Sean Swanson, the most accomplished professional bowler to come out of Springfield, lost a three-year-long battle to cancer on Sunday May 24th, 2015 — his 46th birthday.
Swanson was diagnosed in 2012 with a rare form of cancer called Pleomorphic Sarcoma.
"It's incurable, it's reoccurring and the best hope right now is to maintain and have no new growth," Swanson said in a December interview of the tumors that invaded his abdominal area.
Multiple surgeries removed the tumors, but they kept growing back. Chemotherapy and other trial treatments had taken Swanson to Washington University in St. Louis weekly over the last year.
Swanson won 19 Professional Bowlers Association regional titles and was a runner-up in the 1998 Oregon Open, his lone full season on the PBA National Tour.
Well known throughout the pro circuit, especially in the Midwest and South, condolences poured in on Swanson's Facebook page when the word of his death spread on Sunday.
When he was nominated for the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame last winter, Swanson was unable to list how many perfect games he had bowled. There were so many, he had lost track.
Since being diagnosed in 2012, Swanson became active in trying to raise money for cancer awareness through the Cox Health Foundation locally. Earlier this month, he spearheaded a bowling fundraiser and auction called "Strike Out Sarcoma" at Andy B's, where he ran the Winning Edge Pro Shop.
Swanson is survived by wife Angie, son Kaleb, daughter Victoria and stepson Justin.
For information about the "Strike Out Sarcoma" drive that was dear to Swanson, contact the Cox Health Foundation at 269-7150.