LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas family, who lost their son to cancer last year, is working to keep his memory alive. Their son started a book while undergoing treatment. His family has now completed the book and is getting it published.
Longview native Jeremy Cotham was diagnosed with leukemia after graduating from UT Tyler in 2009. He fought the disease for 6 years before passing away in March 2015. He loved football and his family says it's what kept him going during treatment.
"It was amazing. We would be at M.D. Anderson and we would come home on a Friday night and go to a Longview football game...we would get in the car and drive back to Houston and drive back at 2 or 3 in the morning. The next day he would have his numbers and they would be up. And the doctor says 'what made it jump so high?' and he said 'I went to a football game,'" David Cotham, Jeremy's father, said.
It was that love of football, and the Longview Lobos, that led Jeremy to start writing a book about the history of the team while he was going through treatment. But, he was not able to finish before he passed.
"He made Ms. Bettye Craddock, his journalism teacher, promise on his death bed that she would help him finish his book," Cotham said. Jeremy had studied at Kilgore College before attending UT Tyler.
And with the Craddocks' help, Jeremy's parents have finally finished the book.
"This is Jeremy's book. This is his book," Cotham said.
While the family is still grieving, Jeremy's dad said it has been a way to help them begin to heal.
"You try to make sense out of tragedy and why things happen, and this is just one way to help us out," he said.
"It's going to keep his memory alive, and all the influence he had on other people," he added.
They hope to have the copies of the book available for purchase in time for the Lobos' upcoming season.
The book will be available at the Lobo athletic office and at all Lobo home games. Cotham says the proceeds from the book will go to the Longview ISD Foundation and the Booster Club, which was Jeremy's request.
You can find out more information about the book and how to pre-order here.