He Was My Teacher

In 2012 there was a worldwide population of 7,128,176,935. In 2012 alone, 1.97% of the population was newly diagnosed with cancer. 1.97% does not seem like a large percentage, but that’s 14.1 million lives completely changed. One does not have to have cancer to be affected by it. Statistics prove that in a lifetime you will know someone with cancer. I do.

David Coils: a design and technology teacher. A father of two, a husband, and a human. In November 2011,  David was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a common form of bone cancer. While it usually starts in the arm or pelvis, David’s started in his legs. It robbed him of the ability to freely walk without significant pain, to climb upstairs to say goodnight to his kids, and to sleep next to his wife. However, the doctors and nurses that worked with David helped a great deal, constantly providing support within his house and ensuring his family was aware of everything.

Within only a few months, David Coils’ condition drastically improved. He could teach again, walk comfortably, and live. His family continued to support him and so did the staff in the school he worked at.

I was taught by Mr. Coils for three years. The joy he brought into the classroom was the same as it had always been. It was as if he had never been away. His skills were the same and so was his personality. It lasted longer than anyone had anticipated. Yes, there were bad days. He still had cancer, but the better days pulled him through.

He started to undergo chemotherapy February of 2017. Before starting, they found it had spread to his pelvis, and it was not likely that it was going to stop there. The chemo affected David in a way that changed him; He was not teaching. That was the one thing that gave him so much happiness. He was not building, the one thing that distracted him from his pain. He became angry, and he was not the man everyone knew him to be. We do not blame him. It was the cancer’s fault. He lost his hair, and he lost his smile.

The cancer developed and spread. It took over like a monster taking over a city. It was undefeatable. David Andrew Coils lost his battle to cancer in July 2017. He was a human and like every human he was not programmed to have such a powerful illness. David was such a happy man and no one will ever forget the way he used to light a room, the way he pulled through and was so strong. The world lost a beautiful, joyful, and talented man, so did everyone who knew him.

If a cure is not found, too many lives are going to be detrimentally changed and taken. I have seen this happen with my own eyes. I will not let it happen again. 

 

Oliver Frater, 17

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