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North Colonie Youth Baseball honors Chris Greklek

"You're teaching more than baseball (when you're a youth coach) because these kids aren't going to be playing Major League Baseball," he said. "These qualities listed on that plaque are ones that these kids should learn because that will help them throughout life."

Greklek was fortunate to be present for the dedication. He wasn't diagnosed with multiple myeloma " a blood cancer " until it nearly killed him.

"The doctors told him, 'Go directly to the hospital,'" said Amy. "By the time he got there, he was already losing kidney function. Once he was hooked up to the machines, I wasn't worried."

"I didn't realize how bad it was until I got to what doctors called the 'end stage,'" said Greklek. "It wasn't until 11 to 12 months (after being diagnosed) that my doctor told me how bad it was."

Up to that point, Greklek had been the picture of health. Not only did he coach baseball, but he also competed in triathlons and graduated to sixth-degree black belt in tae kwon do.

"I did a lot of physical activities, and that came to a halt for a while," said Greklek.

By the time he finished his treatment, Greklek's frame shrunk four inches.

"I used to tower over my wife. Now, I'm the same height as her," said Greklek.

Greklek is now looking forward to resuming his physical activities including returning to the triathlon circuit.

"I'm getting a new (racing) bike, and I can't wait to get on it," he said.

"He needs to do that. It's a part of who he is," said Amy.

And from now on, Chris Greklek is a part of what NCYBA is.

"I'm very grateful to be part of that," he said.""

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