Tom Harper was on top of the world with the future shining brightly before him - a handsome 19-year-old recruit recently accepted into the prestigious United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.Six-foot three, Tom was a muscular 225-poundMoreTom Harper was on top of the world with the future shining brightly before him - a handsome 19-year-old recruit recently accepted into the prestigious United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.Six-foot three, Tom was a muscular 225-pound weight-lifter, in the best shape of his life.
Possessing superior athletic ability, Midshipman Harper earned himself a spot on Navy’s varsity football team while only a freshman.Then suddenly, Tom’s life turned upside down. A routine physical examination led to an immediate biopsy- and disaster. The shattering diagnosis revealed a malignant tumor. Tom had testicular cancer, which had already spread throughout his body and was nearing its final, fatal stage of development.Given less than an 8% chance to live more than six months, young Tom Harper was fiercely determined to beat the overwhelming odds stacked against him.I CHOOSE TO FIGHT is the heart-warming story of Tom’s miraculous victory over cancer.
It’s a story of a young man’s courage…the power of love…and the strength of the human spirit.Tom suffered through two brutal years of chemotherapy and a year of experimental radiation treatments. He lost his muscle tone and strength - dropping fifty pounds in four weeks.Yet, throughout the devastating ordeal, Tom never once believed he was going to die. He emphasized life, not death - and replaced fear with enthusiasm.
He discovered that love and hope were potent remedies as effective as any drug.On the verge of being processed out of the Naval Academy as medically unfit, Harper made a commitment to survive, to be involved, to play football again, and to be a commissioned Academy graduate. Was he dreaming? Yes. But it was a very special dream that helped him keep fighting for life by day by day by day. He had his family’s deep faith, the motivation and support of the Academy, his love of sport, his trust in God, and many friends who lent him strength.Now, in his own words, Harper recalls every moment, from the depressing anguish of chemotherapy and radiation treatments to the ecstatic joy of returning to the football field, graduating from the Naval Academy, and being commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy.Tom Harper’s story proves that hope can overcome even the most hopeless of circumstances - a lesson we can all use to meet and solve our daily problems with determination and spirit.