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Keeping the Faith




We would like to nominate, our son, Shayne Hawkins for the Keeping the Faith Award. Shayne was diagnosed with a stage 3 anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor after becoming disoriented and losing consciousness on March 8, 2013. He had no forewarning that there was anything wrong, other than he had experienced a few sporadic headaches. He underwent surgery to remove a grapefruit size tumor from the right frontal lobe of his brain. When he awoke in the hospital, he found his world completely turned upside down. He was unable to work his pool route or drive due to his surgery and diagnosis. At age 26, his world had stopped just as soon as it had started. Shayne refused to let this diagnosis get him down. We all understood the magnitude of this diagnosis and the aggressiveness of this type of cancer. However, Shayne amazed all of us at the hospital, doctors included, by having surgery on Saturday and being discharged on the following Tuesday, continued to keep busy by helping his dad out with the family business and he volunteered to help out a couple of days a week at his mother’s place of employment while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. It was important to him to continue to be active, productive and be around other people and share his experience. He never dwells on the fact that he had brain cancer or lets it define how he will live his life. He embraced his “new normal” and drove on. Shayne continues to amaze his family and friends every day with his positive attitude, his faith in himself and the people around him, and his faith that he will beat this cancer. He works out at the gym, he continues to stay active in his old hobbies of riding roller coasters (which he rode again within two months after his surgery) and land yachting. He has found a new hobby in creating furniture for the home he shares with his fiancé, Rachel. He continues to learn and try new things, and recently started a new job with the State of Texas. He always has the time to help someone else with whatever they need help with and a kind word for everyone. There is no doubt that Shayne has his bad days as does anyone fighting cancer. But, to those of us who know him, he takes those days in stride, and doesn’t let them get him down. As his parents, we couldn’t be more proud of how he has handled his battle with brain cancer. Shayne is currently undergoing chemotherapy and will finish in May of this year. Shayne is truly an inspiration to all of us who know him in the power of a positive attitude and faith in who you are and what you believe you can do when faced with adversity.