Losing a parent is never easy. No matter what age you are, the pain is always tough. To lose a parent when that parent is in the prime of his life is even tougher.
Notre Dame Jugglers quarterback Anthony Crescenzo unfortunately knows this reality all too well.
Alfonso Crescenzo, Anthony’s father, was only weeks away from his 43rd birthday when he passed away due to cancer. He did not fit the mold of an individual who you’d expect to be struck by the condition.
Alfonso was vibrant, energetic and a stud athlete. He starred for the Notre Dame Jugglers playing high school football before doing the same at SFU.
Anthony is very much a chip off the old block. He’s excelled in his role as quarterback for the Jugglers and has been on the Team BC radar as well. He’s also inherited his father’s sense of recognizing the importance of maintaining one’s healthy.
“He stressed health a lot,” says Anthony of his father. “I’ve always tried to be the healthiest that I can.”
The younger Crescenzo has certainly learned the hard way that life can presented unexpected twists, but that hasn’t deterred him from following his father’s solid practices when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle – whether that means being active, eating right, and not ignoring injuries when they occur.
“My dad was such a big impact on my life,” says Anthony. “I work hard in everything I do – on and off the field – to try and emulate him and do this all for him.
“I always play for him. I always think about him. Before the games I write ‘dad’ on my playbands so I can look at it every game and know I’m fighting for him.”
Anthony is also fighting for his peers, whether he realizes it or not. Through this experience, he wants to make sure none of his peers – whether they are teammates or even foes while on the football field – have to experience the heartbreak that he has.
Campaigns such as “Football BC goes Blue” which stress early cancer detection and men’s health have grown near and dear to him.
He encourages his peers to recognize the importance of health. Even in a sport such as football, there are times when one can’t just ‘tough it out.’
“I think this is awesome,” says Anthony. “I definitely think you should be smart with your health, look long-term and see what’s best for you.”
Solid advice from a young man who is clearly wise beyond his years. Then again, we wouldn’t have expected anything less from Alfonso’s kid.
Donate to HEAL4Life this month by visiting www.footballbcgoesblue.com. Remember to also order free helmet decals for your team while you're there to show your support!
Share your story! Send us your stories about overcoming cancer or the importance of men’s health awareness to you to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature it on our website and newsletter.
This non-profit organization was founded by brothers Kyle and Drew Williams shortly after Kyle’s successful battle with testicular cancer. The brothers chose to create an organization which educated young men on the importance of healthy choices, personal fitness, and self-awareness. The organization raises awareness of men’s health and early cancer detection through social media campaigns and helmet stickers. Visit www.heal4life.ca or follow @h4lkyle on Instagram for more information.