(ABC4 NEWS – TREMONTON, UT) There are all kinds of teams. People working together for a common purpose. Talen Summers was part of the Bear River football team that won the state championship in 2006.
What does it mean to be part of a team to Talen? He told me; “You learn to work together, learn to love each other. Do the best you can and have fun while doing it.”
Talen’s most important team is his family. Talen’s father, Stan Summers, told me about his son; “He’s just been a fighter since he was born. He was 29 1/2 weeker. He was the first person in Utah to have surfactant. which is a new steroid that helps them develop their lungs. He had open heart surgery when he was 10 days old.”
27-year-old Talen is fighting IGG4 Systemic Sclerosing Disease that hardens the tissue from the inside out. There is no cure.
Talen said; “Basically, if you don’t have a family support system with something like I have you wouldn’t last very long.”
The Summers have a family motto. Talan takes that motto seriously; “Never give up. I am proud that I fight. There are so many times I could have given up. Could have taken a different path. Could have taken the short way out. You know. It’s just not who I am.
One Wish Cache Valley granted Talan a wish with a team he admires. Stan got emotional as he talks about a very special day. “They had a national guard come up and do a flag ceremony on my front yard with about 40 national guardsmen.
He grabbed Talan’s hand and said if I can help you out there, you’ve got a lot of people here. So, he put him in his wheelchair and took him outside. Probably the highlight of his life.”
I asked what Talan what gave him hope. He answered resolutely; “The gospel of Jesus Christ. One day, I’ll feel whole again. won’t be suffering. That’s what gives me hope.”
These stories deserve to be told. These are Utah Caring Stories. I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.
To see more Utah Caring Stories and to nominate a person or group making a difference go to ABC4.com/Caring.