- Last Updated on 08:11 AM 05/02/12
- BY Doug Ford
The ear-to-ear grin said it all for South Boston Elementary School student Trevant Coleman Friday during Senior Night festivities for the Halifax County High School varsity girls soccer team.
Coleman, battling what has been described as an inoperable brain tumor, put his best face and best foot forward before the benefit game to raise money to help Coleman and his family with medical expenses.
“Do you want my autograph?” a beaming Coleman said to peals of laughter from soccer players gathered around him before the game.
The Comets varsity girls soccer team, including seniors Sarah Catron, Jaynee Campbell, Jess McGill and Mikeala Skelton, made sure everyone went home happy with a win over William Fleming on Senior Night.
You can’t help but admire Trevant’s courage and fortitude in fighting for his life despite great odds, and I wonder how I would do in the same situation.
Would I simply accept the consequences and await my fate, or would I choose to fight for my future?
We aren’t allowed to know certain things, and that’s good because we humans aren’t wise or smart enough to do the right thing if we did.
What if we suddenly had $1 million, would we use it wisely or squander it away for momentary pleasures?
Would we spend it recklessly or help our family or those in need around us?
Those are questions I would be afraid to answer, but for Trevant Coleman, the task ahead of him is clear.
His situation, and that of others fighting for their lives due to medical issues, reminds me of a favorite poem, one by the Welshman, Dylan Thomas.
Written for his dying father, the poem, with no other title except its opening line begins, “Do not go gentle into that good night...rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
As frail human beings, we are cursed by all sorts of maladies, some curable and others not, and it seems each time I turn around a family member, friend or neighbor is fighting one affliction or another.
Maybe I’m more aware of these things because my parents’ generation by and large is into its eighth decade, and I’m no spring chicken myself.
Still, I have to admire the courage and steadfast hope shown by Trevant and anyone facing a battle for their lives, with little more than modern medicine and a big dose of faith to see them through.
I recall parts of a speech former N.C. State Basketball Coach Jim Valvano gave at the very first ESPY Awards shortly before his death from cancer.
“To me, there are three things we 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.
“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.”
“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” Valvano urged.
To Trevant and anyone facing a life-threatening medical crisis, I give a big thumbs up.
And, don’t ever give up.