Carson Leslie: His Story Will Live On...

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

Can you imagine having to bury your 17-year-old son? That's exactly what a local family close to many of my friends is doing today. But no doubt that through their tears of grief will also be a great deal of rejoicing. Because, I've noticed while following his story on Caring Bridge that he has taught all who know him a whole lot about what matters in life. His name? Carson. And his story will live on...

Please do not close this post without watching this 4 minute video directly from isn't as much about his journey with cancer as it is about a book he was writing to help other kids deal with cancer. It is remarkable. VERY few things have reached into my heart as deeply as this:

Isn't that amazing? Want to know what happened with the book? Read this article from the Dallas Morning News yesterday:

Local teen's fight is over, but, oh, what a life
01:04 AM CST on Sunday, January 17, 2010

When Michael Young talked to Carson Leslie for the last time, the conversation was typical.

They talked about the cancer that was killing Carson at 17. There was no sense in avoiding it. Carson's three-year struggle had in some ways defined him. Ignoring the subject would have only diminished the triumphs – and there were many – in his long, hard fight.

But the topic didn't consume the conversation between the two friends, either.

Over the years, as the Rangers star came to know Carson and his family – Craig and Annette and older brother Craig, who met through the work Young and his wife Cristina do with Wipe Out Kids' Cancer – it was clear that, of all the kids the Youngs had helped, Carson was his favorite.

Maybe it's because Carson had been an athlete at Covenant. Or it could have been his sudden, disarming smile.

Maybe it was how he made his difficult lot in life so much easier on the people around him.

He always knew what to say. One minute, it'd be pain or his latest treatment. Next thing Young knew, it would be baseball or girls, the kind of stuff you'd expect from a typical 17-year-old.

Carson tried hard to live a normal life. When it was no longer possible, he lived an exceptional one.

He decided in June to write a book about his experiences. He wanted to give a voice for kids like him who didn't have his resources or gifts. He wanted people to better understand loved ones with the same life-threatening prospects.

"Even though every day of my life is a battle, I have learned that God is always there to lift me up, and I live each day as if it were the Day of Judgment," he wrote. "I believe my story will give readers a new perspective on the importance of how words and/or actions affect those around them.

"I wish to make a difference, and I know others my age want to do the same. Maybe after they read my book, they will discover how to live the struggle."

He called the book, Carry Me. A party celebrating its finish was scheduled today. The book's release was set for Monday.

They'll hold Carson's memorial service Monday instead.

"He was an incredible young man," Young said. "He fought a good fight. He did it with courage and grace and dignity, and he was just 17 years old."

He leaves a loving family, legions of friends and a story of how to live. The ending came too soon. Michael Young is glad he got to know the rest of it.

"I got a chance to be friends with Carson Leslie for three years," he said. "I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."

Services set for Monday
Carson's memorial service will be 1 p.m. Monday at Grace Bible Church, 11306 Inwood, Dallas, corner of Inwood and Northaven. Proceeds from his book, Carry Me, will go to the Carson Leslie Foundation in support of pediatric cancer research. To order, send $17.95 to Carry Me-Carson Leslie, Suite 102, 16250 Knoll Trail Dr., Dallas, TX 75248. Or go to

Well, I don't know about you...but this book is going to be in my library. How about you? His story has impacted me beyond words, and I am praying for his family, friends and all who have been ministered to by the life of Carson Leslie.

Carson's life verse:
Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God will be with you wherever your go...

* Story reprinted from the


Tracy January 18, 2010 at 9:20 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing this, Laura...those were moments well spent indeed. What an incredible, courageous young man. Yes, I'll be getting his book, too. I think there is much to learn from his Carson and his life's journey.

Blessings to you...

Joanne Sher January 18, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

Wow - such a powerful testimony, and so much to learn. Just wow.

Anonymous,  January 19, 2010 at 8:44 PM  

Amazing. Compare that to some other people with a terminal disease and their primary thought is not how to make life easier for their visitors.

elaine @ peace for the journey January 20, 2010 at 12:12 PM  

I value the silence as well as Carson did; God speaks to me more in the silence than in the noise around me. This post and his perspective are especially meaningful to me in my own season of walking with a friend through her cancer.

For the record, I've never strayed away from the hard questions. Instead, I consider it a high and holy privilege to have a ringside seat to those who are suffering, whose faith is stronger than mine, and who allow me any measure of influence into their pain.

Powerful post, friend. You always go to great lengths to "mine" for wealth on the internet. Says a great deal about your "interior".

Love you.


Carrie C. Stone January 20, 2010 at 2:33 PM  

It doesn't happen often to me, but I am speechless. My heart is touched by the story and the courage of this young man, and yet grieved for the parents because of their loss.
Thank you for sharing this, Laura. It will impact lives.

Kirk Burgess,  February 16, 2010 at 4:02 PM  

A banner celebrating Carson's life will be erected at the Town North Family YMCA where Carson came to escape and become stronger. With Carson's parents consent, I have pledged to raise an additional $1000.00 in Carson's name to go directly into the program that he much benefited from. Carson was a recipient of funding that included him in the Lance Armstrong Foundation / YMCA collaborative. His parents and brother are still benefiting from this program even after his death. This collaborative receives scholarship money from the annual partners campaign that goes to those participants that otherwise cannot participate in the programs they need.
As Carson's trainer, I have learned much more from him than I could have ever taught him. He has touched me and now I want to give back and thank him by erecting this banner.

If you or know anyone that would like to contribute to this banner and help us raise the necessary funds to continue helping kids get stronger during their experience with cancer, please send any amount to:
Town North Family YMCA
4332 Northaven Rd. Dallas, TX. 75229
c/o Carson Leslie's Celebration of Life Banner

and thank you for helping us build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.
Kirk Burgess
SR. Director of Health and Wellness

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