Community honors Bernie graduate battling brain cancer

Bernie honors one of their own

BERNIE, MO (KFVS) - Before Friday night's basketball game against Puxico, the Bernie community came together to support an alumni battling brain cancer.

The 18 Fore Life Foundation sponsored Hoops for Hope, a night to honor 1993 graduate Shawn Green.

Green and his twin brother, Shane Green, are Bernie natives.

"There's Shane without Shawn and no Shawn without Shane," Shane said. "We're very close."

Both Green's were all-state basketball players for the Mules and part of a 27-2 squad in '93.

Shawn and Shane went on to play college basketball together at St. Francis University in Joliet, Illinois.

Both are now married with families of their own and live and work in Chicago.

But Shane, Shawn, Shawn's wife, Erin, and his 2-year-old daughter Avery made the trip back home to Bernie for a special ceremony.

Before tip-off Shawn was introduced to a standing ovation in front of hundreds of supporters. He was presented a special game ball and photo of his former teammates.

Shawn found out in 2009 he had a cancerous growth on a part of his brain. Successful surgery and radiation therapy helped Green beat cancer then.

But in October 2015, Green learned there was tumor regrowth.

That meant more surgery and more treatment. This time around, Green developed an infection. Doctors had to remove a part of his bone flap and clean out the wound.

Paralysis from the infection left weakness on the right side of Green's body meaning weeks of rehabilitation.

He was able to make the trip though and see the support from the community.

"It's Bernie," head basketball coach and athletic director Brad Botsch said. "That's what people do here. That's what's so great about the community and the school. People come together to support a common goal."

The Bernie High School organized a fish fry, bake sale, and silent auction with all the proceeds going to Shawn's family.

"You never truly realize how people really feel about you until you come back for an event like this and see the amazing turnout you see here," Shane said. "It's humbling."

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.