By bryson_shaw 0 Comments
I started participating in Extra Life last year. This year though Extra life hits a little closer to home.
Let me explain. I live in a very small Texas town, roughly 12,000 or so. This is the typical small town though. When adversity strikes, we band together. Let me give you an example. Our high-school boys’ basketball coach has a young girl named Tatum. Tatum is ten years old and has one of the sweetest smiles you will ever see. She loves hanging out with her friends and playing basketball. But this past summer Tatum spent almost every day in the public library with a private tutor. Why? Because she was trying to catch up so she could join her friends in the third grade. She was doing this, not because she couldn’t understand the material, but because she missed a huge portion of 2nd grade in the hospital. Osteosarcoma. It’s a big word, especially for a ten-year-old. It’s a cancerous tumor in the bone. For the past two years, this young girl has been explaining to others what osteosarcoma is. And midway through Tatum lost the lower part of her left leg. 9 years old. But, she never seemed to lose her smile. Throughout the town you will see people wearing purple bracelets that say TatumTough. Last year when the high-school girls’ basketball team won the state title they did it for Tatum. All over the Texas Panhandle, rival schools, or towns 150 miles away you will see TatumTough t-shirts. All because this little girl inspired the area.
During, the summer the Doctors believed the cancer and tumor had been contained. There was hope that the bad dream was finally over. She had a party when she finished the time with the tutor. She could go on to the third grade.
But she didn’t get to. Because Osteosarcoma came back. Because cancer sucks. Because sometime we just don’t have answers for life.
On October 30, 2017 Tatum finished her fight. She had given everything she could. She won. She was walking again.
Five days before 2017 Extra Life Tatum passed away.
This is just one story of an incredible young girl who inspired an entire town. There are many more stories like hers. Too many.
Way too many.
But organizations like Extra Life and the Children’s Miracle Network are trying to stop that.
Thank you to all those that stream for Extra Life.
Thank you to all those that give.
Thank you to Giant Bomb for devoting an entire weekend for it.
Alex for Drumming your arms and legs off.
Dan for incredible magic.
Jason and his family. Family is what it is all about.
Kessler and the murder crew.
Dave Lang and the push up squad.
And Drew. We miss you!
This Is Why I Extra Life.