Every year at the ESPY Awards, hosted by ESPN, there is an award given out in honor of former North Carolina State coach and ESPN analyst James “Jimmy V” Valvano. Every year the famous words are echoed on the stage at Los Angeles’s Nokia Theater, “don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” This year, Stuart Scott received the award, noting in his video that he hadn’t lost his battle to cancer, because he had been fighting for seven years, and his strength gave the world hope.
In turn, it should be noted that the fight to a disease such as cancer is only able to be lost, if the battle is never fought in the first place, that a person can only lose the fight to a disease if they do not get treated. If any attempt to beat the disease is made, if something is done to help others through the patient’s struggle, than the fight can never be considered lost.
Scott is an example of someone who has already one the battle against cancer. Through the power of his public image, ESPN’s widespread influence, and new social media networks, Scott has been able to reach others affected by the illness to offer support and words of encouragement.
There are many like Scott, in fact, all patients who have, or are currently, fighting a disease, whether it is cancer, ALS, addiction, depression, or any other illness. But contrary to popular opinion, those battling disease are in fact, only fighting the disease for their life, they have already won the battle against the disease. For example, a grandfather with lung cancer who is diagnosed with lung cancer, who gets his granddaughter to quit smoking cigarettes is someone who has already won the battle against cancer. Because he will have potentially saved someone from the experiencing the same struggle and hardships that he has been forced to endure.
Like Jimmy V, Stuart Scott has been someone that has helped raise awareness of what it means to live with the disease. During his emotional and very personal acceptance speech he told the world just how much their support meant to him, and in turn the reaction of the public on various social media outlets let Scott know just how much his strength has meant to the people who see him as a role model. It is well known that medical research has made great advancements since the death of Jim Valvano, but there is still work to be done, cures to be found. Hopefully, with the help of people who have beaten cancer such as Stuart Scott, these diseases will one day be forgotten, but for now, the world must fight against these diseases and continue to strive to help nurse people such as Scott back to health.