GREENVILLE - Jeff Charles, the "Voice of the Pirates," continues to recover from surgery following a cancer diagnosis, according to his family.
Charles diagnosis became public earlier this month, after the familiar voice of ECU athletics was not in attendance at some games.
Pirate Radio posted the following statement on their facebook page from Charles' family:
"Jeff had another good night, last night. The doctors are starting to wean him off some of the stronger pain meds. His pathology report came back today, and they said out of the 42 lymph nodes tested; only one was cancer. The Doctor said it was an A+ report! Jeff is still trying to recover from two major surgeries last week, but this news today was very positive. Thank you once again Pirate Nation for all the heartfelt words of encouragement for Jeff this past week. Hopefully things will continue to move in the right direction for The Voice!"
The longtime ECU football and basketball announcer, Jeff Charles, was diagnosed with cancer, according to his family.
The announcement came after his absence from Tuesday night's basketball game in Greenville. ECU confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the man known as "The Voice" was diagnosed with colon cancer.
"It was like a punch in the gut," said Troy Dreyfus, owner of Pirate Radio. "We think the world of Jeff. We never saw this coming."
Charles' family sent the following statement to Pirate Radio:
"Jeff Charles has been diagnosed with colon rectal cancer following two emergency surgeries, with the second one yesterday. No new tumors were found, but however following laboratory testing on the lymph nodes, in a few days we will know more. Jeff is resting but doctors have advised no visitors. He is expected to have a 7 to 10 day hospital stay, barring any additional complications. Jeff, Debbie, and Britt very much appreciate all the love and prayers."
Jeff Charles is in his 25th year as the "Voice of the Pirates" and his 28th as a college play-by-play announcer.
"He's always thorough and has knowledge of every sport he ever does," said Si Seymour, Charles' basketball announcing partner and former Craven Community College basketball coach.
East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland issued the following statement Wednesday night:
"Jeff and Debbie Charles are two very important and long-time members of the East Carolina University Athletics family. Debbie is keeping us informed on Jeff's progress. The best thing all good Pirates can do at this time is to keep Jeff and the Charles family in your prayers, just as members of the athletics department will be doing until Jeff is behind the microphone again. We all look forward to another 25 years with Jeff as the "Voice of Pirates."
"Right now the most important thing he can do is get better," Dreyfus said. "Hopefully once he does, he will be back at his duties as voice of the Pirates."
Dreyfus said anyone can give cards or notes to Charles by sending them to Pirate Radio's mailing address at PO Box 3333, Greenville, NC 27836.