By Ukee Washington
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Young Stanley Edwards was full of life. Now, he lives on in college students, thanks to his West Chester parents and a lot of brotherly love.
“My son was the joy of my life,” said Stanley Edwards.
His son always reminded him of himself in name and in spirit.
“He was me, re-living my life,” Edwards explained.
Young Stanley was funny. He got good grades, and he was good in sports. Even in middle school, he was thinking about college. Then he saw the movie Rudy, “and the college of his choice, even at 11, 12 years old, was Notre Dame,” said Donna Edwards, Stanley’s mother.
Stanley couldn’t wait to head there. But when he was 12, Stanley’s grades slipped without explanation.
“One day he came to me and said, ‘Mom, I can’t use my arm,'” Donna said. A CAT scan found a massive brain tumor.
“He just kept asking his oncologist, ‘Am I gonna still be able to go to college?’ And we all reassured him, ‘Of course, Stanley, you’re gonna be able to go to college,'” Donna said.
Stanley died in 2002 at the age of 14, “so he can’t reach that. But we can help others to reach it,” said Stanley’s father.
The Edwards family started Stanley’s DREAM, a non-profit, to not only raise money for cancer research, but for students like Jeffrey Stewart, who is headed to Ithaca College to study music.
“To be able to say that I’m representing a young man who his biggest dream was to go to college, which I am now doing with the help of the scholarship foundation, it serves as a great honor,” said Jeffrey.
Jeffrey “just fulfilled what we thought our son would have been like,” said Donna.
So far, Donna and Stanley have given 22 scholarships of $2000 each to exceptional students. Those students have to have good grades and write an essay mentioning Stanley, keeping alive the memory of a boy who wanted to go to college, too.
“I miss him every day,” his father said.