Zac “Yeti” Yarbrough wakes up every morning and makes a choice. And it shows.
When you talk to Zac, a few things stand out. First, the burly salt-and-pepper beard. Second, the now-identifying pink fishing hat. And third, his vibrant out-going spirit.
At first glance, you wouldn’t know he’s been battling metastatic breast cancer for almost four years. But, if you talk to him, he speaks of his experience with passion.
“That day when I got diagnosed, I kind of knew I had a choice. I could either fight it and be an advocate and leader, or I can be a victim of it.”
He was diagnosed at the age of 38 in July 2019, which happened to be around the 2019 ESPY Awards. While watching ESPN, he came across Jim Valvano’s iconic 1993 ESPYS speech. He had heard the speech before, but this time it resonated differently.
“That night I was sitting on my couch by myself and listened to his speech and it totally changed my attitude and philosophy on my diagnosis, my life going forward and what I can do with it. His famous quote, “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”®, can be applied to everything in life, whether it’s cancer, a rough day, athletics – you can keep moving on.”
The words Jim Valvano said that night haven’t left him. And they never will – as he tattooed them to his left hand. They serve as a constant reminder to choose not to give up each and every day.
Zac is a fighter, a leader, a father, an advocate and an inspiration. He has done anything but given up.
** Story Credit – The V Foundation –