“Tomorrow who will come… and put their hand over mine?” He wondered. Nurses. Doctors. They all spoke to him of his strength… the parade never ended. Their talk was hollow. He wanted to lash out in angry words but the wrath kept close to his tongue and coiled there. He was too tired. The boy was still. Inside his sickness. He was quiet… like a painted person. He looked up from the bed at the pump. A bag of clear liquid was hanging half empty.Tubes attached to his frail arms infused the fluid as his body fought whatever plagued his bloodstream. “Cancer” they said. They had told him softly… they cradled his small hands. He was overcome. “How would God allow such a thing?” Those were his words. His thoughts. “Why?” He was only fifteen years old and had never harmed anyone or anything. He loved his parents, his friends, Bob Marley and his skateboard. He felt himself starting to cry. He kept still and didn’t move his hand to wipe back the tear. The IV needles had been coming loose and he hated being stuck. “Vampires.” He muttered. There were noises outside of his room and he heard his father’s voice. He hadn’t been the same since this all happened. The boy heard his father speaking with the staff. “I’d like to discuss the results with him…” He then came into the room. Careful hugs. His father’s eyes moved up and down him. They took in everything. As if they’d see something that might indicate health and happiness. A doctor came in and spoke to his father. The boy looked out of the window. The sun seemed lost. He saw it there… but it wasn’t the old sky. The old sky was filled with light. Warm days that never seemed to end. Fun. There was little room for cancer in such a place. His father’s voice – “We’ll take him home then…” He looked up at his father’s face. Fallen. This was taking away his anchor…
Weeks later. Pounds lighter. Weakness. He ate Doritos in front of the TV. His friends would be over soon. They were going to the Clash At Clairemont. The Grind For Life guys held it every year in San Diego. He had heard about it through the local skatepark. He Google searched Grind For LIfe and read about the organization. The main guy was named Mike Rogers. There was a really cool photograph of him riding a big bowl. He had endured a pretty gnarly battle with cancer behind his eye. He survived it and though he has only one eye, he still continued to skateboard. The boy perked up a bit. He hadn’t been able to skate at all. He missed it. Reading further, he saw that Mike Rogers formed Grind For Life in 2003 and they help people to battle cancer. The website’s words – “We educate and inspire…” The boy saw that the Clash At Clairmont was coming up and his friends had rallied to take him.
A few hours later, he was being helped out of the van and he made his way into the Clairemont YMCA Skate Park. There were tents and booths set up. It had a festival feel to it. His friends kept close to him. They knew he was terribly weak and his parents words still hung above them… “Stay close to him and keep him safe.” He grabbed his friends hand and grew excited. “There’s Tony Hawk. He’s right there with Andy Macdonald!”
The friends were walking by the huge vertical half pipe and Tony looked at them and nodded. Andy said “Hey guys… what’s up?” They told the two skateboarding legends about their friend and his cancer diagnosis. The two skaters spoke with them for awhile. Mike Rogers was quickly found and introduced to them. The boy felt weak but elated. He knew in his heart that he couldn’t skate. He was far too thin. It hurt just to walk around in his house. But seeing Tony, Andy and Mike was a really cool experience. They came and got him once the half pipe demonstration started and walked him gently up the wooden stairs. He found himself sitting on the platform with a front row seat. It was unbelievable! Mike Rogers and the entire Grind For Life crew took his contact information and planned to meet up with him and his parents in the upcoming weeks. The boy felt the first hope he had experienced in a very long time.
Grind For Life does fantastic things. Sometimes life breaks and that is perfectly fine. It gives us things to do. Cancer is a horrible thing to have happen to you and your family. There are people that can help. Mike Rogers and the Grind For Life crew are those type of people. They raise money to help others… they fix things when life breaks. Please visit the website and help make a difference. Thank you to MRZ for the images. Skate- Ozzie
Click the link – Grind For Life