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Remembering Adam Fink: Tyrone’s Angel in the Outfield

Gone but never forgotten, Tyrone students remember a very special classmate.

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On November 18, 2002, 15 years ago today, Adam Fink was born. He lived a life of inspiration, though it was not nearly long enough.

As Tyrone’s freshman class settles into their first year of high school, many are thinking of their former classmate who isn’t able to embark on this new chapter of life with them, on what would have been his fifteenth birthday.

In 2010, Adam was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a type of cancer that attacks connective tissues in the body, such as muscles, fat, bones, the linings of joints, or blood vessels. Adam battled cancer bravely for two years but passed away on Saturday, November 17, 2012, just one day shy of his tenth birthday.

Adam taught me that no matter what struggles you have, no matter how hard they are, you keep pushing forward.”

— Blaine Hoover

Adam enjoyed playing baseball, hanging out with his two best friends Brandon Lucas and Rodney Shultz, going to the Tyrone public pool, and playing with his pets.

Adam was especially passionate about baseball.  As a result, his close friends and family started Team Adam Day, a day filled with his favorite game, to show support and raise money for their friend and his family.

“The whole day was for Adam. He loved baseball, and seeing his friends play it. It showed him that we were all there for him in his fight against cancer,” said close childhood friend Brandon Lucas.

“I remember when Adam beat me in a pitching competition at the first Team Adam Day. We were the last two, and he still beat me after he lost his arm,” said classmate and friend Michael Stoner.

Brandon Lucas said that his favorite memory of Adam was seeing him on the first Team Adam Day.

“He was so happy knowing that all of the people were there to support him and enjoy the day with him,” Lucas said.

When Adam returned to school following the amputation of his arm, some children would stare at him because he was different than themselves, but Adam embraced it.

“We were in basketball at the rec center on opposite teams. I remember thinking ‘How do I guard him? Should I go easy on him?’ But, he went all out. He was good too. I didn’t hold back because he challenged me,” said friend Nick Lewis.

He taught me to live life to the fullest. He was just a happy soul all of the time”

— Makenna Bauer

Adam’s journey impacted the lives of many of his friends and taught them important life lessons early on.

¨Adam taught me that no matter what struggles you have, no matter how hard they are, you keep pushing forward. If you are upset that you have a broken finger,  just think – someone has it worse than you, and you should be thankful for what you have. Adam did that so well,¨ said Blaine Hoover.

“[Adam] made me realize [that] life could change at any time,” said friend Rodney Shultz.

His happy-go-lucky attitude was infectious and spread to all around him.

¨I will never forget how personable he was. Every day when we were in second grade, Adam would ask me if he could take me out to dinner and a movie. It was just so funny, I mean we were six or seven. I would say no and laugh every time, but he just kept asking. Guess that shows how persistent he was,¨ said friend Lucia Isenberg.

Losing a classmate and friend at such a young age has affected many students in the freshman class. Every person has their own way of coping, whether it be to let it all out or hold it all in, and each student that knew Adam had to find a way to deal with such a tragedy.

¨I was in Key West when my best friend called me and told me the news. At first, I had no emotion, I was shocked. The next morning when I woke up, I cried all day, and the next, and the next,¨ said Isenberg.

“From a young age, I learned how to deal with grief. He taught me to live life to the fullest. He was just a happy soul all of the time,” said Bauer.

Everyone misses Adam, and some students shared just what they miss most about him.

¨He was the most positive person I knew, so [I]definitely [miss] his positivity,¨ said friend Garrett Martin.

“[I miss] his humor, competitive attitude, and playing whiffle ball in his backyard,” Shultz said.

Since his passing, Team Adam Day has grown into an annual event, held each year on the third Saturday in May. It brings the community together in memory of Adam and his courageous spirit. All proceeds benefit Adam’s Field of Dreams and the Adam Fink Baseball Scholarship Award.

While Adam’s passing was a horrible loss for everyone who knew him, his perseverance and determination are a lifelong inspiration to all.

Team Adam Day 2016

Photo courtesy of Team Adam Day Facebook Page
Team Adam Day 2016

 

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About the Writer
Lucia Isenberg, Photo Editor

Hey! I’m Lucia Isenberg. I’m a sophomore and this is my second year on the Eagle Eye Staff. I enjoy both writing and photography. I am involved in...

13 Comments

13 Responses to “Remembering Adam Fink: Tyrone’s Angel in the Outfield”

  1. Marie Fink on November 18th, 2017 9:33 am

    This means the world to us. Thank you Lucia . I am sure he would STILL be asking you out ! Thanks to all his classmates who remember him fondly. He is missed terribly but it warms my heart to know he touched so many people with his “never give up ” attitude.

  2. Lucia Isenberg on November 18th, 2017 12:05 pm

    I’m glad to keep in the loop and to honor him. He is on all of our minds. Sending love and prayers, always. Happy holidays!

  3. Jay Isenberg on January 18th, 2018 8:18 am

    Hey Lucia!

  4. Linda on November 18th, 2017 10:59 am

    Thus is beautifully written Lucia. An amazing little boy, loved and missed by so many♡

  5. Jim Jones on November 18th, 2017 1:24 pm

    Such a touching story. Very well written and let’s me know about a young live that was taken too early. May god bless the Adam’s family and friends

  6. Tabitha Robison on November 18th, 2017 8:32 pm

    Brett Robison’s essay for the scholarship last year.
    Was such an honor for him.

