Basketball vs. Cancer! (A story of a true winner)!Part-I
Prologue-: This story of a true winner is a heart wrenching fictional tale by our guest writer Mohamad Safieddine.
He was sick but was their cure. He was suffering but was their relief. He was desperate but was their salvation.
It is not about a disease, but about confronting it. It is not about helping sick children, but about rescuing the future. It is not about winning or losing, but about how to show commitment.
It is not about a game, but about life. It is not about giving it a try, but about giving it one’s maximum. It is not only about facing one’s fears and problems, but also about deciding one’s fate.
Decide whether one would live and die as a quitter or a fighter. It is about having a lot of perseverance and never giving up to keep on pushing until the impossible happens.
“Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions” – Robin Hood (The Movie)
“Adam are you ok?” the teacher asked him. Moments later, she began to scream “Adam wake up, can you hear me, Adam!!!” slapping him gently after he faded out and fell off his chair.”Call 911″ She asked a student.
He was rushed to the hospital and that was the turning point in his and his parents’ life. They were told that they will soon lose their only son.
But did they?
His name is Adam. He is known for his brilliance, well manners, sweetheart, determination, motivation, and helpfulness.
Adam is one of the clever students in his school, to the extent that some students make fun of him and call him “the nerd”. Mostly it was Antony and his gang who used to bother him since they considered themselves the coolest students at the school. This was basically because Antony’s father is the head coach of the basketball team in the school and his mother is that of the cheerleaders and a member of the County Council. Antony and his gang enjoyed doing their cynical works, but Adam looked at these as silly and childish things which he would not bother to respond to. They once printed flyers having the title “we introduce to you the nerd” where they had a puta photoshopped picture, showing Adam eating a book. On another occasion, they tripped him in the hallway.
For Adam, helping people is one of his favorite hobbies along with playing basketball.
He is a volunteer at the cancer center, where he tries to draw a smile on the face of the children in need and motivate and support them, with the hope of making them forget their illness and helping them feel that they are not different from others. He lives a routine life of going to school in the morning, visiting the cancer center at noon, and in the weekend going to the park to play basketball.
Adam lives in a middle-class family, with a skilled sales broker mother, and a successful businessman father.
Stemming from his love to help people and his feeling that all people should be treated equally, Adam always had an idea of how to make helping people in need a habit among school students. That is, he thought that this idea should be part of the school curriculum where students should fulfill a specified number of community work hours. However, this idea was rejected, as many parents thought that their angels are better than children having cancer or any kind of disability. He tried to introduce his idea to the County Council using his father’s connections.
Chairman of the Council: “So Mr. Adam, what you are saying is that we should adjust our curriculum so it includes community work hours?”
Adam: “Yes, sir. You see, most students here don’t value the fact that they have everything available. All they think about is dating the most beautiful girls, wearing the most expensive clothes, showing off about what they have, and being ‘cool’. Whereas out there, there are a lot of children who are in need of help, some have cancer and some are disabled, and none of the students here help them.
These children are the future and they need our help.” Adam talked like a chief casting a speech.
However, before he continued, the Chairman of the Council interrupted: “they have centers, nurses and doctors to take care of them.” Adam: “But they don’t play, laugh or have fun with them. We, on the other hand, are around their age or older, and can do that, which can relieve them more than any kind of medication. This will also give the students at school the chance to help people instead of bullying them.
I am talking about helping these children psychologically and morally. Students can help through fundraising, entertaining, arranging trips, and playing with the children.
This will help them forget their pain, where painting that single smile on each child’s face can reduce and even erase the cruel impact of the disease or disability.”
Adam went out of the meeting knowing that his message was clearly heard and that no one will take action, because the members of the Committee are the parents of some of the students he mentioned, where prestige matters the most to them.
Father: “It’s ok son, you did ok, and nice words by the way”
Adam: “Thanks, dad. I know that to reach a goal you have to fight for it and work hard, and no matter how strong they are, I made myself clear. I will not surrender.”
His father walked beside him surprised by his son’s passion to defend the cause he believed in.
Although he has the spirit with the mixture of determination and motivation, Adam could not invest and put them into action on the basketball field. This was because the school’s basketball team consisted of the well-known players with the highly connected parents in the county, which left no place for Adam or any other skilled student. The only place where he could release his skills and live and enjoy his moments was in the park, where he always takes the children from the cancer center on a trip to have fun.
