For anyone who has lost or seen loved ones fight cancer, Jimmy V and his famous 1993 speech at the ESPYs will always move to tears, to take a quote from it. The message “don’t give up, don’t ever give up” is as important is it is simple. They are words that could make the difference in living or dying.
Although we have yet to discover the cure for cancer, the Jimmy V Foundation For Cancer Research has raised millions of dollars to aid cancer research. Jim Valvano may have lost his battle to cancer, but his contributions will forever be linked to the bigger war against it.
Valvano was a larger than life personality that captivated college basketball fans in the 70s and 80s. His NC State 1983 National Championship team that defeated the Houston Cougars with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler is the subject of an ESPN 30-for-30 called “Survive And Advance,” which highlights that championship season full of games where his team rallied to beat teams in the final minutes time after time.
In 1993, Valvano was in a very public battle against cancer and was presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs, which led to the speech in the video above. Here are some of the best quotes from the speech.
- To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.
- I always have to think about what’s important in life are three things. Where you started, where you are and where you’re gonna be. Those are three things I try and do every day
- Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. Those three things are going to carry on forever.
- How do you go from where you are to where you wanna be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it.
- People think I have courage. The courage in my family are my wife Pam, my three daughters, here, Nicole, Jamie, LeeAnn, my mom, who’s right here too.
- I got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get your emotions going.
- We need your help. I need your help. We need money for research. It may not save my life, it may save my children’s lives. It may save someone you love, and it’s very important.
- Every minute I have left I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. If you see me, smile, maybe give me a hug because that’s important to me, too.
Pass this video along to someone who needs to see it and hasn’t. Donate to the Jimmy V foundation here, and if you see someone battling cancer, smile and give them a hug.