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Marfan Syndrome: A Silent Killer
Richard Demak
February 17, 1986
A hidden congenital disorder claimed the life of volleyball star Flo Hyman and has sidelined three college basketball players
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February 17, 1986

Marfan Syndrome: A Silent Killer

A hidden congenital disorder claimed the life of volleyball star Flo Hyman and has sidelined three college basketball players

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Unlike Weisheit or Liburd, Billups knew he had Marfan's before he got to college. What he didn't know when he arrived at St. Bonaventure in the fall of 1984 was that it would prevent him from playing. Billups says, "During high school [Bennett High in Buffalo] my doctor noticed the symptoms. He felt it was O.K. for me to play at that level. Later, they decided college ball would be too strenuous."

No one ever told Flo Hyman she couldn't play volleyball. She was passionately dedicated to her sport. When the U.S. women's volleyball team set up training headquarters in Colorado in 1978, Hyman had spent three years studying math and physical education at the University of Houston. She dropped out, went to Colorado and told her friends, "You can go to school when you're 60. You're only young once, and you can only do this once."

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