I walked into Starbucks to meet a 24-year-old battling cancer for the 8th time. With a smile on his face, he said, “Hey!” His mentality remained upbeat, which made me completely envious. He has a positive outlook despite his illness.
At 13, everyone thought the lump in Corey Stevens’ arm was a fracture. No one knew it was really a tumor growing inside of him. He knew nothing about cancer, so he had no reaction when he found out.
“I didn’t know what cancer was, so I was just kind of there playing my Gameboy,” says Corey. “I’m glad I had that ignorance just because it helped with going through chemo.”
Corey is battling a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma for the 8th time! Just picture going through chemo hoping and praying your cancer won’t return. Then, a few months later, it’s back again. It’s a vicious cycle that is on Corey’s mind daily, but that doesn’t stop him from living his life.
Regardless of his illness, he is just your average 24-year-old. He loves to workout, photography, working on his 1990 Celica GT and a 1990 240sx and works at Papa John’s Pizza as a driver.
“On a daily basis, I like to work out, free-write and read some motivational speeches,” says Corey.
His two main goals in life are to become a motivational speaker and travel the world. With some persistence and dedication, I know Corey can and will reach those goals.
When it comes to alcohol, he’s not really a fan of drinking though because he’s more of an outdoorsy guy and likes to go to the park, hike and take plenty of photos.
“I find [taking pictures] fun,” says Corey. “I think I got that from my mom because she loved taking pictures. I take pictures of just whatever comes to mind.”
He says of his friends, “For the most part, my friends treat me like everybody else, which is the way I want to be treated,” says Corey.
Corey’s mentality is all about making people laugh. And, if you’re around him long enough, you’ll instantly be in a better mood because his personality shines and he truly lights up a room with his 100-watt smile. Another aspect of Corey is he doesn’t care about others think about him.
“I’ll laugh at myself,” says Corey. “And, you won’t ever see those people again.”
Throughout our 50-minute conversation, not once did he show pity for himself. If he does feel sad, he often calls a friend, who will cheer him up in an instant. But, something tells me that rarely occurs because of his positive demeanor.
“I just keep on fighting and keep on going,” says Corey. “There’s a reason why I’m still here.”
I could be a bit bias, but I’d have to say that this kid is pretty spectacular. To battle cancer 8 times, work and live life to the fullest and not complain is just so inspirational.
In May, Corey will fly to Maryland to receive gene therapy. This test will hopefully get rid of his cancer for good! He’s scared, but hopes that it will work in his favor.
“I may not get cancer after this again—if it works, so finger crossed!” says Corey enthusiastically.