Tanner Cook

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“Don’t give up and don’t lose faith, the journey will be hard but keep your eyes facing forward. Life will not go as planned and that’s okay, because God’s plan is so much bigger and better.”

th_beneficiary02 Tanner is a West Texan born and raised. He grew up in Idalou, Texas. From an early age, Tanner loved sports, particularly football. Tanner’s dream, even as a little boy, was to play football for Texas Tech and go on to coach high school football. Growing up, Tanner was involved in multiple sports including baseball, basketball, football and track. Tanner loved to run, but his passion always remained football. Tanner worked hard and received countless athletic awards during his high school career highlighted by district MVP in football as a junior, all-state running back as a junior and senior, and he qualified and ran in the state track meet as a sophomore and junior. Tanner was on course to live his dream.

The night of his last football game was December 6, 2008. Tanner, and his teammates were determined to get Idalou past the state quarterfinals and go on to state. Tan- ner played his heart out. Unfortunately, Tanner doesn’t remember that night. During the game, Tanner suffered a traumatic brain injury and was rushed to the hospital. Through a series of medical complications, Tanner had three strokes and an anoxic brain injury while hospitalized. He wasn’t supposed to live. Miraculously, Tanner did live, but his life would never be the same. Tanner had to relearn basic tasks like walking, talking, dressing, and feeding himself. He lost most of his short-term memory, has visual impairments and sensation loss on the left side of his body. But the determination that had led Tanner to success on the field never left him. He went through years of physical, speech and occupational therapy. With his determination and faith and the support of his family, friends and community, Tanner has overcome. The road was challenging, but Tanner found a new dream: to faithfully love and serve others. God has blessed his path tremendously. In 2012, Tanner met the love of his life, Angela, and the two were married in September of 2014. Tanner spends his days at a local therapy clinic assisting therapists and bringing joy to patients. He enjoys speaking and sharing his story. One piece of advice Tanner would like to share is, “don’t give up and don’t lose faith, the journey will be hard but keep your eyes facing forward. Life will not go as planned and that’s okay, because God’s plan is so much bigger and better.” Tanner would like to thank everyone who has supported him through the ASCO game, as this is his seventh year to receive assistance towards his medical fund and expenses.