The Blog of Jake Kelfer
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Just a little more than 4 years ago, one of my best friends David Stroud passed away after a long fought battle with cancer. David was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in his junior year of high school. During the 4 years after he was diagnosed, David overcame obstacles and surgeries that few people thought were possible. Unfortunately, David passed away, but it wasn’t before he defeated cancer and became an inspiration to everyone. David’s legacy lives on and his strong spirit and positive attitude lights the hearts of everyone who knows and hears his story
One of my greatest memories with David was when I had the chance to visit him a few weeks before he passed. I came with several friends in our Stroud jerseys and we spent the entire day with David. (The Stroud jerseys were made for our basketball team and supporters to wear in honor of Dave’s strength and perseverance as he went through his fight.) David asked us how long we could stay and we told him that we were his for the day. Little did we know that Dave had a surprise for all of us. A couple minutes later, Los Angeles Clippers Power Forward, Blake Griffin came into Dave’s room and spent the next few hours with us getting to know Dave and giving him some superhero advice. I’ll never forget that day with David not because Blake Griffin was extremely inspired and moved by Dave’s strong will and loving spirit, but because Dave was so happy to be able to share that unforgettable experience with us.
The purpose of this article is not to dwell on the past but to focus on the future. Just like David always had a glow and fun spirit, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles always had a way to keep him happy and light hearted. For those of you that don’t know, Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution that provides pediatric health care to more than 107,000 children each year in a setting designed just for their needs. Because CHLA was so great to David and David was a great friend, I support CHLA and want to make them one of my organizations to keep in mind.
I hope that as you reach success you will find causes and organizations to give back to and be apart of. Success is about much more than achieving your dreams. It’s about helping others achieve theirs as well!
As I conclude this article I want to leave you with an inspiring quote from David, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have!”
If you want to see more of the affect Dave had on the world, check out these videos:
An ABC Channel 7 feature: Stroud Strong #25
A tribute from his sister: StroudStrong 2.0
There is no "I" in team: A Coach's Passion for Stroud's Health Inspires His Team
To get involved with or to learn more about Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, visit their site at http://www.chla.org.
I am a motivational speaker on a mission to inspire people to achieve their own definition of success and reach the highest level of personal success and happiness.