Lance's Journal: Jeff Schmahl's Journey, June 30, 2014

Jeff Schmahl grew up in Grand Island dreaming of one day becoming a sportscaster and working with his heroes at 10/11 News.

After high school, Jeff headed east and played tennis for the Huskers. And then one week before he graduated from UNL in 1978, Jeff got the call and he officially became a member of the 10/11 team.

Jeff made his sports anchoring debut at 10/11 in 1979, "I think probably one of the first thrills was being around people who I had been watching grow up on TV. I mean it was Mel Mains, it was Bob Taylor, it was Mark Ahmann and now I'm right there in the midst of it and it was just, it was just exciting, it was fun."

Many of Jeff's 14 years at 10/11 were spent teaming up with Dick Janda, "Dick was my mentor."

In 1993, Jeff left 10/11 to help build HuskerVision, "It was really a thrill. 10/11 gave me the training ground to do it and to move on to HuskerVision and we were the first college stadium to put big screens in our own stadium. That was really fun. Then to make it work and make it have a big impact that was very gratifying."

After a decade at HuskerVision, Jeff joined Bill Byrne at Texas A&M in 2003. He spent a decade with the Aggies.

And last year, Jeff and his wife Maria joined their only son in New York City to help him grow his cookie business.

But this past march, Jeff's life took a devastating turn as doctors diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer. Jeff's doctors pull no punches, "My prognosis from my oncologist is one year."

Jeff is fighting his cancer with dignity and courage, just like his dad did, "I'm going to make the most of the time that I have left and that's what I guess is in terms of writing this blog, that just came out of nowhere almost.

And in his blog that's entitled, 'The Last Train,' this 57 year old continues to encourage others, "Make the most of the time that you have and that's where you have joy in life."