As Aadel Askari walked toward the ring, his bald head was shimmering and his smile was broad. His entourage was huge. Friends and family galore. A pudgy kid with glasses, a small boy holding the hand of his 4-year old sister, an old lady dressed in traditional black, a nervous mother, stoic father, and a handful of teenagers who called themselves the "rude boys."
Aadel entered the ring. The fight began. Aadel laughed with every blow, professing: “Bring it on.” “No pain. No gain.”
“This has been one hell of a battle,” the ring announcer said as he watched the champ, Aadel, endure crushing blow after crushing blow by the challenger, Ewing Sarcoma. “It initially appeared that Aadel would be able to handle the colossal challenger in the early rounds,” the ring announcer commented, “but it seems it is only a matter of time before Aadel loses his championship.” “Wait a minute, I may have spoken too soon,” shouted the ring announcer as the previously subdued, pro-Aadel crowd erupted in response to a flurry of punches that resulted in Ewing Sarcoma being knocked down in the fourteenth round of this epic battle. “If Aadel can repeat this in the fifteenth round, he could retain his belt by knocking out Ewing Sarcoma,” explained the announcer. The crowd began a deafening chant, “Aadel… Aadel… Aadel.” However, the chant was short-lived. Ewing Sarcoma landed a fatal blow.
Aadel Askari was born in Cleveland, Ohio on September 24, 1969. A better son, brother, and friend there could not be. At the age of 15, his life was prematurely cut short after a valiant battle with Ewing Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
Aadel was special. There was no one stronger; no one tougher. He had a mischievous smile that only got bigger the sicker he got. He would say that God gave him cancer so he could teach other kids how to endure pain. And teach us he did.
“No pain no gain” was his mantra. Aadel used it to push himself to become a better athlete, and to endure the debilitating effects of bone cancer. It is now our virtue. Because through Aadel’s pain, others will gain - courage in the face of fear; hope in the face of adversity; and strength in support of curing disease.
This year marks the 26th anniversary of Aadel’s death. We are going to celebrate his life by partying like it is 1985. Please join us on August 13th at the Greeneville Inn in Chagrin Falls. The party starts at 7:00 p.m.