At first this might seem like an odd word to describe someone who went through what Conor went through but what this word represents is Conor’s passion and love for the game of baseball. You might think it’s not unusual for a teenage boy to really like a sport so that is not all that special. This is a bit different in Conor’s situation as his passion for baseball and wanting to be able to get back and play this sport is what helped drive him through some very difficult times during the course of his treatments. This just wasn’t love for a game to Conor it was much more than that. He partially lost the full use of his right arm due a surgery he had to remove the tumor in his upper right arm. Conor was a left handed pitcher but he had to re-learn how to throw with that limited use of his right arm and mobility in his shoulder. He worked on this constantly whether in his backyard or with practices with his team. There were many times Conor would get a chemo treatment for several hours in the afternoon and then join his team for practice that night even on some very hot summer days. We told him that he needed to be careful and that he couldn’t push himself too hard but he just didn’t want to hear that he needed to be on the field with his teammates. He used getting back to baseball and playing baseball as his goal to help drive him through his situation. His only question once the doctors told him he had cancer and that he needed to get open heart surgery and later a replacement of his upper arm – was how quickly can I get back to baseball???
Conor taught us that having a passion for something in life will help drive you and help you get through life’s darkest moments. There are many other things that we can rely on in life’s dark moments…family and friends, and religion but Conor proved to us that having the drive and love for a sport can also be something that we can rely on.