The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

My Mom Was a Fighter and a Hero

On March 3rd, 2014, posted in: Uncategorized by


Recently, I was honored to be the Emcee of the American Cancer Society’s Southern Illinois Mardi Gras Ball & Fundraiser. We raised somewhere around $100,000 that night. Here are just a couple of my comments:

Like many, if not all of you, I too have been on the receiving end of a knockout punch thrown by a doctor or a loved one’s announcement that cancer (The “C” Word) has officially made its way into my life. I’ve heard it three times, and like you, I never want to hear it again. That’s why we’re here – to do our part in putting this dreaded disease in the past tense. What we do tonight will help us down that road.

My mother was stricken and died of cancer, at much too young of an age, when I was just eighteen years old. Years later, but with the same pain, I lost my father. And, I got the call in 1996 that I would be next on the family tree to fight against this formidable foe. I won my battle, by the grace of God, and His guiding hand on the continued advancements of medicine.

My mom was a fighter and a hero to me. Her grace under a dire set of odds was an inspiration to never give up. She reminded me often as I was growing up that the devil takes on many forms – that he comes to steal, kill and destroy – that as your adversary, the devil roars like a lion and remains ready to devour. Cancer has been the devil for many of us, but we fight on. Tonight, tomorrow and well into the future we will pull no punches until we prevail.   

She would be thrilled that we were gathered here this evening, continuing our fight – steadfast in our resolve to defeat this devil of a disease. Over the years, donor dollars and medical advancements have joined forces to effectively reduce this lion’s roar to much less – I like to think that today – the devil’s roar has been reduced to sound like a mouse with a microphone more so than the king of the jungle. And what a great day looms on the horizon, when cancer’s roar is completely silenced – to devour no more. I pray for the silence. It will be fabulous.  

If I may ask for your indulgence just a minute longer. It was in May of 1976, just a few months before my mom’s passing and she had been sporting a head scarf for quite a while and becoming more frail by the day, but that didn’t stop her from being a great mom.

I went to pick up my buddy (Randy) in my 1961 Ford Falcon with baby moon hubcaps. I pulled into his driveway, jumped out and ran into the house to rattle his cage, (he ran late to everything) we shot back out the door – ready to go… but my 1961 Ford Falcon with baby moon hubcaps would not start. We assumed the appropriate stances as teenage boys… we threw up the hood and stared intensely at the engine. Mind you, we weren’t motor heads, in fact, I think it was safe to say that we could barely pump gas.

His mom & dad were at work miles away, brothers, sisters, friends were all out of the picture for every reason known to man. So I called mom… about a mile away to come help us out. She pulled up in her sporty do rag, and a house coat, fuzzy slippers and a smile from ear to ear. She joined us for just a second – still staring under the hood hoping for a miracle and then took her place in the driver’s seat.

It was then that she asked for us to put down the hood. She quickly put the car in park and proceeded to start the car. She calmly got out of the car, winked as if to say “that’s my boy” kissed me and my buddy, told us to be careful and that she would see us later. That was it.

She was a rock – always there for me… caring & loving.     

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