When 12-year-old Ahmad Adams died from cancer March 14, he gave his family a gift.
Marnisha Becnel, his cousin and former babysitter, says in life and death, Ahmad is an inspiration.
“Anybody you talk to will tell you, his attitude was so amazing, and because of that, it makes it a little easier to mourn him,” Becnel said.
“He was a bossy little man – he wanted what he wanted,” she continued. “He was just cheerful little Ahmad. Nothing ever changed with him.”
Becnel says when her cousin became ill, he never complained.
“If you didn’t know he was sick, you never would’ve known,” she said. “He never cried; he never complained.”
Ahmad’s mother, Toni Thornton, says her son could “make you laugh and make you cry” at the same time.
“He had old friends and young friends,” she said. “I didn’t know he had touched so many people at the age of 12.”
Thornton said her son’s Facebook page was filled with comments from strangers.
“They would tell him how much they loved him and how much he touched them,” she said. “He was a sweet young man, and he had a lot of friends.”
Thornton says her son’s favorite thing to do was watch television – before and after he became ill.
“His favorite show was Man vs. Food,” she said, with a laugh. “He was a picky eater, but he enjoyed the show and wondered how that man could eat four pounds of pancakes.”
Ahmad was not one for the great outdoors, his mother says, but he enjoyed wrestling with his older sister.
“He could get her on the floor and he’d be on her,” Thornton said. “She’d be hollering for help, and I’d just look at her and say, ‘get up, baby!’ Even after he lost his leg, he’d scoot across the floor and try to get her.”
A fun time in his young life was when he was selected grand marshal of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.
Ahmad was featured in the Press-Herald in October 2013 in an article written by Melissa Harris. In it, his mother, described her son’s illness, saying he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in 2011 at age 8.
“The tumor started in his knee and grew so big that it broke his bone,” Thornton said.
Ahmad spent a year at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital receiving chemotherapy, along with transfusions; however, in November 2011, his right leg was amputated.
For a while, the disease was in remission but returned in 2013, this time in his lungs.
Ahmad died at Claiborne Memorial Medical Center and will be laid to rest Saturday at Sheppard Street Cemetery, following a funeral service at 3 p.m., at St. Rest Baptist Church.