How A Family Of Battle Hardened Mormons Turned Me Into A Cleveland Cavaliers Fan

Nobody can dispute the fact that LeBron James knows how to battle when he’s down and out and facing elimination. The Cleveland Cavilers pulled off something that’s never been done in the history of the NBA. Fan or not…say what you will…but they “battled together.” They came back from a 3-1 deficit to bless their city with a title and bring a lot of associated happiness to the people of Ohio.

I wasn’t a Cavs fan going into the finals. I’m from California so I lean toward the California teams. But by the time the finals were over, I was a Cavs fan. Not because Kevin Love stepped up his defense when it counted. Not because Kyrie dropped a three for a last minute win. Not because LeBron is the greatest player to ever play the game. I starting rooting for the Cavs for one reason:

Beth and Alan Mowrey

Alan Mowrey is the Vice President of Franchise Development in the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. The guy is crazy about the Cavs. He’s even more crazy about his wife Beth. For every superhuman effort LeBron made on the basketball floor, Alan made ten of them off the floor to be with his wife, support her, and love her. At the end of every Alan Mowrey social post is the hashtag #BattleTogether.

Alan is tough…but Beth is tougher. She has willed herself to live through 8 years of off and on cancer. She has battled, and is battling the most vicious physical opponent this world could throw at her. I can’t imagine how she must feel. Her spirit, probably bursting at the seams, wishing her physical body could handle everything she’d like to do. She looks at her husband and her kids and longs to be there for them and with them. She doesn’t want “to be an anchor around this family’s neck that keeps them from having fun.” She gives a negative connotation to the word anchor and associates it with herself…and yet she has been the exact opposite to her family. To Alan… “she is an anchor!” In every sense of the word “she is THE anchor” for her family. “An anchor symbolizes strength and stability.  Through her battle she has been there for her kids, she has tried to make as many memories as she physically can. She is there to talk to the kids 1 on 1. She even let’s us finish watching Game 7 of the Cavs-Warriors series and the championship post-game celebration before politely announcing that she needed someone to take her to the emergency room (true story).”

beth mowrey

“Watching the Cavs game in a Chicago Hotel Lobby. I keep telling myself, “Beth’s Chemo Appointments are more important. Beth’s Chemo Appointments are more important. Beth’s Chemo Appointments are more important”.

Cavs up 20 at the end of 1st!!!!”

While the world was watching the Cavs #BattleTogether publicly…this little Mowrey family was #BattlingTogether privately in the most heart wrenching sort of way. What do you do when you’ve done all you can and your back is against the wall? According to the Mowrey’s…you “dig deeper.” The doctors say that this dedicated little mother won’t make it through another NBA finals with her family. 4-6 months the doctors say. How does this warrior of a woman take the news?

“Well, now I have a number to beat!” Let’s do this!” Down 3-1. Let’s take one day at a time and “Let’s do this!” You can’t help but love this woman’s mental toughness. Put her on the floor and let her guard Curry!

“Such an emotional day. I will always remember where I was and who I was with when the @Cavs won the Championship.” says Alan

beth mowrey

As I write this…it’s hard for me to hold back the tears. We see stories like this all the time and it seems unreal. But to this family and to many others…this is the harsh reality of life. “Since I was 8 years old, my mom has battled Stage 2 breast cancer. Over the years it went away, then came back. Recently it has gotten much worse, and the doctors are thinking that she has about 4-6 months to live. I hear stories like this all the time. But now to actually live it…I just have no words.” Benson Mowrey, Beth’s young son continues, “But her unwavering faith in the Lord and His plan gives me, and is, hope. She is the poster child of believing in Christ. She quotes scriptures all time time, and I’m always so impressed. For example, today she read a scripture that she thought applied to me and my current situation. We cried, and we ended up exchanging stories about each other and just talking. That’s just one of the many things I will miss about her, but the thing I will miss the most is her hugs.”

King James brought a NBA championship to Cleveland. But the real King…the King of kings will soon make Beth a champion over death. Beth knows it. Alan knows it. Benson knows it. Even Ohio’s athletic phenom knows it.

“I probably gave 1,000 High 5’s during the Cavs parade yesterday which probably lead to me getting sick which lead me to have to wear this mask when visiting Beth which lead to hospital security following me up to Beth’s room as I rolled in at 12:30 a.m.”

cleveland cav parade

 

alan mowrey

 

beth mowrey

I wonder if Alan sleeps. How can he? He’s had to watch the life drained out of the love of his life for the past eight years. In the short back and forth I’ve had with him, I can tell that he’s tough as nails. I wonder what his prayers to God sound like?

Alan direct messaged me with this: “We have tried our best to live each day, one day at a time. Make memories with our children, have an overly optimistic outlook and laugh A LOT. We talk all the time how much harder it would be to get through this without the church. Without the members. Without the external perspective.”  That sort of faith, logic, and wisdom is both infectious and uplifting.

There is still so much love in this world. We’re consumed with negative media that makes every person from every race, creed, nationality look like monsters. But Alan and Beth will tell you that it’s the empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate friends they have made along the way that have made this monumental challenge a little more bearable. “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”

alan mowrey

Alan’s been driving back and forth for hours at a time from work, to Beth’s cancer treatments. It’s given him loads of time to think. For all the physical pain that we humans pass through in this life, it’s the mental torment and anguish that hurts the most. And at the end of the day…after you’ve thought through and confronted all of your worst fears, all you can do is have faith that there is a God that loves you and knows your situation. All you can do is hold on to the hope that, “Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don’t come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”@HollandJeffreyR

Beth Mowrey, 40 years old, still fighting, still inspiring, still writing a love story for the ages. “This man.” says Beth about Alan… “He has made my dreams come true. He has helped me live my best life. My one and only true love. My life could not be sweeter.” In the end…if you can say that you have experienced true love, then you have truly lived. From what I can see Beth…you have a whole lot of people who love you, and that is a testament to what kind of woman you must be.

Keep fighting. Beat the odds. Keep inspiring.

#BattleTogether

 

Check in with Beth and Alan on their blog “The Gift

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