Fighting Cancer in the Name of a Champion

Remembering a fighter and continuing his dedication to beat cancer

Six months ago, Cadance Everst was taken from this world by a drunk driver. That sentence is a sad ending to a life lived for others that had so much potential.

Growing up, Cadance was sadly exposed to the horrible disease of cancer at a young age, losing his grandfather at the age of 2. Two short years later, that same disease would afflict his big brother, Carter. Ewing sarcoma waged war for four long years inside of Carter. When he was 8 and Cadance was 6, he lost the battle. It would be six more years and Cadance would come to lose his parents in a tragic accident. It was by these events that Cadance found his love of medicine and his desire to help others.

As a teen he excelled in sports, but he was far more fulfilled by volunteering. He loved to visit kids at Children's Hospital of Colorado, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Ronald McDonald House. He was very lucky to be able to travel extensively through an internship with Doctors without Borders. He had visited Paris, London, the Hawaiian Islands, Cancun, Milan and Lucerne. He was set to return to Beijing in May of next year. Cadance was a big proponent of living in a borderless world, knowing that disease knew not of the color of our skin, our religion or where on the globe we were born.

His love of nature and everything outdoors brought him home to Colorado and he began working in the emergency department. He loved the rush, but more than anything, he loved to help people in urgent need. It filled him with so much joy, but his real desire was flight nursing. In July of 2014, he moved to New York City where he would train with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He earned his much desired flight wings just four short days before his passing.

Cadance wanted to dedicate his life to helping fight the cancer. Through the charities that he associated himself with, he was able to share a piece of himself and bring light to the cause so near and dear to his heart of gold. He had an open heart and mind and passion, courage and endless intelligence. He had a drive-- a need to help others that seemed to come from some other worldly place. In his 24 short years, he had already touched countless people.

I met him in an emergency room as he cared for my sister in October 2014. I’m so grateful for everything he taught me, like how life could be lived with so few regrets, to live in the moment, not to sweat the little things, to love with endless abandon, and to live life like tomorrow is never promised.

On Oct. 18, I was at a team training event through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society when I got the news of his passing. It’s been a struggle to come up with the right words to say because it’s a shock that he is gone. Although he is no longer here, I will not let all that he fought for end with his passing. As there is not a day that memories of Cadance don’t play in my mind, today I ask that all of you think about him. Because while I lost the love of my life, we all lost a wonderful person, phenomenal nurse and a champion in the fight for a cure.