    What team Adam means to me

    If I had to define what Team Adam means to me, I would simply say that Team Adam is the hard work and dedication that one young kid possessed. I knew Adam from a very young age. I was good friends with Matt and played baseball with him as well. I can still remember the day that I heard the news that Adam had cancer. A little while later I was privileged to be at a game where I saw, still bright and shining Adam step up to the plate to bat. In that instant, Adam changed my life. He had taught me to always be the best that I could be. Life will always have ups and downs, but in that one moment, Adam taught me several lessons that I will always cherish and teach others whenever I can. The saying never judge a book by its cover is the oldest saying I’ve ever heard, but Adam brought this saying to a truer sense. Adam Fink taught me that you cannot under any circumstances judge someone’s heart by looking at the outside. Actions and spirit are the final judge of a person’s true character. Adam showed these two characteristics no matter where he was especially at the ballpark.
    My plan in life is to enter into the field of physical therapy. I will be attending Penn State Altoona this fall to start this journey. This will enable me to help both young, middle and old with any physical problems they may have. Watching Adam do what he did and have a bright face encouraged me to help others smile as well. No matter how much I hurt or how bad I feel, he taught me to continue to press on and keep my head up. Team Adam Day isn’t just a normal day to me; it is a meaning of courage and inspiration. November 17th, 2012 isn’t just a normal day; it is the day heaven received a bright young man who despite everything he went through was an inspiration to all. Adam was a young man that was full of enthusiasm and courage. I would be honored and extremely thankful to be considered recipient for the Team Adam Baseball Scholarship Award.

  7. Deborah Zavada on November 19th, 2017 3:59 am

    Lucia you did a beautiful job paying tribute to Adam. This is Mrs. Debbie, I hope you remember me!! I remember each and everyone of you from Mrs. Elder’s second grade class 2010-2011(I’m in your class picture). I’m absolutely heart broken to hear Adam lost his fight. So heart broken. Marie, I never got to meet you personally but I am blessed to know your amazing, brave, sweet and most giving little boy. There are no words to convey how sorry I am for your loss. I worked with one of the kiddos in Mrs. Elder’s class but I quickly fell in love with all of the students. I still have my team Adam bracelet around my windshield wiper in my car. ♡ All the kids would swarm him every chance they could get!! When he had to miss school due to sickness there was such a void in the classroom. The children always would ask Mrs. Elder how Adam was and what we could do to help. They would pass his desk, pause and smile. It always melted my heart. When he would come back he would always comfort them while they tried to comfort him! He would even comfort us adults too. He was kind to everyone, and he truly made it his mission to be a friend. His strength and heart for his friends and life were breath taking. Any time I would ask him how he was his sweet smile was always there and he would say “I am good Mrs. Debbie how are you?”. I will always treasure my moments with him. He was the absolute best!! I know you know this, but I wanted to ahare that with you. I know he gets all this from his mom and dad!! It really helped put life in persepective!!! He was such a perfect example of what beauty is!!! It is amazing all the good he accomplished!! More than most can do in 100 years. Though my heart is hurting so much, I am forever blessed and changed, because I was friends with Adam Fink. I am praying for you and your family ♡ May God bless you, now and always ♡ Lucia, can you say hi to everyone for me?!? I can’t BELIEVE you are all in high school!! I miss all you kiddos!!

  8. Lucia Isenberg on November 20th, 2017 7:05 pm

    Awe! Mrs. Debbie! We miss you so very much. Thank you! Adam was a very special boy:)

  9. Deborah Zavads on November 28th, 2017 6:52 am

    ♡♡ Just saw this!!! Say hi to EVERYONE!!! Would be nice to see all you kiddos!!! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!! Adam was a very sweet boy!!! I’m still so broken up. God bless you all!!! Have a Merry Christmas sweetie!!! ♡♡

  10. NANCY ADAMS BRUBAKER on November 19th, 2017 9:35 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to this young man! Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints! Psalms 116:14 He obviously touched many lives; I’m sorry I wasn’t privileged to have known him. May God give the family grace, peace and comfort through this time!

  11. Taylor Laber on November 20th, 2017 8:56 am

    gosh, i feel bad. i never had the chance to become friends with him, but i wish i did. he seemed like a great person, with his happy attitude on life, and his perseverant personality.
    my only memory of him was in elementary school, seeing him walk around in the morning in the cafeteria. i always wondered why he had only one arm, and only a year or two ago had i ever even found out. i still feel pretty bad for him, even though i never really met him.
    i’m glad people who did know him at least had good moments with him. from what it sounds like, every bit of it wasn’t sour at all, and it sounds great.
    even though i never truly knew him, in a way… i sorta do miss him. strange, isn’t it

  12. beverly on November 20th, 2017 2:26 pm

    wow i have no idea what to say to that but sorry

  13. beverly on November 22nd, 2017 11:07 am

    and my pappy d is still battling with lymphoma cancer scents the 2000’s and he’s 74 or 75

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Remembering Adam Fink: Tyrone’s Angel in the Outfield