Scott Michael Overwater

December 21, 1981 - January 16, 2001

They were an unlikely pair: Rod, a pre-retirement, agricultural lending consultant, who raised Miniature Horses in his spare time, and Scott, a 17 year old boy with a passion for WWF wrestling, a "Jerichoholic". They first met in March 1999, on D6, the isolation ward at Winnipeg's Health Science Center, where each of them was fighting the battle of his life. For Rod, it was round 2 of 3 Chemotherapy Sessions, which would prepare him for his eventual stem-cell transplant to overcome Acute Mylogenous Leukemia. This environment was smothering for a man who was accustomed to enjoying good health, being outdoors with his horses and directing his own path.

On the other hand, unlike most boys his age, Scott's small stature reflected a lifetime of medical intervention and hospital stays, including numerous surgeries, Chemotherapy treatments and even a bone marrow transplant, necessary to sustain his very life. What he lacked in physical size, Scott more than made up with his effervescence and his joy in living. Rod spent many hours visiting with Scott and there was so much to learn from this young man.

Even after they left the hospital, their paths continued to cross as they took further treatments or kept appointments at the clinic. Each meeting would see Scott light up with the recognition of a friend and burst into lively conversation, no matter how ill he was. In the summer of 1999, Scott was able to realize a dream, when, accompanied by his brother Kris, he soared over Winnipeg in the Good Year Blimp during the Pan Am Games. Over the next year Scott continued to attend Dakota Collegiate when he could, and enjoyed having family and friends he could talk to, knowing that they would always be there for him. However, his body was getting tired of the fight and signs of wear were evident.

In July of 2000, Rod too had the opportunity to realize a dream. After his recovery, he had completed his eight-horse hitch of Registered Black Miniature Horses and was able to appear in fairs and parades. Fifteen months earlier, in one of their many bedside conversations, he had said to Scott, "When you and I get out of here, we're going to take a ride." Now it was time to call Scott and invite him to ride on the wagon in the Carman Fair Parade.

On Parade morning, Scott arrived with his mom and aunt. He hadn't been very well and was feeling anxious. We helped him up onto the seat of the wagon and tucked his oxygen tank underneath. As we proceeded, he began to relax and his big smile returned. How I wished that everyone along the parade route could know what a special brave young man this was who rode "shotgun" for Rod. At the end of the parade as he climbed down from the wagon, Scott turned to Rod and grinned, "That was even better than the Good Year Blimp". What a gift that was for Rod!

In the fall, Scott's mom emailed us to tell us that the picture for Scott was dimming. His family planned a trip to California in January 2001 so that Scott could realize one more dream. Sadly, while there, his situation took a down turn and he was admitted to UCLA Medical Centre where he slipped into unconsciousness after reassuring his mom how much he loved her. Scott missed his WWF wrestling match by one day. He was flown home to Winnipeg, where on January 16, 2001, he lost his battle and left us all so much poorer with his loss.

This is his family's message:
"Scott, you touched our hearts with your life, your laughter and your courage. You gave us the strength to move forward. We love you and we will never stop missing you."

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