I had a very special childhood. I didn’t realize how special at the time, but in reflection it was a charmed one. One of the most amazing things about it was the little life lessons that were all around me. They were signals of what I should do in the future.
One of those signals came from a guy who attended high school with me. We played baseball together. He was a solid baseball player, but more important he was a leader even back then. At that early age he was very much his own man, comfortable in his own skin. He was confident without being arrogant. I needed to see that myself as I was perhaps the biggest show off in the high school. But, the most important thing about his guy was he never quit at anything. For him, it truly wasn’t over until it was over.
I was reminded of that last trait recently as this wonderful example for humanity was suffering from cancer. Back in December, he was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma and was undergoing chemotherapy when I heard about it. After several rounds of chemo, it didn’t appear that there was any hope. In fact, the cancer has made its way into his liver and the doctors at that point have him literally weeks to live.
What did this guy do? He kept on living. He didn’t change a thing about the way he lived his life. He even got married. Suffering through treatment related seizures and the normal wear and tear that chemo brings with it, he never gave up.
I am happy to report that after a new round of chemotherapy my dear friend is 50% in remission after being given only weeks to live back in May. I know in my heart that the thing that gave him a chance wasn’t the chemo, wasn’t the skill of any doctor, but was his heart and his refusal to quit.
For those of us who have ever thought about quitting, shame on us. Learn from the guy who didn’t quit and stop making excuses for yourself. As a symbol of my friendship with this most incredible individual I promise to him and to myself to never quit!