My Cancer Battle
In Summer of 2014 I began to have some bleeding when I used the restroom and in November of 2014 as it got worse and worse with no pain I went to the doctor and it was diagnosed as a hemorrhoid. By March of 2015 the pain was a 30 out of 10 pain in my backside and by July of 2015 the pain was a 30 out of 10 in both my abdomen and my backside and I had shriveled to 150 pounds from 220. I went to the doctor and had an immediate colonoscopy in which I woke up to the words “the tumor is huge.” In utter disbelief I went to meet with a surgeon in New Orleans and I was given six months to live in August of 2015. I came home defeated and of course very upset. I had stage 3 Colorectal Cancer the number 2 deadliest cancer. With all hope lost I was referred to meet with an Oncologist by the name of Dr. Wall. When I met with her she was upbeat, caring, and said god and I are going to cure you, we are not going to put a bandaid on it. From that meeting on she changed my morale and it was time to fight, overcome, and show what miracles are made of. Through intense 2 years of chemo that left my hands and feet covered in blisters and unable to walk, radiation for 4 months in which left third degree burns on everything below the belt, every man’s worst nightmare. After a lifesaving surgery in March of 2016, 9 months of a colostomy bag, 2 years of chemo, and a life changing surgery on January 4, 2017 I am proud to say I overcame the odds and am now cancer free. Miracles do happen. #ScubaStrong
My Business Story
In 9th grade I wore goggles in the shower and my friends caught me and made fun of me as the movie Big Daddy came out that night they said Scuba Steve that’s you! As a shy kid the next day at school everyone head about it and that nickname would stick with me from high school all the way through college and when I was about to graduate college I wanted to follow my lifelong dream of starting my own clothing brand. I took out a student loan in which I spent half on a website and the other half on Scuba Steve polos from China. They took 3 months to come in by sea and I began selling them in the back of marketing class at Southern Miss in 2008. The next day friends came up to me and said “Steve you’re a nice guy and all but look man they are shrinking 3 sizes when you wash them!” The shirts were shrinking in to baby size and when I called China they said “all sales are final.” I quickly went out of business as fast as I started in 2008. in 2009 with a loan from my mother I began printing t shirts with my classic diver logo in which I would drive in my car all around the state of Mississippi and our neighboring states to each college town trying to get my brand in to stores. With every door slammed in my face I would return home empty handed and my car would soon be repossessed. I would wait for my mom to get off of work and would use her car to try to go sell my shirts and even had a backpack I would sell out of. Upon hearing that I would never give up the local news did a story on me and my brand Scuba Steve. The local mall saw it and gave me a call and said why don’t you rent a kiosk from us in which I replied I have no money and they said to pay at the end of the month. So, my mom would bring me in the mornings and pick me up at night. I started at the mall with 10 shirts, 20 bucks, and negative 350 dollars in my checking account. For two weeks I didn’t sell a thing and no one stopped. One night a girl stopped as I was closing my kiosk and said “i’ll take one.” I gave her a huge hug in which she was freaked out and I told her my story. That night my mom picked me up and told me it was time to use my degree and get a job, debt collectors were calling the house and I was in deep financial trouble. I said but mom I made 25 bucks! That night the girl put my story and shirt on her Facebook and it quickly spread. The next morning I had a line of people and I sold out and restocked and it turned in to a very large business. In 2015 I got sick and was given six months to live so I shut down my shop and prepared to fight in which I did and won. Now I am getting strength back and am getting back out chasing my dream proving that you can overcome any obstacle ever put in your way, just never ever give up and I never have.