Much has been written about Shon Coleman already. There are articles all over the internet about what he has suffered through and what his sweetheart of a mom has gone through.
I don’t believe one more blog, or article, or whatever you want to call this is going to hurt. I want anyone that happens to click on this blog to read about Shon Coleman and the kind of man he is.
Shon Coleman is a big man at 6 foot 6 inches and 310 pounds. But, cancer doesn’t care how big you are.
Shon Coleman is a football player which is obvious because this is a football blog. But, he isn’t just a football player, he’s a really good football player. In fact, he’s an outstanding football player. But, cancer doesn’t care how good you are at football.
By all accounts, Shon Coleman is a good guy. He comes from a good family.
But, cancer doesn’t care how good you are as a person.
This one hits pretty close to home for me.
In 2001, I got a call from my brother. He said I needed to get down here so we can talk and he told me where to go. Alarming thing, of course, is I was supposed to meet the family at a hospital. 3 1/2 hours of driving and my mind wonders all over the place.
When I get to my destination, the entire family is standing around my dad who is in a hospital bed. Everyone is looking terribly grim.
The news is worse than I even dreamed it would be and I have a pretty wild imagination. My father has a brain tumor and it was really advanced. There is little hope. Surgery is an option, but the chances of removing the tumor are slim and the prospects of him waking up unable to function are mighty high.
My dad chooses to do nothing. Hard to judge somebody in that circumstance, but just laying in a bed was not my choice. I pleaded with him to fight and try to live. I begged him to pray with all of his might as I prayed with all of my might.
I owned my own business and I was able to take off to care for him. So, that’s what I did.
I am 6’5″ and around 260 depending on how much I eat on any particular day so I am strong enough to lift him and do everything he needed done. I did the things he did for me when I was a baby and I cleaned him up. I fed him and I did everything that he needed to have done.
During all of this, an extremely unusual thing happened in the United States of America. A group of terrorists hijacked some commercial airlines and ran them into the World Trade Centers in New York City. One of the worst events any of us have ever witnessed.
I will never forget that day for so many reasons. No, I was not in New York and I lost nobody in the buildings as many people did, but I sat there in my parent’s living room and watched the entire episode on my folks’ television.
I told my father what was going on and he lifted his head up and looked at the television for a brief moment and laid his head back down and never mentioned it. He had basically checked out already.
Within a few days, he was gone. In about a month after finding out he had cancer he was gone. I resented him at the time for not fighting back.
Time goes on, and they say time heals.
But, then, 2005 comes marching along, and the same brother that called me before called me once again. This time he tells me that he is the one that has cancer. I knew nothing about Pancreatic Cancer at the time and I thought he could beat it. Now that I am older and more experienced, I am not sure I have ever heard of anyone getting Pancreatic Cancer and living through it.
He gave it a valiant effort, but in the end he lost and he passed away in 2007.
I will never be able to explain it, but it’s now 2014 and I still cry when I think about my brother. I think about my brother pretty much every day and I am crying as I type this out.
Cancer never cared about attacking Shon Coleman. It never cared about my dad or my brother, either. It just came and it tried to take his life as it took my dad’s and my brother’s and so many hundreds of thousands of other people. Cancer is an evil, dastardly thing and anyone in their right mind would hate it.
I have read all about Shon Coleman. I have never met the man, although some day I hope to.
I read how his mother cried every day and I totally get that. I read how Shon fought and had a great attitude and I totally get that, as well. I admire Shon so very much for fighting through this and getting back on the playing field. My football heroes have always been the guy that is too small but still plays well, or he’s too slow, or he’s just not as physically gifted as other players or whatever the case may be. I admire the guy that plays with heart and leaves everything he has out on the field when he is done.
But, I have to tell you that Shon Coleman is none of those things. He is a highly gifted athlete and if not for the cancer he would have been a star already. But, he is a survivor and he’s tough and that’s why he’s one of my new heroes.
In 2014, when Auburn takes the field for the first time and when I get to see them for the first time the first person I am going to look for is Shon Coleman.
Shon Coleman fought and he fought hard and he survived and I don’t believe anything will keep him from fighting hard enough to win the Left Tackle position at Auburn in 2014. Not only will he win the tackle position, but he will play well and that is why he will be my first ever collegefootballcrazy.com player of the year for 2014