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Max Gilmore has become a sort of expert at overcoming the odds and finding a way to make so-called disadvantages work to his benefit. There’s no better example of his perseverance and tenacity than the challenges he overcame earlier this year to lead his esports team to win while he was stuck in the hospital.
Two of Gilmore’s 17 surgeries took place within a week this past year as the esports season began. And this time, both were brain surgeries.
Gilmore worried when he woke up from his first surgery that he was no longer on The Disruptors. He had, after all, missed practice. His coach, Kyle Magoffin, couldn’t believe it.
“His mom emailed me and said they were in the hospital and Max was really worried he wasn’t on the team anymore,” Magoffin said. “I just said, ‘Excuse me, that’s the last thing he needs to worry about, right?’ But that’s just the way Max is. He’s selfless. He cares about his teammates and he didn’t want to let anyone down.”
Just when things seemed to get better, Gilmore was hit with a second surgery in less than a week. True to his nature, though, he was more concerned about missing his match than the outcome of his surgery. Magoffin went to work, rescheduling Max’s game for the Monday of his second surgery and obtaining a hotspot from the school so Gilmore could play without worrying about the spotty internet connection at the hospital.
Gilmore’s anesthesia wore off in the early afternoon and he immediately hopped online to get in a few warmup games before his 4 p.M. Match. Hours after his second brain surgery, Gilmore defeated his opponent, 2-0.
“I have a pretty good immune system, and physically I was feeling okay when I came out of surgery,” Gilmore said. “I was a little nervous, and all my nurses and some of my doctors were wishing me luck and saying they might stop by and watch me.”
Gilmore isn’t the only one at Mahar who has experienced the benefits of playing for The Disruptors. Magoffin, who is the department chair of physical education, noted that his athletes learn cooperation, teamwork, and interpersonal skills, amongst other things, playing for the team. Magoffin also said it’s given his players a sense of school spirit and something to be a part of.
Plus, it’s a safer alternative to playing against strangers online.