Senior Brooke Wade is a standout on the volleyball court and the softball diamond for the Greer High Yellow Jackets.
“My passion for sports came from my father,” Wade said. “He played sports in high school and has continued to play competitive softball for years. He got me into coaches pitch softball when I was 6. He would go to my games, and I would go to his softball games.
“He always gives it his all. After games, we would talk to each other and we came up with this saying, ‘Don’t have what-ifs.’ It just means giving everything in all that you do.”
On Oct. 14, 2014, Greer’s volleyball team hosted Southside on the Jackets’ senior night.
“My mom told me that she was taking my dad to the doctor before the match started,” Wade said. “We won the match. I grew up playing softball and volleyball with all the girls on the team. So after the game, we were going to take pictures and celebrate with the seniors.
“One of my friends’ father, who is like my second father, Brent Bates, told me, ‘Get your stuff. We have to go now.’ (He) didn’t tell me where we were going, but I knew it was something bad.”
He took Wade to Greenville Memorial Hospital.
“They found a cancerous tumor on my father’s brain,” Wade said. “They treated it as a Stage Three tumor. They were very aggressive with their treatment.”
Through Andy Wade’s treatment, Brooke saw how big of an impact medical professionals can have on their patients.
“His doctors, oncologists and nurses have been great,” said Wade. “They have a great bond with my dad. They are fighting with him. That has really helped.”
Wade said the experience has had a profound impact on her.
“The reason why I want to pursue a medical career is to help people like the doctors and the nurses have helped my father,” she said.
This past summer, Wade took part in a program that allows students to explore career opportunities in the medical field.
“The program was great,” she said. “I decided that I want to be a trauma surgeon, and I still want to explore oncology.”
Wade, whose father just completed radiation, said she has tried apply the motto “Don’t worry about the what-ifs” in all parts of her life.
“I’m ranked fourth in my class,” she said. “I want to do my best because that’s what my dad taught me.
“My dad is still taking pills for chemo. Right now, the tumor has continued to shrink. It just shows you that if you give it your all, you can overcome difficult circumstances.”