After two years of a hard fight, cancer finally beat Chris Schroeder. But the battle that he waged against the disease should serve as an inspiration to us all.
The South High School senior died on June 4 at home. He had been in and out of the hospital over the last few weeks, but the treatments he received just could not stop his illness.
The news rocked the South High community, as Chris was one of the more popular members of the senior class. His unique personality was admired by others, especially because it was coupled with a good heart and a contagious laugh. It’s not easy in high school to be both different and popular, but he succeeded. South High was a better place because of him, even in his absence.
Few students or teachers could recall a moment when he wasn’t smiling, even as he was undergoing treatment after treatment and suffering setback after setback. Chris lived as though he had his entire life ahead of him. He treated his leukemia as merely an obstacle that he would have to overcome, after which he could go back to living his normal life. The rest of us would be lucky to summon half of his spirit and determination. When his situation looked grim, he refused to give up. Chris showed us that life is truly worth living.
While his body may have been mortal, his soul is not. He will continue to live on in the memories of his friends, family members, teachers and staff, peers in the Junior Fire Department and even his bowling competitors. He meant so much to South High School, and the entire Valley Stream community.
We express our sadness at his death and offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved him. We mourn his loss, and we celebrate his life — a life devoted to trying to make others as happy as he was.