MEXICO – You’re a freshman in high school, wake up for the day and your vision is gone. What do you do?
That rhetorical situation for Mexico High School ninth graders was a reality for Fulton native Tim Conners who recently spoke with the students about having the choice to live life in the most positive way possible.
Mexico High School Principal Ryan Lanigan introduced Conners as a wonderful kid he has known since Conners was five.
Lanigan shared that two weeks after his own brother succumbed to brain cancer in March of 2009, Conners was diagnosed with cancer.
The auditorium fell silent.
“With everything you’re dealing with in life, think about waking up and dealing with something serious,” Lanigan said. “Everyone in this room has had to overcome an obstacle. We all have barriers, even if you don’t see them. That is why I ask you to treat others with compassion and kindness.”
The opportunity to take the next 3.5 years at MHS and make it great is now within the hands of all MHS freshmen, Lanigan said.
That same sentiment, along with a message of perseverance and determination, came from Conners.
Now a college graduate and accomplished motivational speaker, Conners said his biggest worry in high school was getting a girlfriend or who he would sit with at lunch.
Never had he imagined a life-changing experience such as battling cancer, losing his sight and having to find ways to rebuild his life.
He faced death.
That didn’t stop him.
The Mexico freshmen intensely listened as Conners detailed his journey back to feeling on top of the world, and that included his trek last May to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, which also raised money for charity.
Conners said that didn’t happen without living each day with the choice to be positive and to have purpose.
“Wake up and start the day with a 10,” he said.
A copy of Conners’ book, “It’s Impossible until You Do It: Succeeding in the Face of Adversity” was purchased for each freshman so they could dig deeper into Conners’ message during their seminar class.