Celebrating man with big heart

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If you have been in Shelby County very long, you have more than likely met Scott Armstrong — the little man with the big heart.

Scott Armstrong is 37 and a joy to be around at any time. He was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) three years ago and is presently at Duke University recovering from a transplant. Even in the worse of times, he has a positive attitude and an innate ability to encourage and inspire other people.

Scott was involved in Columbiana’s Relay for Life for six years before he was diagnosed. It was during his first round of chemotherapy that he formed his own team, which won the Columbiana Relay Rookie Team of the Year in 2006.

During his fundraising efforts, Scott was in and out of the hospital about eight times. While he was literally fighting for his life, he was working to help find a cure.

“Leukemia is more prevalent in kids. I am a grown man and can handle this emotionally. I feel sorry for all of the kids who get it and don’t know how to deal with it. Heck, I was losing my hair anyway,” Scott said to best friend Corley Ellis one night in the hospital.

After Scott’s fight with cancer was over, he started making plans to go on another trip to Honduras. Local folks were amazed that his heart was still so big that instead of resting, he wanted to go help other people in a third world country.

Last year, Corley nominated Scott for the Life Inspiration Award and this is what he said of him:

“I know that there are well over 500,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year. I also know that all of them should be recognized for their courage and will to fight this dreaded disease. Scott, all of his life and even through some very tough circumstances, has shown such an inspiring love for life and love for people. He has spent his whole life overcoming obstacles. At the same time he has touched so many lives by keeping his head up and not even acknowledging these obstacles. His will to live life to the fullest has always amazed me, and I found myself in awe sometimes as he fought his battle with and against cancer … The old saying, ‘To know him is to love him’ could not prove more true.”

Armstrong received the American Cancer Society’s Inspiration Award. More importantly he has won the respect, prayers, genuine love and sincere support of the people of Shelby County. While he may be at Duke University Hospital, his presence and spirit are here in Shelby County.

Scott can be contacted through his Caring Bridge Web site or you can send him a card to 4225 Larchmont Road, No. 1008, Durham, N.C. 27707.

Beth Chapman can be contacted by e–mail at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.

Editor’s note: This article was written using excerpts of Corley Ellis’ Life Inspiration Award nomination letter.