Because of what happened to me back in 2010, I tell people all the time: you never know when your time could be up. Live life to the fullest, because it can all be taken away in a second.
I never met or knew Alisha Scott. She is a friend of a friend, which is how her story was brought to my attention.
In 2011, Alisha had a wake-up call. She went to the doctor for a check-up and her blood pressure was "sky high" (her words.) She broke down. She couldn't take it anymore. Enough was enough. No more.
So for the next 2 years, Alisha got after it. She worked out in the gym hard. Ate right. She did everything the right way. We can all dream of being as strong and healthy as Alisha was over the last 2 years. She was on the move and making it happen.
Alisha took her life back. By September 9, 2013, (just last month) Alisha had lost over 100 pounds. You can see her stunning transformation in her before/after pictures she has posted on her Facebook page.
According to her blog, Alisha had lost 103 pounds by this year.
Alisha was well on her way to losing the rest of the weight, although she had lost plenty and looked incredible. She was only 30 years old. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, the unthinkable happened.
On September 9th (that's right...just a little over a month ago,) Alisha went to the emergency room. She had been sick for a couple of days and hadn't been feeling well.
The diagnosis was shocking: ovarian cancer. Often undetected until later stages, the cancer had advanced. She had surgery 2 days later. Not long after, she was admitted to the hospital with an infection and she passed away on September 26th.
Alisha was struck down in the prime of her life. I'm told by someone who knew her that she had never been happier. Judging by her pictures, she was living her life to the fullest.
When I was going through my weight loss journey, I used to wonder: was I too late? Was the damage to my body too great to be undone? I really used to worry about dying. I still live under the daily threat of getting another blood clot that could kill me instantly.
But by sheer luck, I am still here. Alisha wasn't so lucky. It was all taken away from her at the worst possible time. I have never seen or read a more unfair story in my entire life.
Which is why I am sharing it with you. It's this simple: live your life to the fullest, as if each day is your last, because one day you will be right. Nothing is guaranteed. Look around you: everything you see...your significant other, your family, your life, your belongings, your money...whatever...all of it can be taken away at a moment's notice.
A memorial fund has been established by Alisha Scott's family to cover her final expenses. You can learn more and donate here.
A "Celebration of Life" service is scheduled for Sunday, October 20 at 2pm at the Seneca Church of God. Everyone is welcome. Directions from Charleston
Bryan Ganey is a motivational speaker and author of "Impossible: How I Lost Nearly 400 Pounds Without Surgery," available from Amazon.com here.