During my first year coaching at Cornell, I met a little boy named Colin.
Shy and cautious, Colin held firm to his Mama’s side. Meeting an entire hockey team can be a daunting task.
But as time wore on, the layers peeled and we bonded deeply with this sweet, little boy that could captivate a room with his smile and devilish sense of humor.
Colin entered our world through Team Impact – an organization that pairs chronically sick children with local college sports teams. Colin was in the midst of a battle with a rare form of brain cancer…But that didn’t stop him from living every day to its fullest.
He became an integral part of our team…his family a part of our family. He got a jersey, a stall in our locker room, and was very much a part of our makeup and culture. There were fist pumps after wins, hugs after losses, and smiles every time the little man came into the rink.
But his presence spread much further than the confines of our arena.
With his resiliency and charm, Colin became Ithaca’s favorite and most beloved police officer. The entire city came to love Officer Colin and his positive impact on our community will be forever felt. His positive impact on the many people he inspired will be forever felt.
You see, even with his debilitating disease, all Colin wanted to do was help other people in need. That’s why he became a cop. He used his new found fame as a rising star on the police force to spread messages of positivity and hope. Even in the dawn of his darkest hours, Colin would light up those around him with a smile and a laugh. That is how he would have wanted us to remember him.
Colin passed away on Saturday at the age of 10. And we will miss him greatly.
Throughout much of his time with us, there were countless hospital visits, surgeries, potential recoveries, and devastating setbacks. There were cutting edge therapies, trial medications, miraculous healings,
and scary close calls.
But through it all, there was Colin.
Colin with a smile.
I will miss my friend dearly. I am so happy that my daughter got to meet the bravest kid I’ve ever met, and I will tell her stories and teach her things that Colin taught me.
He taught us to look on the bright side of life. He taught us the true meaning of perseverance. And he inspired us to live each day as he would have:
With a smile, a laugh, and a belief that we can happy no matter what obstacles may come our way.
That was Colin to the core. The little warrior will forever live on in our stories and in our hearts.
RIP Little Man. We love you.