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.
My name is Elochukwu Eze (pronounced “Easy”). I am from Enugu, Nigeria, and I now live in Coral Springs, Fla. I came to Florida 2 1/2 years ago and am now a junior at Calvary Christian Academy in Fort Lauderdale. My friends and teachers call me “BEE” (because of my initials) and my basketball teammates call me “Big E.”
I am 6-10 and I play for my school and also for the Florida Vipers 16U team on the Under Armour circuit.
I love basketball, music and art. When I go to college I would like to study communications. I work hard as a student and on the court. I am a Christian and my faith in God is very important to me.
On May 4, 2016, I got sick and my family took me to the hospital.
I wasn’t doing well, but I didn’t expect what was happening. Life changes in an instant and for me – this was that instant. That night I was diagnosed with a fist-sized brain tumor and the next morning I had emergency brain surgery.
My tumor is malignant (a slow-growing Grade 2 Glioma) and now I am working on getting better, dealing with everything that comes with that diagnosis and also focusing on being ready for school in the fall, staying strong in my faith and getting healthy to rejoin my teammates and coaches.
This is my journey!
It has been a month since my surgery. I was in the hospital for a week. I had a lot of doctors while I was in the hospital. Physically, I feel like I am doing well. I can do all regular things – I cook my breakfast, talk on the phone with friends, play Xbox and read – things that I did before my surgery.
But, things are different now.
Instead of a busy schedule like going to school and practice, I go to doctor visits and physical therapy. I have never been this close to passing away, but I realized that God is setting me up for a greater life.
On May 20, I wanted to show some love to my school (CCA) for being there when I needed them the most. I was so excited to visit my family. During chapel, I was asked to talk to the whole student body. I grabbed the microphone and I looked on their faces and all I can see is happiness and joy of having me there.
I was expected to talk for 10 minutes, but I left the student body to ponder and understand this, “Life is very short. Live right or you will regret it. Nothing can help you when you are down except prayers.”
I go to the oncologist’s office and we are meeting with them to determine what the best approach is to treating my cancer cells. Most of my oncologists are leaning to taking a slow approach and monitoring the tumor area with an MRI every 3 months. One of my oncologists would like to treat me with proton therapy through the University of Florida. I have an appointment to meet with them on June 27 – in the morning we will meet at the University in Gainesville with doctors to learn of their research. We will then travel from Gainesville to Jacksonville (1.5 hour drive) to then meet with their pediatric oncologists at their hospital in Jacksonville where they do the therapy.
Right now we are just gaining information and are looking at this as God directs us in Proverbs 11:14 that there is wisdom in a multitude of council. The best part of this trip is that my parents will be visiting me and it will be a great bonding time between my parents and my guardians.
Thank you for reading my first blog and understanding the journey ahead is destined by God. I believe that God didn’t bring me this far, only to bring me this far.
I will keep you guys posted on my blog and really appreciate your prayers!
Don’t forget to follow Elochukwu Eze on Twitter: @Eze_BigE23