When Jim Anderson received his brain cancer diagnosis in spring 2018, he was confident he could beat it.
“He’d say that he was going to be the ‘miracle’ survivor doctors would study to understand how to treat and cure future patients,” said Ceri Anderson, Jim’s widow. “But if that wasn’t the case, he insisted something good had to come out of it.”
“He was notorious for being late for everything except a game at the ballpark,” said Ceri. “It was our family’s happy place.”
The Anderson family was grateful to have the opportunity to spend the time they had left with Jim at the Regency Athletic Complex at MSU Denver, surrounded by a supportive community and the sport they loved. “If you have to go through something like this, it is the perfect place,” said Ceri.
A fun-loving man and eternal optimist, Jim had a wide circle of friends everywhere he went. While in the hospital, he drew his strength from an unexpected source – King Kong.
“He told me that he wasn’t afraid, he was angry. Like King Kong, he was going to ‘tear this [stuff] up,’” said Ceri. “He said, ‘Don’t call me Jim anymore, call me Kong.’”
At that moment, #KongStrong was born. It became the rallying cry for Jim’s family and friends, and the inspiration for establishing the Jim Anderson #KongStrong Memorial Endowed Scholarship, which will support Colorado softball players seeking their degree at MSU Denver.
Jim’s life motto was simple: Be kind. Students at MSU Denver will experience the impact of his kindness in perpetuity, thanks to the generosity of the more than 100 donors who contributed $50,000 to the scholarship in just over three months.
“MSU Denver turned out to be a homey fit for our family and is the right place for the #KongStrong legacy,” said Ceri. “Jim would be happy with how the scholarship will support future students.”