One day, while Adam was in the hallway getting his books from the locker, his phone rang.
His face got pale, his eyes filled with tears, his tongue tied up and he could barely talk, and his hands started shivering; it was the center calls.
One of the silly students: “What’s wrong Adam? Your boyfriend left you? Oh poor Adam, everyone hates you, hahaha.”
And all the students laughed.
After school, Adam rushed to the center. The students who laughed at him secretly followed him to check on his destination and to know the issue behind his distress.
No words could describe their faces when they first saw Adam entering the cancer center. At that point, they all knew where he goes every day after school. After seeing him crying, they asked about the problem and were told that Adam’s friend John, whom he was helping and taking care of, is getting worse and had a heart attack, where doctors think that he has a very short time to live.
Nurse: “John is Adam’s best friend. Two years ago John was diagnosed with a severe lung cancer which was in its final stages. Doctors had said that John would die in a month. His parents brought him here with no hope of cure and abandoned him. John was always alone crying, neither eating nor drinking and waiting for his moment to come. At that time, Adam began to pass by more often and one day he met John. Trying to make him eat something, he failed. He kept trying and failing all the time. Once, he came at night and read John a story, his story. A story of a lonely boy with no friends. Through all the events of the story, he was trying to make him laugh.”
Anthony interrupted: “And he failed”.
Nurse: “No, John smiled and ever since, Adam comes and reads a story to John. Day by day, this allowed John to return back to normal life like any child.
Once John asked Adam: ‘Why are you doing this, helping me? I will die very soon.’
Adam replied: “We are all going to die in the end.
Adam (after a pause): Am I right?”
John nodded by yes.
Adam: “But there are people who die surrendering to their problems and some die after facing them and trying to overcome them.
The latter are the ones who we call fighters. Do you want to be a fighter or a quitter?”
John: ‘A fighter. But it is an incurable disease…’
Adam (interrupting): ‘Then you’re giving it excuses to beat you and you’re showing that you’re weak. You have to eat and drink well, do sports, and fight the causes of your illness. Look at me. I tried many times to make you eat and drink and I failed. But did I stop? No. I kept trying because I had faith that I will succeed. And I did eventually. That is what you should do; to believe in yourself and never quit, be the idol for others, and get better to help other children who think and feel the same way you used to do.’
And ever since, those words are locked in John’s head. Every day he went jogging, ate the healthiest food, and kept himself relaxed and in a good mood. Adam used to take him to the park with some kids from the center to play basketball. We have good and skilled players here.”
Anthony: “Adam plays basketball?”.
Nurse: “Yes, and he is one of the best 3 pointers you may find with a lot of spirit and enthusiasm.”
Those words were enough for Antony and his gang to change their perception of Adam. Adam knew they had followed him but could not let it go without any payback. The next day was different. It was not Antony or any of his friends who took the initiative, it was Adam.
Adam: “What? Don’t you have anything to say? Or what you saw yesterday isn’t cool enough or up to your standards? Why didn’t you take pictures to show them to the whole school? Don’t bother yourself I got you some” and Adam threw pictures of him in the center with the children in Antony’s face who stood motionless and speechless.
Adam: “Maybe they all see you as the coolest guy in here but, you’re just pathetic.”
Antony tried to reply but the words refused to come out of his mouth.
Week after week, Antony kept following Adam to the basketball fields and started to believe that Adam is a player that his team needs. Trying to find a way to allow Adam to get a spot in the school’s basketball team, Antony failed. First, the team is complete. Second, most of the players would not let go of their spots which they got using their patents’ connections in the Committee. Last, because of what happened the next day.
That day was the day that changed Adam’s and his family’s lives; the day that made Adam more determined and motivated, and made his family less happy, and shocked.
Like any other day, Adam went to school.
Teacher: “Adam are you ok?”.
Adam nodded with a yes. He was feeling dizzy and barely could open his eyes. It was only moments later when the teacher began to scream.
Teacher (screaming): “Adam wake up, can you hear me, Adam”.
He faded out and fell off his chair. The teacher tried to wake him up by slapping him gently and shaking his body and asked one of the students to call the nurse at school, and another one to call 911.
