It has been exactly one month to the day Stuart Scott lost his battle with cancer (January 4th, 2015). Stuart Scott was born in Chicago, IL on July 19th, 1965 (Yay Illinois!). At the age of seven, he and his entire family moved to North Carolina, and years later, as many of us know, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
If you would like the detailed, by the book, statistics of Stuart Scott, you can Google or Wikipedia his name for all of this information. Stuart Scott is not my Wisdom Wednesday person of February for all of his credentials, but because of how much fun he was to watch on ESPN, and even more so, for how gracefully he fought cancer for many years. Many of us unfortunately have direct experience with the evil beast known as, cancer. Some of you may even know it more personally than others. Knowing how terrible this disease is, there is something so special and inspiring about someone who fights it and doesn’t let it define them mentally. I say mentally, because as much as we all wish we could do something to stop it, cancer and the treatments to fight cancer, noticeably alter our physical appearance. But Stuart Scott did his best to fight mentally as well as physically. While going through chemotherapy, all three times he encountered cancer (2007,2011,2013), he stayed in physical shape as much as he could by participating in martial arts and even the P90X series.
If you have ever watched ESPN, or television for that matter, you have seen or heard Stuart Scott. He influenced people before they had even gotten the chance to realize what was taking place. He changed the way many of us not just heard and talked about sports, but understood sports. I mean, he was only “as cool as the other side of the pillow,” and there had to be something pretty epic happening when you heard the sudden and loud “Boo-Yah!” coming from your screen. Out of all of the funny and great sports commentating, interviewing, and reviewing, the one speech of his that stands out to me was the speech he gave after receiving the Jimmy V Award last year at the 2014 ESPYS. During the introduction piece explaining his journey with cancer. Stuart said; “Fighting is winning, not quitting, not saying ‘oh I have cancer, I can’t do anything, I’m just gonna lay down and cry a pity party for myself.’ That to me is the only way you lose.” This was the first quote of the segment that made me realize how much respect I had for this man going through this terrible battle. Then there was the amazing quote that came during his speech most of us will never forget in our lifetime. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” This is the moment that will always pop up in my head when I think about Stuart Scott. The moment he showed all of us how he wasn’t allowing cancer to win. The moment he reminded all of us how amazing he was at using words to describe life so we could understand every single thing he said on the stage. If you have not had the pleasure of hearing this amazing speech, please take a listen by clicking here.
Stuart Scott was 49 years young when he passed away. I hope and pray when I am 49 years old someone will be able to say I inspired them in a way that Stuart Scott inspired so many people. The amount of people who felt sadness and pain when he left this Earth is a testament to how beautiful and genuine he was as a person.
I pray he is resting easy, and is able to look down and see how much good he did in this world.
R.I.P. Stuart Scott