A man with a lifetime of pain is thankful for his strength.
Steven has been running track since he was 5 years old. He was fast and it was soon clear that his talent would take him a long way. Once he was in high school, he played AAU basketball while continuing to follow his passion and run track. He always kept his focus on his grades. Steven knew that the most important thing in his life was his education.
Steven was an all-around athlete but he was phenomenal on the track. He caught the eye of many college coaches. Coach Redwine from the University of Tulsa offered Steven a scholarship to join his team in 1997. Steven’s dream had come true! He would get to continue his passion for running into college.
While in his junior year in college, Steven and some friends were driving to Tyler, Texas. In the blink of an eye a speeding car came out of nowhere and hit the vehicle Steven was a passenger in, head on. It was a terrible collision. When Steven woke up in the hospital the doctors informed him that he had broken both of his legs. At that moment his dreams were shattered, Steven knew he would never run another day of track. The news was a lot for anyone to digest, especially at 21 years old.
While most people would’ve packed up and returned home from college, Steven did not let the fact that he could no longer run track slow him down. He returned to college and felt blessed that he had excelled so well academically that the University allowed him to finish school on his scholarship. He graduated from the University of Tulsa and went on to get a job at Guardian Central Security Systems as their Operations Manager.
Fast forward 15 years… Steven travels all over the United States as a litigation manager for a mortgage company. Recently on one of his business trips he became very ill. He was admitted to the hospital with Pneumonia. During his three month stay at the hospital, Steven was told he had H-Pylori virus which had progressed to early stage stomach cancer.
Chemotherapy was successful and Steven is recovering well at a rehabilitation facility in Houston. When we spoke on the phone last week he amazed me because he has been through so much life changing adversity, yet he stays so positive about each situation that he has shared with me.
Steven told me that after months in the hospital, fighting cancer, fighting to stay alive, sitting in his rehab facility, he asked himself “Why me?… then he quickly thought to himself, Why not me? I am the best man for the job! I would not wish this sickness on anyone. I know that I am strong enough to fight.”
This is Steven’s favorite go to quote.. “It is not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Lena Horne
What an amazing attitude to have about any adverse situation.
I am a case manager at Eberstein & Witherite, LLP and I help people that have been injured in car accidents. While I did not handle Steven’s case from many years ago, I met Steven while handling a subsequent automobile accident that does not have anything to do with the events in the story above. Listening to Steven’s story inspires me.
About the Author: Yvonne Applebe is a case manager at Eberstein & Witherite, LLP. She is a native Texan. During her free time she enjoys photography and watching her daughter play softball.