High school athletes who inspire on and off the field — that's what the National Guard Inspiration contest is about. And as the clock winds down, with three days to go as of Friday, there's only ten contestants left in the running.
One of those contestants is 18-year-old Dominique Cooks from Decatur High School in Washington. According to his biography Dom was an amazing football and basketball player. (Via USA Today)
But two years ago, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that is slowly taking his life. Cooks has lost his vision and can no longer walk. Doctors say he may not make it through next month. (Via Facebook / Dominique Cooks)
"Stuff is crazy. Like nothing is promised."
"Despite is dire situation Dom has been a powerfully positive presence in school... All anyone does when they're around him is laugh." (Via KING)
And if it wasn't for another inspirational high school athlete from Missouri, Dom would have already been knocked out of the National Guard competition.
Seventeen-year-old Nick Hibbeler plays soccer and is a survivor of testicular cancer. He made it to the contest's final round but after reading about Dom, who Nick surpassed in the competition, the soccer player gave up his spot. (Via Kansas City Star)
"My health prognosis has been pretty good for the most part and Dominique's, he hasn't been so lucky."
"He's asking everyone to go vote for Dominique." (Via WDAF)
Although circumstances don't look good for Dom, he was able to graduated high school back in February when he was still able to walk. He and his twin sister received their diplomas together and spirits were high, to say the least. (Via People)
"I just want to thank everyone for coming down, showing up. You know what I'm saying? I feel like a rapper with this mic in my hand." (Via KIRO)
During the ceremony Dom even got a surprise from Seattle Seahawks player Doug Baldwin. (Via ABC)
But before that special day, Dom had one wish: to play football again.
And there he is, walking across the goal line to make a touch down at his high school senior homecoming game. (Via YouTube / Kevin Cho)
At the time he told the Federal Way Mirror "Before I got this tumor, I was going to the NBA or the NFL. That's still what I'm going to do. Can't nobody tell me any different. I'm definitely going to beat this. I'm kinda self-motivated like that."
As of Friday, Dom was number three in the competition which is sponsored by USA Today. The winner gets a feature article in USA Today, the Inspiration Trophy and $1,000 to be donated to the school's athletic program.