Rise to the Occasion by Dr. Eddie Connor

Updated: Jul 4, 2018

Situations in life can bring you to a breaking point, but will you break down or break


“I thought you were dead” were the bone chilling words, spoken to me by a man who was aware of my battle with cancer. When people give up on you, never give up on yourself. All the trials you’ve been through, should have killed you but it was only preparation to rise to the occasion!

Situations in life can bring you to a breaking point, but will you break down or break through? You can never become stronger until you exercise strength in weakness. How long will you remain sick and tired of being sick and tired? It’s time to break free of the trials that have broken you down!

When hurdles seek to hinder your progress, do you turn around or press forward? I was in a battle with my breaking point. I was literally sick and tired, as the hurdles of cancer afflicted my body at the age of fifteen. A young black male, raised in a single parent divorced home and diagnosed with cancer. Identity means everything as a young kid.  When many kids were going to the mall to buy the latest trends, I was in a cancer center receiving the latest treatments. The odds were stacked against me, being diagnosed with stage four cancer.  

Even the Doctor said, “We can’t promise anything.” When the haters and naysayers count you out, who’s report will you believe? Will you believe man’s report or will you believe the report of the Lord? For almost two years, I endured chemotherapy and radiation, five days a week. The physical pain was unbearable with hair loss, nausea, and spinal taps.

Oftentimes, the psychological pain took an even greater toll, to the point where I wanted to give up and die.


Growing up in the metro Detroit area, all I had was a strong mother who encouraged me to fight cancer. As much as I’m grateful to have her in my life, there’s still nothing that replaces the imprint of a father on a child’s life. I know who my Dad is, but he never became my Father. Any male can be a Dad, but it takes a man to be a Father. It does not take much to plant the seed, but it does takes strength to tend the soil.  

The word “man” is about more than gender. A strong man will step up to the plate of responsibility, by managing the lives of those entrusted to him and manifest his destiny.  The absence of a Father has an impact on a child’s psychology and identity. The effect is even greater when a circumstance, such as my battle with cancer comes into play.                        

Yet the daunting echoes of cancer were transformed into a symphony of hope. I began to change my mindset, from negative to positive and see the impossible as I’m possible.  The first three letters in the word cancer, spells “CAN” and I decided that I CAN and I WILL overcome! Every lesson is a blessing, preparing you for life’s testing. I learned that I have power to persevere. I may struggle, but I have strength to overcome. CANcer taught me about the audacity to hope and turn every hardship into healing.

We must inject the spirit of “I CAN” into the lives of our young brothers. Many of our youth are raised in fatherless homes and that much more are void of mentors. We must teach our young men not to define themselves by what they have, but define themselves by who they are. If you don’t have designer shoes, if you lose your friends, if you don’t have a million dollars, do you still know who you are? Don’t lose things and lose yourself too.  

The resilient spirit of a survivor will lead to greater success. Today, refuse to be bitter and become better.  Don’t see yourself as a victim, emerge victorious. See the love, value, grace, and greatness within. You were born to do more than survive, it’s your time to thrive. Walk by faith and be determined to not just go through, but GROW through every situation. Despite the doctor’s diagnosis, God gave me His prognosis in Psalm 118:17, that “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.”

My life is a miracle because I live through dying places! YOU CAN too! Transform your pain into power. Shake off the paralyzing pain of your past and fight for your future.  Step out of fear into faith, because this is your time to rise to the occasion!

Dr. Eddie Connor is a bestselling author, international speaker, college professor, and TV host on TCT Network. He is a survivor of stage 4 cancer and empowers people to overcome obstacles. Dr. Eddie is the cousin, of one of the world's most influential entertainers, the late legendary Prince. As an author of 8 bestselling books, Dr. Eddie has been featured and hosted segments on BET, CBS, FOX News, NBC, PBS, The Steve Harvey TV Show, The Tom Joyner Show, and The Word Network. He was also featured on The Potter's Touch and was an empowerment speaker at Bishop T.D. Jakes' MegaFest

Dr. Eddie is the founder of the mentoring organization, Boys 2 Books, which empowers young males via literacy, leadership, and life skills enrichment. The program became the impetus for President Barack Obama's, My Brother's Keeper initiative. Dr. Eddie is a recipient of The President Barack Obama Volunteer Service Award and The President Barack Obama Lifetime Achievement Award from The White House. He is recognized as one of the Top 35 Millennial Influencers in America, listed in the Top 100 leaders in Who's Who in Black Detroit, and named to Michigan Chronicle's Top 40 under 40. Dr. Eddie grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and is a proud resident of Detroit, Michigan.

To learn more about Dr. Eddie Connor, visit


P.O. Box 16343

Lake Charles, LA 70616

T: 337-214-4046 (Call or text.)

  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Amazon Social Icon
  • Facebook B&W
  • Twitter B&W
  • LinkedIn B&W

© 2023 by Gospel Music Honors, Inc.