Marcus Forrest

Danville football coach Marcus Forrest, center, is shown here talking to his team after its first practice before the 2018 season. Forrest has been dealing with heart issues this fall and it was determined this week that he will need a heart transplant. He is currently at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

CHICAGO — Most football coaches in the state of Illinois were heartbroken when the traditional fall football season was cancelled in July.

While the last three months have been difficult on them as states around Illinois went on with their seasons, it doesn’t even compare to what Danville football coach Marcus Forrest has been going through.

In early September, Forrest was diagnosed with stage-2 congestive heart failure.

“We thought he was having some trouble with his asthma,’’ said Tabatha Forrest, his wife during her Facebook Live post on Tuesday night. “We took him to the hospital and it was much worse than that.’’

After spending a week in the hospital, Forrest was released as the doctors had seemingly made progress with series of medications.

Last week during a routine checkup, it was discovered that Forrest’s heart functions had decreased dramatically, according to Tabatha. He was readmitted to the hospital and has been subsequently transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago where he is awaiting a heart transplant.

This week Tabatha started a Facebook page “A HEART for Coach” to keep everyone informed of his condition.

“This page has been created to document all the “PLAYS” during the game of Coaches life to show everyone the “BIG WIN.” We need everyone suited up, in the game & ready to play your part,’’ is the motto of the page.

Currently nearly 1,000 people are following the page.

Forrest went through a series of tests and procedures on Wednesday as doctors try to prepare him for the transplant procedure.

“I’ve spent all day going through tests, getting my blood drawn along with talking with dieticians, social workers and nurses,’’ said Forrest when reached on Wednesday night. “They literally have discussed if I needed to do a colonoscopy.’’

And as Tabatha said on Tuesday, “you talk to him now, and you wouldn’t think anything is wrong with him. He is still very upbeat.’’

A big reason for that is the faith that Marcus and Tabatha have had in their journey of life.

But, admittedly, Forrest is also asking for help because of several unexpected expenses that the family has incurred and will continue to incurr over the next several months.

“We are normally the givers,’’ Tabatha said. “That’s our heart, we love to give, we love to help. So for the community in Danville and outside of Danville to want to give to us, to help us. It’s life-changing.’’

Anyone wishing to help the Forrest family can do so at the First Midwest Bank locations at 100 N. Gilbert St. and 27 N. Vermillion St. in Danville. Please made the donation under “Marcus Forrest.” There is also a drop off location at The Assembly Church, 428 N. Walnut St. in Danville or you can contact Danville basketball coach Durrell Robinson at 217-799-5499.

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