Hu­mil­ity lessons from Josh

BRAV­ERY NOT EX­CLU­SIVE TO ADULTS

Wanneroo Weekender - - Sport - With Greg Hire

WALK­ING around the shop­ping cen­tres or around the city, we usu­ally get recog­nised for be­ing a Perth Wild­cats player.

But for me, I re­mem­ber a kid I first met some years ago.

Josh (not his real name) is an 11-year old boy I met at a friend’s birth­day party.

We ac­tu­ally met for the first time three years ago, but it took me a mo­ment to recog­nise him this time.

That first time, his hair was shorter, the re­sult of a se­ries of chemo­ther­apy treat­ments.

Back in 2013, I was in­vited to a kid’s birth­day party.

When I got there, it was no sur­prise. Just like ev­ery kid’s party there was plenty of hap­pi­ness.

I had no trou­ble min­gling with the kids, it was right down my al­ley and I ended up grow­ing fond of Josh.

We started out talk­ing Wild­cats his­tory; he showed his knowl­edge by reel­ing off some stats, telling me my shoot­ing could im­prove and that his favourite player was Damian Martin.

Josh was the cen­tre of at­ten­tion. It was his birth­day party and he was suf­fer­ing from can­cer. This was his day.

I was in­vited to visit Josh at PMH to lift his spirits and I was ner­vous. I hadn’t seen him for a while.

As I ar­rived, there were a few doc­tors and nurses and some fam­ily mem­bers – ev­ery­one was talk­ing among them­selves.

The con­ver­sa­tions turned to his health and Josh over­heard some­one ask­ing how he was do­ing.

He had un­der­gone a se­ries of chemo­ther­apy treat­ments and the doc­tors de­ter­mined he was clear of the dis­ease.

It was great news, he wanted to be­come a ‘nor­mal kid’.

But, re­cently, some­thing didn’t look right dur­ing a rou­tine checkup and they had or­dered a biopsy.

He knew peo­ple were talk­ing about him and he calmly said: “I’m go­ing to take this head-on.”

I could hear the courage in his voice. Ev­ery­one could. To­day, he’s do­ing well.

We are about to head into the last stage of our sea­son, and I’ve heard peo­ple talk about courage and he­roes and re­silience in these cir­cum­stances.

We’ve all heard that kind of thing.

I’d like to use these char­ac­ter­is­tics to de­scribe Josh, but the words aren’t nearly enough.

They are in­ad­e­quate to de­scribe what Josh and other kids fac­ing can­cer have to go through, not just phys­i­cally but emo­tion­ally.

What I saw in the hos­pi­tal was a boy who was stand­ing tall in an adult world.

Josh showed me that ma­tu­rity and brav­ery is not ex­clu­sive to adults.

Kids may be smaller in size than we are, but they’re stronger than we give them credit for.

They are the he­roes, as well as the doc­tors and nurses.

Lessons of hu­mil­ity were ap­par­ent that day and I can’t help but think how lucky some of us are and what we can all learn from Josh.

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