They should teach John Calipari’s method’s at medical schools and self-help seminars around the world. How wonderfully simple an idea, giving someone a reason to live based on offering them a life. This is the kind of brother’s keeper perspective we should all be sharing. The thoughtful respect that this man shows through the investment of money, time and promises delivered is genuinely heartwarming. It compels one’s spirit to a higher sense of interpersonal duty.
Kevin Massey was in an Indiana hospital when he met the head coach of his favorite college team. Coach Calipari is the champion honored, legacy building, leader of the University of Kentucky, Wildcats. With big wins and top drawer players, coach Cal, as he is referred to by some close friends, is used to taking action to get results. When it comes to young Massey, the results are something of a miracle.
In February, of 2010, he woke up unable to move, the cancer was consuming his brain. He was 16 years old. And the future did not look bright. His brain was hemorrhaging, and it seemed he did not have long. The doctors were hesitant to give hope to the boy’s mother, as the teenager fought for survival. Prior to this, he was a happy and voraciously healthy young man with the potential to follow his dreams anywhere they would take him. After a turbulent bout with treatment, Kevin was frail, exhausted and ready to give in.
The wildcat coach heard about Massey’s battle and decided to meet him in person. It was the start of an extraordinary relationship. Calipari decided to go all in, first offering the young man a spot as an assistant to the illustrious team. Then, he made it personal. He invested in the boy’s future care and well-being, creating a call to action in the minds and hearts of many who are connected to this story of perseverance.
The coach isn’t looking for accolades though, he is looking at ways to raise awareness and pass on the wisdom of encouragement and kindness. He shows us that it only takes one person, with the desire and will, to use their position to improve the world. It’s not about faceless donations or complacent consideration, it’s all about taking action. This very good man teaches us how to be very good to our fellow man, by showing, not telling.
These days, the winds have changed. The boy, who they once believed had twenty four hours to live, is braving his way through, exceeding the hopes of staying alive. The coach and Kevin maintain regular communication and offer equal challenge and opportunity to one another. They have motivated each other, driving towards mutual success, not accepting failure or discouragement as options.