I have interviewed politicians, star athletes, and shared a laugh with Ellen DeGeneres, but when I think about the people and experiences that have touched my heart, and inspired me to be better, I think of Ian Supra.
It was February 2014, and I was covering a high school water polo meet that was benefiting Ian's treatments.
The 18-year-old teammate was battling stage IV esophageal cancer.
I remember the look in Ian's eyes when he told me the spots had spread to his liver.
It was one of genuine humility.
He had accepted his cross and was prepared to carry it to the end.
That's what he did.
Ian passed away early this morning at the age of 20.
He fought the good fight, and helped others along the way- raising money and support for a boy with an incurable brain tumor, and a teenager with leukemia.
We will all encounter unavoidable sorrows in life, but when we learn to have patience through them, we become “Supra Strong.”
Thank you Ian, for what you taught me.
I will never forget you.
“You never know what's gonna happen, you might get a curve ball but don't let it slow you down...overcome it, just work through it, it's just going to make you stronger in the end.” ~Ian Supra
(Photo: Red Huber/ Orlando Sentinel)