My brother, Jeffrey, was a compassionate, thoughtful, kind, gentle, charming, warm, wise, athletic, funny and otherwise normal 14-year-old when he was first diagnosed. His days were filled with surfing, skiing, football, girls, telephone calls, laughter and music. Things were as they should be.
Then the T-Cell lymphoma, that seemed to come from nowhere in a few short days, nearly choked him to death. The grapefruit-sized tumor quickly grew under his breastbone, leaving little room for his heart to beat. The doctors gave him days to live - Jeffrey proved them wrong right off the bat. He won that first battle like a champion and went into remission. Then three more battles and three more remissions, never losing heart.
I was in the room the day the doctor told my brave, battered brother, "There's nothing else we can do." Jeffrey looked up, tears slowly welling up in his eyes and said, "Well, thank you for giving me four years I never would have had without you." He's still my hero.
I miss him today and every day.
Eight year-old Jeffrey Block with Florida Gators Scott Hutchinson and Charlie "Horse" Williams, visiting his elementary school class.