The Football Game of Life

Ivan - Goldsboro, North Carolina
Entered on September 26, 2008

There was only 2:27 left for the Carolina Panthers. Down by 5 points against the San Diego Chargers, victory seemed impossible to capture. In football however no lead, no matter how large, is certain. The Panthers drove down the field and got to the 14 yard line. With only two seconds left, quarterback Jake Delhomme threw a pass to his tightend in the endzone to win it. All of this done in as little as two minutes.

Life is like a football game because everything can change in a matter of minutes. It seemed like that for me when I was just 11 years old. It was late June, 2003, and I was just a young fun loving kid who thought nothing of the precious life I had. That is until I was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

Kawasaki’s disease is not a contagious disease. It is still a potentially debilitating disease that can affect the heart of the patient and cause irreparable damage to the heart. This kind of damage can lead to organ failure and even death in the future.

When I was in Wayne Memorial Hospital, my family and I prayed that somebody could find out how to treat this relatively unknown disease. Finally a specialist in Greenville, N.C., who knew the disease well, told my family to take me there as soon as possible. As we waited in the Pitt Memorial Hospital, my family and I prayed again. We prayed that the medicine would work; we prayed that I could go out and play in the sunshine once more without the worry of my heart failing me. We prayed for hours as I sat in the hospital. Finally my doctor told me that the treatment had worked, and that with luck, my heart would escape without harm.

My heart would escape the irrevocable harm, and with this I was able to gain a new understanding of my faith and see it in ways I never would have imagined. This experience, as painful and as horrifying as it was, helped me understand that prayer and faith can be a powerful thing. In times of crisis and extreme need, faith can be a powerful thing. Without it, I’m not sure if my family or I would have had the strength to keep going.

With this, I was able to escape this inevitable defeat. While I gained a better respect for the power of my faith, I also saw how fast one’s life can change. I saw my own 2:27 minutes of gametime ticking down before my eyes, staring me in the face. Much like Jake Delhomme and the Carolina Panthers, I was able to snatch an unlikely victory from the jaws of a seemingly inevitable defeat.