David Cotham started visiting our church in Houston, the West University Church of Christ, because his son, Jeremy was at MD Anderson being treated for cancer. David was a preacher, a great guy, and was there every time he could be there. His wife, Sharon, stayed with Jeremy pretty much all the time. I witnessed the cancer attack Jeremy’s body. He started off looking like someone who was just in for treatment, but we all know what chemo does. It takes your hair, it weakens your body, it leaves you scarred.
He wore a mask when he was able to get out. He’d sit on the back row. You could tell he wanted to reach out and talk to people, but he just wasn’t allowed to do so. Eventually, when I left West U, I found that he had his legs amputated, and the cancer just couldn’t be beaten. Yesterday, after a long and hard fought battle, he went home to be with God.
I haven’t seen David or Sharon or Jeremy in months. But I kept up with him. Each week I’d get several updates from David or Sharon about his condition. Thousands of people were praying for Jeremy. I praise God for Jeremy and his influence on so many. As I read through comments on his Facebook wall last night and this morning, you could tell he had a tremendous impact on many. The last email that came through today said this:
Many of you have probably heard by now, but it is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our sweet, beloved son Jeremy passed away this afternoon.Recently as ESPN commentator, Stewart Scott, also passed away due to cancer; but before his death, last July, at the ESPY awards show, he received an award named after Jim Valvano, a former NC state coach who died of cancer in 1993 at age 47. In accepting the award, Scott is quoted as saying, “When you die from cancer, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by HOW you live, WHY you live, and in the MANNER in which you live. So, live! Fight like heck (but he used another word); and when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest, and let someone else fight for you!” So now someone else is fighting for Jeremy, and now then Jeremy really did NOT lose then his battle to cancer this afternoon; but he beat cancer by “how” that he lived his life in the last 6 years since he was diagnosed with leukemia. He was an inspiration to all of us in “how” that he battled cancer! He was strong until the end! Never complained about his lot that life had dealt to him! He was the best son that any parents could have ever asked for, but he was taken from us way too young!Your immediate family will miss you (mom, dad, and Amber) (Bear too!)
And your large, huge extended family (relatives, friends, church members, doctors, nurses, medical staff, etc.) will also greatly miss you too!
Cancer stinks. I hate it.
When I first moved to Houston with my family to work with the church there, just a few days after we arrived I found out that my sister, in her mid thirties, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the treatment, and the surgeries, and now, she is cancer free.
When my wife and I moved to Nashville, after about 10 months, we found out that Nathan, the boy of the family my wife helped so much as their nanny, was diagnosed with cancer. A hard fought battle, and several years, later, he’s cancer free. His parents informed us that if he had been diagnosed with the cancer he had just a year or so earlier, he would not have made it. That’s how far some cancer fighting technologies have come. Praise God.
A teenager at the church my parents attend, Whit, had some discouraging news today. He was diagnosed with cancer a few months back. His family wrote today – “For those who don’t already know, we got bad news yesterday. The cancer has spread to his brain and spine. He will start chemo today and will be on the original schedule but higher doses plus a chemo pill. The doc says he stands a good chance of the chemo getting it all but won’t know until the next MRI in 6 weeks. Thank you all for your love and support.”
Cancer stinks. I hate it.
My closest and dearest friend that I grew up with, Jason, lost both of his parents to cancer.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that all of us know someone who has gone through this. Some defeat it. Some do not. I don’t understand why.
Today, i’ve shed a few tears thinking about Jeremy. His parents loved him so much. They spent so much time away from home, traveling back and forth to Houston, but I consider them heroes. Kerry and Melinda Lackey, are heroes. Jason and his sister Tara, heroes. Tammy and Neal Robertson, heroes. All of you who fight the fight alongside those who have the disease are heroes for helping them, being there for them, loving them, being selfless.
If you know someone struggling with cancer today – send them a text, write them a note, give them a call, go and give them a visit, and let them know you’re there for them. May God strike down this horrible disease.