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That ‘Crazy’ A&M Fan? She’s a Survivor

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Revis Ward-Daggett doesn’t care how silly she looks. She isn’t bothered by what other people might think of her. 

After being given only a 1% chance to live a few years ago, Ward-Daggett treats every day as a gift. All she wants to do is have fun and make people smile.

Ward-Daggett got her brief turn in the spotlight on Monday night during the Alabama-Texas A&M game at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. As the Aggies began to pull away in the sixth inning, the SEC Network camera cut to Ward-Daggett in the stands. She was kicking up her legs. She was waving her hands side to side. She was dancing and shimmying. 

Adorned in a maroon A&M shirt and hat, Ward-Daggett’s black Jetson glasses with pearls framed her face. She wore a huge smile as she yelled “Go Aggies!” 

“I always try to do all I can to take out the negative vibes. I just want to be my crazy self and share life, laughter and try to spread belief,” Ward-Daggett said. “If even just one fan cheering helps our players to laugh a little more or gives them the little nudge they need, it’s all worth it.” 

Ward-Daggett is the aunt of A&M first baseman Trinity Cannon. Although she’s always been a supporter of Cannon, she’s made a concerted effort to attend as many games as possible this season because it’s Cannon’s senior year.

Fight of Her Life

Cannon and Ward-Daggett share a special bond that was fortified in 2018 when Ward-Daggett was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. She was given a 3% chance of surviving upon diagnosis, and the odds dropped to 1% two years later. 

It took Ward-Daggett “hours and hours” to find a doctor who would take her as a patient, “because who wants a résumé where you know this person is already 11 or 12 steps towards death right?” Ward-Daggett said.

Ward-Daggett chose to get her chemotherapy treatments at Baylor White & Scott Health, a hospital in Dallas that has both clinical and research campuses for the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. 

A major factor in Ward-Daggett’s decision was the hospital’s proximity to Cannon’s house in Forney, Texas. Cannon would give up her room for Ward-Daggett to use and bunk with her two siblings.

“I knew I would have hands-on love and care. I didn’t have to pay for hotel rooms and didn’t have to pay for food,” Ward-Daggett said. “I would drive seven hours to get there and they would make sure I had a bed. They knew Aunt Rev was coming to try and survive.”

Cannon and her family watched as Ward-Daggett’s hair fell out and she lost more than 80 pounds during treatments.

“It made my heart sad seeing how weak she was. But even then, she was full of life and telling everybody how much she loved the Lord and would continue to walk with him,” Cannon said. “She has shown our family it can go through anything and come out on top.”

Ward-Daggett gained some of her fight from being a former athlete. She played volleyball at Oral Roberts University, and eventually became the head coach at her alma mater. Ward-Daggett led ORU to a Cinderella NCAA run in 1995. The Golden Eagles reached the Elite Eight before losing to host Stanford.

Ward-Daggett even tried to recruit Cannon’s mom to join her team, but “she snubbed me,” Ward-Daggett said with a laugh. Ward-Daggett, who also had coaching stints at Oregon and UTEP, stepped down from the profession to have more time to raise her son. 

She became a teacher and administrator near her home in Fort Stockton, Texas, a rural community halfway between San Antonio and El Paso where her family owns ranches with a hunting lodge and some livestock.

“I love, love, love being silly and being transparent. I wanted to get kids to figure out who they were and be OK with being that individual,” Ward-Daggett said. “I think I was put on earth to make people laugh and be a nut.”

Once Ward-Daggett found a doctor, Laura Divine, who would treat her cancer, she approached her battle like an athlete preparing for a season. 

“I met her and told her this is going to be one for the ages,” Ward-Daggett said. “You are not going to be sorry you picked me. I am going to work my ass off to get well to bless you. We were going to prove as a team we can do it.”

Cheering Inspiration

Because the cancer changed her body chemistry, Ward-Daggett couldn’t wear contact lenses anymore. She used the opportunity to buy as many pairs of eccentric glasses as possible. She has at least a dozen pairs that she coordinates with her shoes and coffee mugs.

“In some way, shape or form, it kind of gave me the courage to be OK with looking a little bit nutty and not worrying about it,” Ward-Daggett said. 

Ward-Daggett will be in the stands hooting and hollering again this weekend when A&M hosts Ole Miss at Davis Diamond. The Aggies will be honoring their seniors, and Cannon expects the cheers from her family section to be plentiful. She’s proud to say the woman leading the antics is her aunt.

“She is a true inspiration to me,” Cannon said. “She was on her deathbed and never let it kill her spirit. She’s kept me going on and off the field. Because of her, I know softball isn’t who I am. It’s just a part of me.”

After she was shown on TV, Ward-Daggett’s friends texted her jokingly asking for the phone numbers for her massage therapist, trainer and chiropractor. They were impressed by the flexibility of a woman who turns 60 in November.

Ward-Daggett has a few go-to moves like The Sprinkler and The Shoot. “I am terrible at it,” she said. “But I do it because I look so ridiculous.”

And she doesn’t care. She is alive, and that’s all that matters. Ward-Daggett reached her five-year anniversary of survivorship on August 1 of last year.

“I think you can honestly say that is where the depth of it comes from,” she said. “I am still here and I am just going to celebrate that I am here. I am not going to let anything get in the way of me cheering for them and being a big dope.”