Dying Kentucky fan says he wants to live final months as a champ - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Dying Kentucky fan says he wants to live final months as a champion

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We cannot confirm 49-year-old Randy Napier actually bleeds blue. We cannot confirm 49-year-old Randy Napier actually bleeds blue.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Told he may have just months to live, one local man has one thing on his mind: Kentucky basketball. It may seem odd but this man's perspective may change some people's outlook on what matters.

We cannot confirm 49-year-old Randy Napier actually bleeds blue.

"Ouch!" he yelled, as he got blood drawn Wednesday at the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center. 

"You know how small that needle is?" the nurse teased. 

"You know how much it hurt?" he quipped back.

"Dang, she hurt!" Napier laughed. "She must be a Louisville fan."

The Kentucky Wildcats fan is not mad that he is dying of cancer.

"Dying's not the worst thing, it isn't," he said.

He had his stomach removed in 2013. A few weeks ago, he found out the cancer is back. It is stage four, inoperable and terminal. Doctors told him he may live three months, maybe a year.

"When you get told, it's like someone hits you in the gut so hard. Shew," he sighed.

At the Veterans Hospital in Louisville Wednesday, the Army and Air Force vet waited to find out if he would have to do chemo.

While waiting, he showed us his UK tattoo. "It used to look a lot better when my arm was a lot bigger. That's for life."

He cannot put his love for Kentucky into words. "It's just the first time I ever went into Rupp, it's the whole -- it's UK basketball, man," he summed up.

He wants to see them win a ninth championship title.

"But if they can go out 40-0 and this is my last year, that's cool. That's cool to me, I know it sounds goofy to some people," said Napier.

His tweet to Coach John Calipari has made its rounds across the internet. "I know he's a busy man, he's got a lot on his plate, I know that, I wasn't hoping for nothing, I just put it out there, kind of, win one for me," said Napier.

His life right now is a mix of living and preparing. Tuesday, he picked out his casket.

"It's all gonna be set, they just have to get me there and in the box, and bada boom bada bing. Put me in the ground," he laughed.

Of course, the casket will be customized. "It's actually going to be a cross with military service and Kentucky, UK."

Talking about death isn't foreign to Randy.

"I just wish I knew if I could make it to November. That's all. I know nobody knows, nobody knows," he said to his oncology doctor.

"There are no guarantees here,” the doctor said. “And we're gonna do the best to get you there."

It is important to Napier to make it to November because it will be his first anniversary with his wife.

"She's the only one that sees me in the really down times," said Napier.

"Without the chemo, most probably he will not make it to November," said the doctor.

"Well then, we're doing the chemo," Napier replied.

Without his wife, Napier says his life would be much different. He choked up as he spoke.

"I'd be dead right now. Again, it's the only time I have a hard time talking, is about my family, she um, I'd be dead right now," he said.

You cannot predict the outcome of a basketball game or the cards life will deal you. But you can choose how you deal with it.

"You have two options, you can either lay there and wait to die, or else you can move on and choose to live and I choose to live," said Napier.

Napier encourages other cancer patients on social media. "I have fun, live life, try to help folks as much as I can for as long as I can. There will come a time when it ends."

He also helps out with cancer benefits, to raise money to offset costs for families.

Napier plans to skydive in May and his family is planning a trip to Florida before his chemo treatment starts.

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