Emma Naysmith, Editor in Chief

Senior Tommy Stackhouse has accomplished everything from achieving Cancer Warrior status to being crowned homecoming king. After being diagnosed with leukemia the summer of his junior year, Stackhouse inspired the community with true Slater strength. 

Throughout his high school career, Stackhouse had the opportunity to serve his community as the varsity football manager and participate in intramural bowling. As a result of his magnet personality and immense sense of Slater pride, Stackhouse made instant friends wherever he went. 

“Everyone on the football team quickly became my friend and it was suddenly like one big family. They even took time out of their summer to come and spend a day with me when I came home from the hospital,” Stackhouse said. 

With his leukemia diagnosis, Stackhouse’s world was flipped entirely upside down. He went from being like any other teenager wanting to have fun to just wanting to remain healthy. He felt the kindness of his friends and Slater Nation in these tough times. 

“After my diagnosis, I just couldn’t believe all the support from the community. People that I didn’t even know were messaging me with words of support; it was so kind of them,” Stackhouse said. 

Almost every aspect of his life had changed that day. Thankfully, Stackhouse’s friendships and support only grew stronger. 

“I especially want to thank my cousin Drew who always kept everyone up to date about my condition,” Stackhouse said. “Additionally, to all of the sports teams who reached out to me and made signs to hang in the hospital and for sending t-shirts so that I could show off my Slater spirit. I still proudly wear all of them.”

In effort to inspire Stackhouse, friends and family showed encouragement with multiple themed events.

“As soon as my mom called Coach Reduzzi with my diagnosis, the support was never ending. The students and staff had an orange night at the football game, students organized a fundraiser at the Broadway Pub, and the girls basketball team had an orange game in my honor. There were even t-shirt and bracelet sales,” Stackhouse said. 

Stackhouse quite literally has Slater pride running through his blood—even cancer couldn’t stop him from attending Slater events and being an active member of his community. 

“One of my favorite memories was the orange night football game. I was there but was slow moving because I had a bone marrow biopsy the day before and was really sore. The sea of orange took my breath away! I couldn’t believe all the students and staff members of the community that were wearing orange that night!” Stackhouse said. 

After seeing his unwavering Slater pride, it’s no surprise that Stackhouse was voted onto the homecoming court and ultimately crowned king by his peers. 

“It was the most amazing feeling knowing so many people care about me!” Stackhouse said. “I was so surprised to have won; it was an honor just to even be nominated.” 

Through these tough times and with encouragement from those who care about him, Stackhouse has learned to take life one day at a time and to enjoy living in the moment. 

“First and foremost, I plan on being healthy and staying in remission and second, I plan on attending Northampton Community College for general studies,” Stackhouse said. “I am interested in one day working with special needs students.”

No matter what Stackhouse puts his mind to next, one thing is for sure, he will always continue to inspire his Slater family through his strength, bravery, and positive outlook.