chose his favorite NFL team based on colors.
“I liked the black and yellow, so I looked around and I said, wow the Steelers,” Lacy said. “Didn’t know anything about them.”
Lacy’s choice of the Steelers turned into a lifelong passion. When he grew up, Lacy served in the army for 25 years as a paratrooper, jumping out of airplanes.
“I have a lot of pride in the military,” Lacy said. “And I’m not just talking army branch, I’m talking the military.”
For the past two decades, Lacy has continued serving his country, working in counter terrorism in Germany, Afghanistan, and most recently Italy. As a result, he’s had to watch his beloved Steelers at some strange hours.
“We watched the games at all hours of the night,” Monica Lacy, Mick’s wife said. “Sometimes the game might finish at 5:30 or 6 o’clock in the morning and then my husband was off to work.”
In May of 2022, now 64-years-old, Mick started experiencing headaches. His condition grew worse later in the month. After visiting hospitals in Italy and Germany, he was transported by Medevac to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
“They started linking with a lot of other stuff like pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, lung cancer and then told me things like, oh we’ve never seen this before. I think we know 20 cases like this. We’ve never seen these cancers linked like this,” Mick said. “You have two and a half months to live.”
The former paratrooper is now facing his toughest challenge yet – stage IV pancreatic cancer, with tumors on his brain, lungs and entire body, along with leptomeningeal disease.
“I’ve had enough injuries, never been sick in my entire life and that’s a fact. This is just,” Mick said. “It hits you like a ton of bricks.”
Continuing to fight like a soldier on the battlefield, Mick has already made it more than two week’s past the doctor’s prognosis.
“We went beyond that,” Mick told DC News Now. “I’m looking at being their cancer miracle baby.”
Mick has been aided in the fight by his family unit. All four of his children, along with sons and daughters-in-law and grandchildren, have flocked to the family’s temporary home base in Potomac, Maryland. The entire family watched the Steelers take down the Bengals on Sunday. Everyone wore Steelers jerseys, except for Mick’s son-in-law who is a Bengals fan – he wore a Joe Burrow jersey.
“We’ve never had the entire family to watch the Steelers play before and we had everyone here including the grandchildren,” Monica said. “I think that was really meaningful for all of us, but especially for him.”
Mick’s friends and colleagues from overseas joined the party virtually.
“We were having a Guinness party on Zoom,” Mick said. “Of course they’re watching the game at 7 o’clock at night, we’re watching at 1 o’clock in the afternoon and I think at the highest point we probably had 10 people on there.”
Despite being a lifelong Steelers fan, Mick has never been to a Steelers game in Pittsburgh and says that he’s only been to the city’s airport on a layover flight. Mick’s family hopes to take him to his first Steelers home game, or at least take him to Pittsburgh to see the stadium.
“I think it would be really fun,” Mick said. “I think, yeah, it would just be super fun.”
Mick’s family is hoping to bring the entire family to the game and needs a handicap accessible seat for Mick, and accompanying seats for the family, with week two’s home game versus the Patriots on Sunday, September 18 in mind. Due to his condition, Mick would also need an accommodation for noise, as too much noise, would be too much for him and cause headaches.
His family, his hoping to figure out the best way for him to enjoy every Steelers game that he gets to see.
“We want to help him keep living, giving him things that he enjoys to reach for, to look forward, just so that we can live every day to the fullest,” Monica said. “And the Pittsburgh Steelers have just been so important to him, so that’s really where that comes from.”