Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Inspiration Named Tessa

During the fall of 2007, I ran a weekly basketball skill development program with a group of volunteer coaches for approximately 40 elementary school aged girls.

The girls were a lot of fun and had a great time. The coaches and I did everything possible to make the experience beneficial from a skill development aspect in a fun atmosphere.

They were all great to work with and one of the more memorable players was 12 year old Tessa.

She was a fantastic player but it wasn't her skills on the court that stood out, rather it was her love for the game.

You could tell just by watching her how much she enjoyed playing basketball. But what was even more significant was the positive effects her good nature had on others.

She made it fun for everyone and she seemed to never stop smiling.

In January of 2008, Tessa started to experience severe headaches which later was discovered to be a brain tumour.

This was the starting point of a difficult battle for Tessa. However, she never stopped smiling and maintained her positive spirit throughout the chemotherapy treatments.

She was so much of an inspiration that the staff and students at her school, St. David of Wales held a Toonie for Tessa walk to raise more than $3,000 for their friend.

The doctors gave Tessa a short time to live after two unsuccessful surgeries to remove the tumour were performed.

Tessa's strong spirit bravely fought the cancer for two years battle before she sadly passed away on May 17, 2009 at the age of 14.

Tessa served as an inspiration to many and will be missed by family, friends and coaches.

Thanks for reading!


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