Standing Tauls Against Cancer
I have met many amazing people who have taught me lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. However, there are two individuals that have become a part of my everyday thoughts and actions which contribute to the morals and values that I already have. Most importantly these two people have instilled a view of life and a view of positivity that I will never forget. Both guardian angels were taken from us too soon when they lost their battles to brain cancer years ago.
Sandi Kavanagh, the mother of three beautiful children and the wife of a loving husband. She was a woman who always stayed true to her faith and someone who always kept a positive attitude. Her kids are and have been some of my best friends since I can remember. I spent many days at their house playing backyard baseball, mini stick hockey, and any other shenanigans that we could get ourselves into. Sandi became a second mother to me and became someone who I looked up to. Throughout her battle with cancer and all the obstacles that came with it, Sandi had a saying. This saying, yet so simple, has stuck with me since the first day I heard her say it.
“IT’S ALL GOOD.”
The meaning behind this is that no matter what, “IT” will be all good. That “IT” could be anything. It means that God has a plan for everyone and even though it may be hard to see or understand why He does what He does, “IT” will always be “ALL GOOD.” She continually said that God was in control, and that no matter what happened we were all loved by Him. When going through treatment whether results were positive or negative her response and her attitude ALWAYS reflected the “IT’S ALL GOOD” mentality. Personally, I was a wreck through all of this and to see Sandi and her family going through such a hard time left me with little hope on many instances. However, Sandi was a fighter, she was persistent, and she never gave up. Not once! Even in the end when God called up one of his Angels, she continued her positivity and always said, “IT’S ALL GOOD.” She will always be remembered and she will always be loved. I thank God every day for the impact she made on my life and will continue to take advantage of the life lessons she taught me.
Dean Dixon, the father of three beautiful kids and the husband of a loving wife. To me he was a teacher, a coach, and a friend. He was someone who saw positivity in me as a hockey player when many did not. He was a man that taught us that who we were as people mattered more than how good we were at hockey. He took the time to teach us about character and work ethic always making sure that we understood that the game of hockey was much much bigger than just one person or player. He taught us to always give back and to never take a shortcut when pursuing our goals. This man’s courage and work ethic along with his kind and loving personality helped mold me into the person I am today. I will never forget the game he was coaching me right before I made the jump to juniors. We were winning the game by at least 5 goals after the second period and I think I had two goals already. I was happy and I was content with the performance I was putting on in that game. Dean called me out of the locker room after the second period and had a one on one conversation with me. He said, “Just because you have two goals in this game means absolutely nothing, you’re leaving next week to go play juniors and if there is one thing that you need to learn quick is to never be satisfied. YOU NEED TO COMPETE! There is no time to stop and take a deep breath until your goals are accomplished and even then that means it’s time to make new goals.” Dean believed in me and I believed in him. When Dean was diagnosed, and was beginning his battle with cancer, he sent out a message to the hockey community. That message stated that he was in for a battle but he was never the one to back down from a fight. He never once wanted anyone to feel bad for him and wanted everyone to know that like any obstacle in his life he was not going to back down. He ended that message with his simple saying,
Dean taught me a lot of life lessons, he helped engrain the competitive edge within myself and what it means through and through. Dean taught me that someone’s character and who they are as a person is what carries them through life. It is someone’s character that creates relationships and friendships to last a lifetime.
These guardian angels play a role in my everyday life and I carry the values that they instilled in me everywhere I go. There isn’t a day that goes by that they are not on my mind and in my prayers. I thank God each and every day for the blessings he has given me and I thank Him for putting these two beautiful souls in my life. Their sayings of “Its All Good” and “Game On” along with their initials are written on each of my hockey sticks because even though they might not be here on this earth physically, I know that they are always with me in my heart.
Forever Rest in Peace Sandi Kavanagh and Dean Dixon.
In honor and remembrance of Sandi and Dean I want to make a difference by beginning a charity to raise money toward children with cancer. I will be working with the Children’s Hospital of Birmingham to spearhead this fundraiser. Every little bit helps and I appreciate everything and anything that you can do to help.
#27 Alexander Taulien
Join me in making a difference in the lives of the young patients at Children’s of Alabama.