Blog Post | Jun 28, 2023

Overcoming Adversity: A Cancer Survivor's Journey from Deficits to Success (Q's Story)

By Maurquez "Q" Thompson
By The Austin Hatcher Foundation
Overcoming Adversity: A Cancer Survivor's Journey from Deficits to Success (Q's Story)
  • From chemotherapy deficits to valedictorian with $2 million in scholarships, Q shares encouragement to other kids facing childhood cancer

"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time."- Malcolm X.

Many of us have heard the saying," There is light at the end of the tunnel." For families that have experienced childhood cancer, life feels dark and as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

At age six, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. When I was diagnosed, I was very angry that I would appear weak, incapable, or "less than" your average kid. I am a natural warrior. Sometimes I missed parts of elementary school and had to be homeschooled as I recovered. As a result of the chemotherapy and treatment, I experienced blindness, seizures, hypertension, and memory loss. I am grateful to be a nine-year cancer survivor and one of the valedictorians of my high school's graduating class.

Booker T. Washington described success in the best way possible: "success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." I have overcome cancer and am confident I can overcome ANY obstacle in front of me.

Having over 40 college acceptances and over 2 million dollars in scholarships brings me profound joy. I'm also excited to offer free support with navigating the college admissions process and finding scholarships for several cancer survivors and families from the fall of 2023 until the late spring of 2024. I want to be an example to other survivors, proving that we can all rise above our circumstances with resilience and distinction to achieve a greater good.