Girl inspires HS football team

Guest Blog by Nathan Padgett

Health/PE teacher, T.C. Roberson HS

Asheville, NC

My former co-worker’s grand daughter, Julia, was diagnosed with a brain tumor, when she was four years old. This touched me because I have a four-year-old daughter, too.

I told my football team of Julia’s diagnosis, saying:

Here is a four-year-old girl who is not expected to live longer than six months.  She was perfectly healthy before this tumor was found.

I explained to them that she and her family would battle this cancer with courage.  They would fight it with everything they had.

I presented this situation to my team because I wanted to give them an example of courage, like the courage they would need to face their next opponent. The other team was much better than us, so we played and lost, 7-0. I was humbled by the team’s performance, though. They played their best game of the year.

At the end of the game, one of my players wanted to address the team. This took me by surprise because he is one of our quietest players. He stood up and said:

Coach, we decided to play this game for Julia.  She is fighting the fight of her life and we are playing in a football game. We should be thankful that we had this opportunity to play this game even though we lost. She will never have the opportunity to compete in a game like this but she is playing the game of life.

Julia lost her battle with cancer last month, but she was the inspiration for a high school football team to demonstrate several of the virtues.

 

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