Last night was the annual Jimmy V Classic. It is a couple of basketball games hosted at the MSG. However, that is not the real story. The real story is what the Jimmy V Classic is for. It is for The Jimmy V foundation: a foundation that promotes cancer research.
I digress to why I am writing this blog today. In between the two games played throughout the course of the Jimmy V Classic, ESPN airs the ESPY speech of Jimmy Valvano from 1993. If anyone ever watches this 13-minute speech, in full, they will be emotional touched by it. I know that I make it a point to be home every year to watch it, and every year it chokes me up a little bit. It is just him talking to the crowd about life in the face of his impending death.
I remember the first time I saw this speech as a kid. My dad sat me down when it was happening live and said, “Listen to this man; he is about to die from cancer.” As a kid I did not realize what was really going on. But, I understood about 6 years later when my father was diagnosed with the same cancer that took Jimmy Valvano’s life. So, every year I watch and I listen to a man who is trying to be so strong in the face of his own death and all he wants to do is make people’s lives better. And every year I get sad, shed a few tears, and a couple of days later I donate to the Jimmy V fund (after the website stops getting overwhelmed). So Jimmy, wherever you are, I hope you know that we are still fighting the good fight, in your honor, for everyone who has suffered and will suffer this illness after you. Jimmy, we “will never give up” trying to find a cure for a illness that took you away from so many people so soon.
If you would like to donate to the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research please go to www.JimmyV.org.