I suppose the most important factor for any person who has ever dealt with cancer is to live a life that is filled with hope for the future and an appreciation for every single day that we are given. Along the way, we often draw inspiration from those who are also survivors who have faced their own journey, and regardless of the outcome, have continued to enjoy each day to the fullest without focusing on their cancer and do those things that bring the most happiness and joy to them. Over the years, I have encountered so many stories of such individuals but no one has touched my heart any more than Craig Sager, a sportscaster who was honored this week with the “Jim Valvano Award for Perseverance” at the annual ESPY awards given through ESPN.
I don’t know a single person who has not had to deal with some adversity in life, be it cancer or any one of a mile long list of other diseases or situations. However, if we can face our own situations and confront them head on as Craig Sager has done and continues to do, we will be able to enjoy each day that we have been given. Barbara Jacoby
For those not familiar with this NBA sideline journalist, his story is one for the ages. He was originally diagnosed with leukemia in April 2014 and after an absence of 11 months from his reporting on TNT, was able to return. However, the cancer returned shortly thereafter. He once again underwent treatment and was able to return to sports casting in time for the start of the 2015-16 season. But, in March 2016 he learned that he was no longer in remission.
If you ever had the opportunity to see this gentleman in action, you will most notably recognize him for his wild sports jackets that seem to reflect his outgoing personality and a spirit that will not allow for him to be defeated by his cancer. In his honor, he was awarded the Jimmy V award this week and his acceptance speech reduced many of us to tears. Receiving his award from Joe Biden, he continues to embrace the fighting spirit as he continues to pursue the dream of finding a cure. There is no surrender in his future.
I have long held the belief that the most successful outcome that any cancer patient will have is based upon the choice we make to live our lives with a positive attitude. This attitude is completely epitomized in the way in which Craig Sager has chosen to face his recurring leukemia battle. He is serving as an awesome example to all of us of how the human spirit can and will continue to overcome the greatest challenges in life as long as we continue to hold on to the belief that we can do anything that we want. As long as we continue to work together and support each other in whatever challenges we face, success will be ours.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring for any of us but I don’t know a single person who has not had to deal with some adversity in life, be it cancer or any one of a mile long list of other diseases or situations. However, if we can face our own situations and confront them head on as Craig Sager has done and continues to do, we will be able to enjoy each day that we have been given. A focus on all of the positive things in our lives rather than the negative will help us to understand the power that we possess to create a rich and rewarding life no matter our circumstances. A smile on our face and a song in our heart will help us to produce an atmosphere around us that others will gladly share. And if we remember how that wild and crazy sports jacket not only makes the person wearing it have an upbeat day but also makes all of us just a bit brighter and happier, we can learn to do the same for ourselves. And I know that all of us are hoping and praying for Craig Sager that this time is the last time that cancer ever invades his life.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.