COLORADO SPRINGS - Discovery Canyon Campus athletic director Sharon Lauer was back in familiar territory last week for the school’s boys basketball game against Lewis-Palmer.
Lauer sat near the scorer’s table for much of the contest, monitoring the crowd and making sure things ran smoothly.
“This is probably the biggest basketball game we’ve ever had,” said Lauer, who also is an assistant principal. “It’s very exciting.”
Unfortunately, the previously undefeated Thunder was on the wrong side of a 65-36 score. But that didn’t keep Lauer from performing her duties.
“I don’t have the stamina for 12 hours, but every day is a better day,” she said. “I’m feeling really good.”
Lauer, 56, was away from work for two months while recovering from a number of serious medical conditions, including breast cancer. Several surgeries later she was back at home recuperating.
“Really, the breast cancer saved my life,” Lauer said.
Lauer’s life-changing story began in August she found out she had breast cancer. About that same time she was told she had a mass on her pancreas. She underwent a lumpectomy, and on Nov. 6 she had two-thirds of her pancreas removed, as well as her spleen and gall bladder removed.
The mass was detected during a scan she had after finding out she had breast cancer. It turned out to be pre-malignant, but it would have eventually turned up cancerous if it was not detected. Doctors determined that the mass and the breast cancer were not related.
Lauer drew a lot of strength and support from students, staff and administrators while she was away. Assistant principal Terry Bramschreiber took over her duties as athletic director while she was on mend. Athletic secretary Paula Marks also picked up the slack.
“I had done a lot of pre-work prior to leaving,” Lauer said. “Things were set up and ready to go. Between Terry and Paula things kept going fantastic.”
The girls swim team has shown its support by wearing pink hats and pink shirts this season.
Interestingly, the game against Lewis-Palmer had another meaning for Lauer. She is a 1974 graduate of the school.
“When I graduated from Lewis-Palmer there were about 300 kids in the school,” she said. “We had real home-cooked meals in the cafeteria.”
Lauer has been a teacher and administrator in District 20 for most of her adult life. She spent 25 years at Air Academy, where she was also the boys swimming coach. She moved over to Discovery Canyon when the school opened in 2007.
Lauer has no plans of slowing down. She plans on biking 14 miles in a Race for the Cure triathlon in Denver this summer.
“We’re glad to have Sharon’s leadership back,” Marks said. “She has that loving care within her leadership.”