NC State basketball coach Jim Valvano and daughters laugh with player Derek Whittenberg (left) after the team returned to RDU after winning the 1983 ACC championship. © Roger W Winstead

Sharing My Dad

Written by special guest Jamie Valvano

The other day, my 15-year-old son, Jake, excitedly shared with me that my Dad was the #1 trending topic on Twitter.  Powerful images and inspirational quotes have been splashed all over social media as we celebrated Jimmy V Week recently.  In this fast-paced world of “here today, gone tomorrow,” I find it extraordinary that my father’s words have grown more compelling with the passage of time.

Jim Valvano was not the typical father.  He missed many of the magical daily tasks I get to share with my children.  There was a time when this fact brought me sadness.  I never doubted that I was loved and cherished, but I was forced to share my Dad with the world.  He was a whirling tornado of energy that always seemed to have something to do and someone to motivate.  His legacy continues to prove that when we unselfishly share our own struggles, gifts and dreams with others, miracles will follow.

During my 10-year checkup with my oncologist, I silently thanked my Dad for clearly displaying what it looks like to not give up.  Cuddled on the couch watching the ESPY speech with my sons, tears of gratitude flowed knowing my boys can see a piece of their grandfather in action.  I am warmed by the fact that someone somewhere will see or hear my Father and receive a bit of encouragement for their own battles.  In a world full of pain and suffering, we must all do our part to spread love and faith.  I am passing the “V” on to you. What will you do to make a difference?