McIntosh wish: Gift of health for his mother | NevadaAppeal.com

McIntosh wish: Gift of health for his mother

Christmas, as we all know, is the season of giving, and Nevada wide receiver Andy McIntosh would love nothing more than to be able to give his mother, Cindy, the gift of health.

Cindy McIntosh was diagnosed with breast cancer in late May of 2005, and it has spread to the rest of her body. She has been courageously fighting to get better since.

“She’s on her fourth cycle of chemotherapy,” Andy said Thursday night. “She has her ups and downs of having to go through this whole thing. The doctors have never said she has two months or anything like that. If she responds (well) to the chemotherapy, I think she will beat it.”

McIntosh’s mom had to go back into chemotherapy after her blood-cell count went down.

“I try and call her twice a day (at least),” Andy said. “I know there are days when she gets tired.”

McIntosh is excited about being able to spend Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day with his mom and the rest of his family before returning to campus and preparations for the upcoming MPC Computers Bowl on Dec. 31 in Boise, Idaho.

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The downer is that the McIntosh clan won’t be attending the bowl game to cheer on their son.

“My mom and dad are going to watch the game on TV with my sister (a UNLV law student) and grandmother,” Andy said. “Knowing that the game is on television makes me feel better. I’d love to have them there, but more than anything, I want them to be able to see it (the game).

“My mom was able to get to all the home games this year. A couple of the away games weren’t on TV, and she had to listen to them on the radio. It’s hard because they don’t always talk about the special teams, and she couldn’t figure out what’s going on.”

Having lost my mother to cancer at age 50, I certainly can identify with what Andy is going through.

While work was my release, football and schoolwork has been Andy’s.

“When I’m on the football field or in class that’s what I focus on,” Andy said. “I try not to let it bother me. It’s always in the back of my mind, though.”

The fact that he’s been able to function at all is a testament to Andy McIntosh the individual. I’ve been working in journalism all of my adult life, and I’ve met only a few kids as top-notch as Andy McIntosh, who is respectful and doesn’t take much for granted. A good student and good person. Obviously Dave and Cindy did a great job.

McIntosh has caught four passes for 36 yards this year, including a 12-yard reception against UNLV and a 13-yard catch against Idaho.

Being a walk-on, McIntosh’s snaps from scrimmage have been limited the past couple of years. He has great hands, and has made some amazing catches in traffic during practice sessions, yet he patiently waits his turn for playing time.

It would appear there is less margin for error for McIntosh, but he doesn’t look at it that way.

“I don’t know that I’m any different than any other receiver we have,” McIntosh said. “I think the coaches are the same way with everybody.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m getting better individually, but the things is the group is getting better, too. I’m getting better, but I’m not passing anybody on the depth chart.”

With Caleb Spencer the only graduating receiver, McIntosh will be battling with returnees Mike McCoy, Raymond Sanders, Arthur King, Marko Mitchell and Jack Darlington for playing time next year. Also, throw in Rocco Bene and Chris Wellington, who is being redshirted.

The receiving spot is filled with solid guys. The only thing the Pack lack is an outside speedster.

McIntosh had three tackles and one fumble recovery on special teams. A season ago, McIntosh wore a black jersey five different times for special teams play.

“Actually I’ve been really happy (on special teams),” he said. “That’s an area I think I continued to build on after the success I had last year. The coaches keep telling me I’m doing great.”