Adam was rushed to the hospital while everyone stood dazzled and afraid.
The school called his parents who followed him frantically to the hospital.
Mother (horrified): “Doctor please tell us what is going on? “.
Doctor: “Please calm down, everything will be ok. He is in safe hands. We are doing blood tests and some screenings.”.
Mother (crying): “Please doctor. He is our only child.”.
Doctor: “Your son is ok. It is just a small thing that we need to treat and he will be just fine.”
The doctor tried to make it sound simple and easy.
Adam woke up to find himself in a hospital room with almost everyone around.
Adam: “Where am I? What happened?”
The teacher explained to him the events.
The next day, Adam asked his parents to get him some items from home to enjoy his stays in the hospital, such as his i-pad and some stories he likes to read.
After the parents went out, the doctor came with the results of the blood tests and examinations in his hands.
Adam: “Doctor I am the patient and the ill person, not them. So be honest with me and tell me what’s the problem? Your looks, facial expressions, and hesitations are not good signs.
It seems to me that there are things you want to say but are unable to. What you’re unable to tell them you can tell them to me and I can send them the message.”
(The story of a true winner has taken a heart wrenching turn)
Doctor: “I know son but it is harsh. You’re their only child… and you turned to have… cancer.”
Adam: “Is there any treatment or cure?”
Doctor: “The treatment won’t cure you. It will just hold it back for some time. This treatment is only found in the center in the Blue County and not here. It is predicted that you have only…”
Adam (interrupting): “I don’t believe in predictions. Many people were predicted to live months and lived for years with that disease.”
When his parents returned to the hospital, the doctor was still in Adam’s room.
Adam (with a faint smile): “Mom, Dad, the doctor said that I can check out any time we want today but there will be a slight change in our life.”
His parents were gazing at each other and at Adam wondering about what their son is talking about.
Adam (continuing): “We need to move to the Blue County as my treatment is only found there.”
Mother to the doctor: “Why? You said he will be ok.”
Doctor: “Yes ma’am but he has to undergo that treatment.”
Adam’s father did not believe what he was hearing and asked the doctor to tell him about his son’s illness. The doctor, however, stood upset and did not know how to deliver the diagnosis to Adam’s parents.
Adam interfered, thanked the doctor, and asked him if he can leave him in private with his parents.
Adam: “We should go to The Blue County. They have the treatment.”
Mother: “Honey we will get the best doctors and surgeons. Don’t worry honey.”
Adam: “No best doctors or surgeons can treat me. Treatments can slow the disease but can’t cure me.”
Father: “You are talking as if you know what your disease is.”
Adam (with a sigh): “Yes, dad. I have cancer.”
It was only seconds when his mother fainted.
Adam: “Don’t worry. I will be fine. It’s just that we have to go there.”
Father: “We will son. We will!”
After checking out of the hospital, all that was on Adam’s mind was how he will stop visiting the center and its children, and how he will say goodbye to them. He kept thinking of a way to tell them about his decision.
Two days later, Adam went to the center to see the director after leaving a message with the latter’s secretary that he would like to take an urgent appointment.
Director: “Hi Adam, are you ok? Did you ask to see me? ”
Adam: “Yes, sir. Important things happened recently, and I am here to tell you that my family and I are moving.”
Director (surprised): “Why?!”If there is anything we can do, just ask.”
Adam: “I wished I could find what I need here. However, the only place that can help me is the center in the Blue County.”
The director looked at Adam surprised and dazzled.
Adam: “Yes, sir. I have cancer. After all these years helping these children, it turned to be that it is me who will be needing help. Can I ask you for a small favor? Can you please say goodbye to them on my behalf? I can’t face them or tell them.”
Director (giving Adam a hug sorrowfully): “Don’t worry kid. Keep your positive energy always around you dear. I wish you the best of luck.”.
Adam returned to his house to pack his things and prepare for the move which was scheduled after a couple of days.
On the day Adam and his parents were putting their belongings into their car, the center’s bus stopped in front of their house and almost all the children and nurses descended from it.
All of them came to say goodbye to Adam. At that moment, Adam could not hide his tears. This was the first time they saw him crying.
Stay tuned to newgentown to read this story of a true winner further.
Pic Courtesy:Designed by Sergey_kandakov (www.freepik.com).