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Team Impact reminds athletes to be grateful

Column by Carly Grenfell

Carly GrenfellWe all have great days. We all have average days. And we all have terrible days. But there is something about this truth that leaves me scratching my head.

What if my terrible day is actually someone else’s great day? What if my average day is someone else’s everyday life? What if, beneath every hardship I’ve faced, someone has it worse than I do?

As athletes, students, adults and professionals, we all have our crosses to bear — some heavier than others.

We’ve all been knocked down, slapped in the face and then it happens all over again.

But how is it that we lessen the blow?

Without clumping everyone into one general observation, many of us talk about it.

We let out the steam, word vomit to our best friends and rant until there is no more to rant about.

Maybe post a Facebook status, tweet about it or make a call to Mom.

Regardless, when things don’t go our way, it can often be the heart and soul of our day-to-day conversations.

This is not to diminish the way we as human beings choose to cope.

It is not to be completely insensitive to the struggles every person endures. And it is certainly not to condemn something that, quite frankly, is part of our human nature. What is it then?

In essence, it is something to reflect upon. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in an outreach program for a non-profit organization called Team Impact.

This was the same organization that helped sign on 7-year-old cancer survivor Jack Conlon to our very own Drake football team.

The organization’s mission is to pair up kids with life-threatening illnesses to college athletic teams, and it is my job to get the word out.

Now, let’s see how everything I just talked about actually comes full circle.

Failed a test? Had a bad practice? Got dumped by your significant other? You have it pretty good.

Jack Conlon? Fighting for his life at 7 years old.

Millions of other kids? Literally fighting for their lives, enduring treatment and getting probed with needles on the daily.

When in doubt, save tweet to draft.

When in doubt, use the backspace button.

When in doubt, ask yourself one question. Does someone have it worse than I do?

The answer is probably ‘yes.’

Grenfell is a senior public relations and management double major and can be reached at carly.grenfell@drake.edu




  1. Allan Zumpfe September 26, 2013

    Great column Carly !! As humans we all “choose” to cope with our daily challenges in our own way…. But many people/kids like Jack dont have the luxury of choice … Sounds like Team Impact is a great program for some special young people, all while helping all of us keep things in perspective!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Mel September 26, 2013

    Jack is very fortunate little boy to have been borne into his family. The Conlon’s are a truly blessed and loving family. I pray everyday for this little boy I have never met. I am however, one of the lucky to have known his family since I was a young child. Jack has many angels in this community, but one day, when I do meet this little boy,&watch him grow into a fine young man, it will be me and the many others that have prayed for him,we then will be the fortunate and blessed.

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