CLEARWATER, Fla. — Calvary Christian Warriors football kicked off their second game of the season with the help of some young cancer survivors and their families.
Leading the way as a shining example and pure definition of hope was Cole Eicher. Cole is a Calvary Christian alum and a fellow cancer survivor.
For so long cancer had control over Cole’s life. Now that he’s cancer-free, he is taking that control back.
He’s done that by hosting Gold Together, an annual fundraising and awareness initiative targeting childhood cancer.
While his alma mater kicked off the action on the football field, Cole went to work to provide a positive experience for a group of kids who have endured way more than they should have at such a young age.
“That’s what really fills my heart up is them smiling, them having a good time,” Cole said.
Cole knows the challenges these kids have faced because he lived it. Cole was only 12 years old when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Countless hospital stays and draining chemotherapy and radiation treatments tested his will. He learned the value of taking things one day at a time.
“I really appreciate that day because people don’t know and I don’t know when our last day will be, so live your life to the fullest,” Cole said.
Much like a football game that provides highlights with heavy doses of life lessons, cancer gave Cole perspective. And it gave him a platform. He sees his cancer diagnosis as a gift because it helps him lead others going through similar journeys. His personal cancer fight is over. Now he fights for others.
“One in five do not survive their fight and that is unacceptable,” Cole said. “Thankfully I was that four out of five, but that one out of five still exists and we are trying to change that.”