K-State quarterback draws inspiration from personal loss

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson lost his mother Teresa Thompson to cancer on May 11, 2004. 

“Out of all these people in the world why is my mom gone,” asked Thompson “I remember kissing her on the cheek and telling her goodbye and told her I loved her and she told me she loved me, and then my dad took me to my aunt’s house and I had no idea I was in store for.”

By the time the cancer was detected, it was already stage-four and hope was slim.

“She wasn’t going to give up and she was going to fight her tail off and go beat it and that’s the mindset she had,” said Thompson.

After his mother’s passing, Thompson and his father moved for a fresh start.

“Truly very thankful for my dad and the relationship that we have,” says Thompson. “We built a house in Kansas City and my dad was the 9th grade principal at Fort Osage, which is where I ended up going to high school and it was just fell into place.”

Thompson’s father married Kathy Burns and they had Thompson’s brother, Anthony.

“She’s one of the most special people in my life and truly is the closest thing to my mom that is in this world. I can only imagine stepping in dating a guy who just lost his wife, let alone a son who just lost his mom, but she was never scared.

With a strong support system in place, Thompson turned to sports and won a state championship as the quarterback at Fort Osage.

“It prepared me for moments that I could be successful playing quarterback,” said Thompson.

Thompson earned a scholarship from Kansas State where his late grandfather was a graduate assistant when the Wildcats won a Big 8 basketball championship.

“Football has always been the backbone to this whole process for me and the healing process,” says Thompson.

Last season, Thompson battled adversity on the field as he was in and out as the Wildcats’ starting quarterback.

“Whenever I get challenged and it gets hard I just think about my mom, I think about how she felt whenever she was told that she had stage-four breast cancer and her life was probably coming to an end in four months and she decided to go get chemotherapy and go fight.”

Thompson honors her every day.

“I have a necklace that my dad gave on my 18th birthday. He got his wedding ring cut and locked and molded to where it could be a charm on a necklace, so I wear that every day.”

He also honors her at every game.

“I write her initials on my cleats along with my grandfather’s. I think about her a lot before I go into a game and even have conversations with her to let her know that I’m playing for you.”

And when Thompson finds the endzone.

“I always point up to the sky and give the glory to her and to God for giving me the opportunity to compete.”

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