I didn’t plan this post as a follow up to the War on Cancer blog I just published. But as I read of the passing of Hokie Gajan (pronounced “guy-jean” as in Jean-Luc) at such a young age, I was unnerved. I’m just a few years older and, thank God, I’m beating cancer. Granted, I have a different type (CLL), but still – it’s cancer, damn it!
Nevertheless, I felt a need to pay respects to a fellow Louisianian. And a fellow Tiger.
Gajan died of Liposarcoma, a rare cancer that, according to Wikipedia, arises in fat cells in deep soft tissue, such as that inside the thigh or in the retroperitoneum. Liposarcoma is a rare type of cancer that bears a resemblance to fat cells when examined under a microscope.
Patients usually note a deep seated mass in their soft tissue. Only when the tumor is very large do symptoms of pain or functional disturbances occur.
I didn’t know Hokie although I watched him play in Tiger Stadium in the late seventies when both of us were attending LSU. Later I followed his distinctive style on the New Orleans Saints’ radio broadcasts after his NFL playing days.
Photos credited to AP Archives, Baton Rouge Advocate and WWL AM/FM