On May 4, Elochukwu Eze, a 6-foot-10 center at Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) who is drawing interest from a handful of Division I colleges, was diagnosed with a fist-sized brain tumor and had to undergo emergency surgery. Eze has agreed to give USA Today High Schools Sports exclusive access into his road to recovery by chronicling his thoughts and experiences in a blog.
On August 10th I started my junior year of high school – exactly 100 days after my last day as a sophomore. That 100 days was ridiculous!
I had emergency surgery for a brain tumor, found out I had cancer, met more doctors than I can even remember and had my parents travel to visit from Nigeria.
The highlight of the summer was definitely my parents coming and staying with us for three weeks. We spent a lot of time together and got to do some fun touristy things – like Disney World, Jungle Queen, Ft. Meyer’s beach, Miami Beach, Ft. Lauderdale Strikers game and some other fun things. The best part was just being with my parents and seeing them relieved that I am doing good.
Well, that and my mom’s home cooking – you know I love her egusi (mellon) soup.
On August 8th, I went to see my oncologist following my latest MRI. He said that things are looking good. Then he asked me if I was back to playing basketball yet. I told him “that is up to you” and then he said “you can start playing again. I am clearing you to play – just no dunking yet.”
That is awesome! But a big man not dunking? Come on, doctor!
OK I will be good – I am just glad to be back there with my team. Thinking about my surgery and the recovery process, I can never believe I would be here today writing this blog. Do you believe in living testimonies? I hope so as I am the definition of a living testimony. It is not by my power but by the special grace of God.
This weekend we took my oldest American brother, Geoffrey, to college in Virginia. It was a long drive of almost 1,000 miles each way. It gave me time to think about what I want to look for in a college, what I want to major in and why it is important for me to work so hard in my basketball.
I will be the hardest worker out there because I know what a gift it is to play the game I love. I am excited because some of my travel teammates and good friends (who visited me in the hospital) transferred to my school this summer. I am glad they have my back and I am already working hard to have theirs.
This week I go for my physical and hope to be cleared to begin offseason conditioning. I am on my way back. I also have to focus on maintaining excellent grades because that will definitely take me to college.
One Bible verse that we have focused on as a family this year is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” As I was going through my surgery and recovery this was a central thought for me as God has said that He thinks about us and that His thoughts are for our benefit which are meant to give us a future and hope.
When you have a diagnosis of a brain tumor or cancer you can feel like there is no hope and that your future is in doubt – but then you read the Bible and see those words and it gives you hope and makes you want to work hard to thank God for His promises
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