We have started a new college basketball season and appropriately sports broadcast stations are dedicating this week as Jimmy V week. I remember Jim Valvano's celebrity well. I remember his iconic personality and incredible chamionship season as head coach at North Carolina State. Jim Valvano died of metastatic Adenocarcinoma on April 28 1993. He was just 47 years old. His foundation has continued on "The V Foundation" in search of cancer cures. I guess I should have listened to the man in '93 and maybe been more aware of what he was dealing with. Jimmy V was not the coach of my favorite college team, but he was someone I wanted to see win his championship, long before he had cancer, because he represented the underdog to me quite well. Here we are almost 15 years after his passing and I type here with locally metastatic adenocarcinoma found in my body. I take solace in his bravery, and with his incredable speech just before he passed. Some excerpts:
During his speech at the Espy awards, the teleprompter stated that he had 30 seconds to which Valvano responded, "They got that screen up there flashing 30 seconds, like I care about that screen. I got tumors all over my body and I'm worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds." he went on..."To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."..."Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all."
Jimmy V passed away two months later. But his motto for his new foundation is my motto: "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."
Just a thought.
ESPN actually put this out after my post this morning. But I did get the idea for my post from them in an ad.