Now back behind the bench, Manny Viveiros talks about his journey and fight against cancer

Henderson Silver Knights head coach Manny Viveiros
Posted at 2:47 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 15:34:36-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Henderson Silver Knights head coach Manny Viveiros will always remember October of 2021.

“It's a shock," Viveiros said. "You know, you think that you're healthy, you feel absolutely fine. You feel almost, at times, invincible.”

All it took was a simple blood test that led to Viveiros being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The news turned his world upside down.

"I think for the biggest part, for myself and my family, was not knowing, going forward," Viveiros said. "When this happens, there's a certain stage that has to happen to see where the cancer is at and if it has spread or what stage it's at. The waiting part, for me, was the hardest part.”

Viveiros took his first leave of absence just weeks after being diagnosed. Then, in December of 2021, he took his second leave of absence — this time to undergo surgery. Life was changing quickly.

“It certainly hasn't been easy," said Viveiros. "I've been very fortunate to have such a wonderful support from my family and the VGK organization. I feel like I'm getting back to almost being 100 percent.”

Viveiros made his return behind the bench in January. It was a long-awaited return.

“I think when you look at coaches, most of them only care about wins and losses. But with Manny, he genuinely cares about you as a person. It makes it so easy to play for a guy like that," said Silver Knights captain Brayden Pachal.

Despite being back on the rink, Viveiros says every day is still a challenge.

"It really put into perspective of what really is important in life: It’s your health and your family," Viveiros said. "Something I think I've learned, too, is being able to really differentiate what really is important in life.”

As Viveiros continues his road to recovery, it’s the support from not just his family and friends but also the local community that’s kept him Vegas Strong.

The Silver Knights will host cancer awareness night on Wednesday, Feb. 23rd, when they take on the Ontario Reign at 7 p.m. at Orleans Arena.