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AP sportswriter and W.Va. native fights rare cancer

Photo submitted to The Times West Virginian Will Graves smiles for the camera while covering the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, before he was diagnosed with cancer.
Photo submitted to The Times West Virginian
Will Graves smiles for the camera while covering the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, before he was diagnosed with cancer.

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Readers of the Times West Virginian flip through the sports section daily and read about our local high school teams, West Virginia University and some professional sports.

Loyal readers recognize the names of the writers of these pieces as reading the stories on the page of the paper has become part of their daily routine.

What many of these readers may not recognize, however, is that one of the authors of these stories has had to alter his daily routine to combat a demon that has become an all-too-familiar foe in our society.

Cancer.

Will Graves is a writer for The Associated Press, covering Pittsburgh teams like the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins for the Times West Virginian and many other publications throughout the region and nation.

Graves, a 1996 graduate of West Virginia University, has made sports coverage his living since he got out of school, bouncing between daily newspapers in Maryland and Florida before joining the AP.

In 2011 he took up the Pittsburgh beat for the AP and made covering the teams in black and gold, as well as some other sports and teams, his daily routine. That basic daily routine changed however just a couple of years after he made his home in the Steel City.

Graves has always taken fitness seriously throughout his life, running in marathons, half marathons and exercising daily.

But as he progressed in age, this exercise became more difficult. He started getting short of breath and simply blamed it on lack of sleep and a poor diet.

It wasn’t until he was in Sochi, Russia, covering the Olympics that he realized there was a problem…

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