Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up. (Motto of the V Foundation for Cancer Research)
Until a much-loved friend directed me to this video, I didn’t know much about Jimmy V (Jim Valvano). He was an award-winning American college basketball coach and sports commentator. In June 1992, at the age of forty-six, he was diagnosed with bone cancer. Metastasis was diagnosed the following month.
Exactly twenty years and six days ago, Jimmy V was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award at the first ESPY awards. On that occasion he announced the formation of the the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
There are some great moments in this inspirational speech, but one of my favorites comes toward the end, proving yet again that cancer doesn’t kill our sense of humor; it sharpens our awareness of life. A “thirty-second warning” came up on the teleprompter, and Jimmy V said,
“They got that screen up there flashing 30 seconds, like I care about that screen. I got tumors all over my body and I’m worried about some guy in the back going 30 seconds?”
Jimmy V died eight weeks later. His grave marker is inscribed:
“Take time every day to laugh, to think, to cry.”
Here is the speech.