“No-one gets out of life alive.”
A humbling story today. That quote is a cliché, of course, but when spoken by an 18yo lad who was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma (one of the most rapidly advancing cancers) one week ago and told he had three weeks to live, it somehow takes on a different perspective. Especially when the young gentleman discharged himself from his chemotherapy in hospital in a wheelchair to fulfil his final duty as Head Boy of Christchurch High School for Boys (New Zealand) and delivered the valedictory speech at the end of the school year (it is end of spring in NZ).
It was Leo and Jaymee who drew this to my attention, because the whole matter was debated in class, Jake being held up as a wonderful example of courage:
“Some of us will not cross paths again; some of us will likely be seen on TV; others in print; some of us in prison… you know it’s true.”
“…be gallant, be great, be gracious, and be grateful for the opportunities that you have…”
“…moral strength is about making a conscious decision to be a person who doesn’t give up when it would be easy to, to be lesser because the journey is less arduous…”
“…forget about long-term dreams: lets be passionately dedicated to the pursuit of short-term goals. Work with passion and pride on what is in front of us – we don’t know where we might end up or when it might end up.”
Jake, you are indeed a man of true courage and an example to us all. Your fight against the cancer has reached out to millions through social media… even here to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Our thoughts are with you.
To everyone else: be thankful for the health and fitness that you have. We’ll be back on that theme tomorrow.