Samson Holloway


Columbia, SC

SAMSON :  “ My favorite tattoo, is actually, um, one that goes across my chest, it says Hallelujah written backwards in mirror letters. My wife just asked me about it this morning and I always kind of dismiss it and am like, “Ah. It’s kind of important- I got it, whatever.” I just told her what it was about. I got it the day after I finished my last round of chemotherapy. I wasn’t supposed to because with chemo you’re not supposed to get a tattoo, but I did it anyway.


I had Ewing Sarcoma. It was a very small almost unnoticed tumor that was in my right leg. We only noticed it was there because I broke my leg and it wouldn’t heal. So, the doctor went in and I was diagnosed with a tumor. It turned out I had this tumor and it had just been sitting in there, I had been through life with it and was in the Marine Corp with it. I was running marathons and I just had this thing sitting in there. It felt like it wasn’t real. Even when seeing photos of it, I wouldn’t accept that it was there. I was the most uncooperative patient you could imagine. I was only twenty-one, I didn’t want medicine, I didn’t want them to cut me open. There was no getting me to act rational. With prodding from my mom and the actual Veterans Affairs stepping in- they made me do it. In the end, it was the right thing to do.


I didn’t like to admit, at first, that I see things differently. I don’t like how people sometimes are like – I had this near-death experience and the world is so much brighter but after having my life nearly shortened at such a young age; it puts things in perspective. My priority list has flipped a complete 180. I still want money and career but I’m not chasing it the way that I had intended on. I want my family, my home, my wife, and like, six kids.


Every time I think about kids the number goes up a little bit more. I used to think I wanted no kids. Then I was like one kid would be great. One child that looks like me and acts like me would be great! Then I am like I was an only child and I was lonely so I guess we need two. Then I’m like, well three sounds more round but four is an even number. ”