Ian Thompson, one of my best friend and life lessons on fight and overcoming the worst news ever. Then having it happen all over again. Ian and I met in Atlanta Georgia in 1996 after the Olympics. I was a employee there he was a former Olympian, High jumper, that is why he is given The Bird and The Vision cause he jumped so high he could see things others could not see.
Ian and I both had the love of Basketball. Ian, thou he could jump 7 feet plus on the high jump, oh he was the high jumper for The Bahama's, he was not skilled (yet) as a shooter or playing the game. So Ian and I worked together, he would help me with a work out program to get my body back in playing shape after a serious back injury and I would help him with his jump shot. He already had the basics of playing offense and defense. Well let's just say he became very good very fast! Not just a world athlete but one of the kindest people you will ever meet. He truly loved people and people loved Ian:)
About 1 year later, Ian was diagnosed with Cancer....It was bad it had already spread and he was given very little hope to live. It was, I was crushed. But a Miracle happened and Ian came out and defeated the enemy. Thank God, here was a great man, family man, had a wife and a young daughter, so it was not his time. Ian and I had lunch, as he ate his lean chicken, veggies and drank water. Clean always clean, how did he get cancer??? Why, well to show you can beat it with the right attitude, work and believing you can.
Now shortly after he was playing ball again, not exactly sure how many months it was...but I received a call that Ian was back in the hospital and wanted to see me and Troy. So we went to visit Ian, not sure what we were walking into but what will turn out to be one of the VISION's I will never forget!
Ian was laying on his back on a stainless steal bed. Laying in a pool of blood. OH MY GOD WHAT, tears were in my eyes and he said to us..."You guys have to tell my wife I can't fight this again." Oh no, Ian don't give up. He said I know my time is about over, I can't do this again. YOU have to tell her, cause I can't.
I can't even remember the conversation with his wife, honestly, next thing I remember is Troy and I sitting in the church, still in total shock that this disease took our friend. Our friend, Ian was now gone. I we could hear was his mom and wife shouting the question...WHY GOD WHY and I was in total denial of this.
I have learned from Ian that we must do better on fighting these cancer cells and that is what we are doing! The Bird is more than a bird, He is my Friend and one that I still get to see from time to time and hear from him often and he laughs a lot at me stressing down here on earth about stuff that he is like, "Man you have no idea how the ball is here, and your Cousin John and former Teammate Ryan are my new teammates now and brothers.