MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- Tuesday’s WNBA title celebration was a special one for a certain Minnesota Lynx employee: Conrad Smith, a man who has worked for several franchises in town.
He is now the Chief Operating Officer of the Lynx and his battle over the past 18 months reminds him why Tuesday was such a good day.
Smith worked for the Minnesota Twins in their 1991 World Series season, and he and now works for the Minnesota Lynx.
“It’s obviously very, very special,” Smith said. “I was part of the last championship in this town 20 years ago to the month in fact with the Twins. I was very fortunate to go through that experience, and 20 years is a long time between championships.”
What makes Smith’s journey remarkable is what he went through to get here. A year ago last summer the symptoms started.
“Everything was fine and very healthy, and I just had a couple memory lapses and thought that was peculiar,” Smith said. “I waited a couple weeks and it came back again. They found a growth that afternoon, and I actually had a brain tumor.”
He went through surgery to remove it, followed by rounds of radiation and chemotherapy to try and beat it. All the while he kept working.
“A lot of people started talking to me about bucket lists, saying ‘OK Conrad what do you want to do, we’ll do things together,'” he said. “My comfort zone was coming into work, and obviously coming around to this point has been a big reward.”
He was there Tuesday to celebrate the first professional sports title in Minnesota since 1991. His wife and three kids are his biggest priority, but it’s days like this that remind him life can be hard, but it can also be good.
“We’re in the entertainment business, and to be able to see the fan means more to me than anything else,” Smith said.