Why bother getting emotional about a sportscaster you never met, Kristen?
Except, there’s this thing and it’s called cancer and we make those who “survive” it seem like heroes. And we don’t talk about the bravery of those who died. Last October, during the height of “pink-mania” a friend posted about how we give very short shrift to those who die while battling cancer. Her brother had passed in his early 20s of bone cancer, a tumor wrapped around his spine, strangling his spinal cord. And it hurt. It hurt because Andy. Yeah, my brave little cousin who just made it to his 13th birthday before going home to God on Mother’s Day weekend. It hurt because I knew it was true. I know there are people out there who think “if only (he/she) had fought harder” someone would still be with us. Yeah, it’s not really like that.
As Jim Valvano is quoted today from his Arthur Ashe Courage Award speech, “Don’t give up, Don’t ever give up,” as his rallying cry for all those facing cancer, today Stuart’s words are being quoted around the internet:
“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”
After seven grueling years of battling this awful disease, Stuart knew what was happening. He fought til the end. But he did not lose. The only loser in the cancer equation, is cancer itself.
Stuart gave a voice to those battling, and battling hard, but not making any head-way. He acknowledged the courage of those who died during their fight. Hannah Storm, while fighting tears, memorialized Stuart in this way:
“Stuart didn’t lose to cancer, we all lost Stuart.”
Similarly, Rich Eisen, Scott’s one-time co-host on Sports Center and close friend, was called to memorialize his friend on the NFL Network, where he now works.
“I loved this man. I still love this man, and the fact that he has passed away is absolutely mind-boggling, and a travesty,” Eisen said as he fought back tears. “And as you go to bed tonight, flip your pillow over to the cool side, and before you go to sleep — as Stuart would say, when you hit your knees tonight — and pray to the big man for his beautiful daughters who he loved, Taelor and Sydni.”
Rich Eisen chose to remember his friend the fighter, the man who loved his life and fought for it.
Stuart Scott, like Jim Valvano before him, and like Lauren Hill still fighting against all odds, have shown us that life is very worth living. Every second we are given is a gift we can use to make the world a better place. And in a world where people are celebrated for ending their own lives when receiving a terrible diagnosis to make things easier for those around them, we need to remember those who lived their lives even as death came in. We needed to love and lose Stuart Scott, so we can remember that life is worth living, every blessed second. And remember when those closer to home are suffering with these terrible diseases, that a cure doesn’t always mean living life cancer-free in this world. No, a cure can look like someone fighting to make life better here, and going home to God when it’s time.
RIP Stuart…thank you for being a reminder of what is truly important.