Imagine being on vacation with your special someone. You two are on vacation just looking to enjoy each other’s company. To make it even more romantic, it is a Valentine’s Day trip. Your sweetheart had complained about headaches leading up to the trip but you both think that it is just the stress of the recent busy days — the vacation will do us some good and we will be able to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, the headache that your sweetheart had a couple of days ago has not gone away but has actually gotten worse. It is to the point that you go to the doctor during the time that is suppose to be stress-free.
Tumor?…In her brain?!…What does that even mean?!!…How does this even happen?!?!
Changing gears from a romantic get-away to having to wrestle with a scary life changing situation is not something that anyone can really prepare for but this was the true story for the parents of my dear friend Kristen. She received a call from her father, Steve, explaining what he and her mother, Patricia, were experiencing. After a number of examinations and observations, it was determined that Patricia had a malignant tumor.
Patricia and her family fought the cancerous mass as aggressively as they could. The cancer and the treatment took a toll on her. Patricia’s family and friends threw all of their love and support toward her but her battle ended on May 6, 2013 when she passed away three weeks before her 65th birthday.
In her memory, Kristen has dedicated her efforts to advocating on behave of all brain cancer warriors and those who battle cancer in general. She educates about brain cancer via her twitter account and participates in
numerous charity runs to highlight the fights that current warriors are going through; most of them are children. Kristen has even started up a pretty cool Facebook page where people can run a 5k then donate their race event shirts or bib numbers with a note to a kid with brain cancer…How awesome is that?!
I am not as smart or clever as my buddy Kristen but I have been an advocate and volunteer of my local American Cancer Society since 2008. Kristen has supported me through my lowest lows and has been one of my greatest cheerleaders during my high moments…and even helped me during one of my Relay For Life events. I felt that I had to do something and wanted to do something a little different so, I decided to dedicate my play as a football player to the memory of Patricia Gauly. I made a head sleeve that was to be worn under my helmet during every game that I played in 2013 with both the Indianapolis Matrix and the Indiana Mustangs. One side has ‘for Pat Gauly’ and the other has a verse from the Bible coming from Deuteronomy 31:23. I dedicated every play to Patricia and every other person who is gone and can no longer do what they love.
This football season has been a wild ride. My time with the Matrix was fun and was a team leader in tackles and fumble recoveries. I am still in season with the Mustangs with a chance to win the league championship and I was selected to play in the MSFL All-Star Game. For me, all of this came as a result of the inspiration of making the most of every moment on the football field — and in life — because you never know when that moment will be your last opportunity.
I did not know Patricia Gauly but I have had the chance to speak with her husband and her son David; her daughter is one of my best friends…I know that they are all wonderful people just because they had Pat in their lives. I can not even imagine life without my mother and I know that she brightens the lives of so many people just like Pat Gauly did. The bond that they all still share and the love that keeps the Gaulys sustained is what continues to inspire me. The all-star game will be dedicated to all of them…each Gauly will get a quarter.