Cyle Veazey

Cyle Veazey



Cyle Veazey’s life is as if it was based on an Oscar-winning drama. From cancer to a brain tumor to not one, but two strokes all before the age of sixteen, Cyle Veazey has seen his share of tragedy. However, instead of giving in to the trials and tribulations, he has found a way to focus on what he has rather than what he has not. Cyle Veazey was born in Lawrenceville, Georgia. When he was three, his father joined the FBI, and began a series of moves that Cyle would have trouble with in his teenage years, but that proved to be beneficial as he matured.

When Cyle was nine years old, his father was transferred to Washington D.C. It would be here that Cyle’s medical life would begin. When he was eleven years old, he was having the best basketball season of his life. He would go on to score over one hundred points in only thirteen games. However, after every game, he would go home, and sleep for hours on end. He began losing weight, and complaining about it being cold all the time. When visiting his doctor for a routine check-up, she pointed to his throat, and said to his mother, “Do you see that big lump?”

Surprised, his mother said, “I do now.”

After weeks of testing, Cyle’s parents called him into the kitchen one night. Cyle tells the story of what it was like being told he had cancer-

“I was sitting in the kitchen. My mom was standing to my left, my dad to my right. My dad doesn’t like to beat around the bush, so as if he couldn’t believe it either, bluntly he said, ‘Son, you have cancer.’

I just sat there for what seemed like hours, then, slowly, I walked over to my dad, wrapped my arms around him, and waited for the director to say, ‘Cut! Great job Cyle. That sure was great acting. But don’t worry, you don’t really have cancer.’

But there was no director, and this was no movie. My life would never be the same.”

Cyle would undergo a total of three surgeries in his lifetime for the cancer, as well as three radiation treatments. But nothing would prepare him for what would happen in September of 2001.

On September 11th, 2001, Cyle was lying in a hospital bed following surgery to remove a brain tumor. All of a sudden, he, and his father saw smoke billowing out of the building next to them. They thought nothing of it. Cyle’s father received a call from Cyle’s mother, asking if he had to go into work. Cyle’s father replied, “No. I’ve got the day off. Why would I have to go into work?”

“Turn to the television,” she said.

As he did, they saw a plane smash into the side of a building. September 11th, 2001 is a day that would change America forever. September 12th, 2001 would be a day that would change Cyle forever. On September 12th, as Cyle was lying in ICU, suddenly, he shot up, his eyes were bulging. His mouth was as if it was trying to scream something, but nothing was coming out. Then, as abruptly as he shot up, he fell back to the bed as if lifeless.

He’d suffered not one, but two stroke leaving him completely paralyzed from the face down on the right side of his body. Not only months of rehabilitation would follow, but years of depression. However, that all changed one night when Cyle, and his then eight year old brother were sitting in their parent’s basement. They were talking about life- not something most eight year olds can carry on a conversation about.

“[My brother] was not your typical eight year old,” explains Cyle.

As they were sitting there, Cyle said to his brother, “I’m really mad that I can’t play guitar anymore, and I’m really mad that I’ll never amount to anything.”

Then, Cyle asked him, “What should I do?”

Proving that he was wise beyond his years, his brother looked him in the eye, and said something Cyle would never forget. He simply said, “Don’t focus on the past. Don’t look to the future, live for today.”