Survivor's 33rd season, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, recently came to a conclusion by naming Adam Klein, the millennial homeless shelter manager from California, its winner. Adam's story however was not typical of the vast majority of other contestants to come on the show before him.
Several years ago, Adam and his mom, Susie, applied to go on the show together for a special season where loved ones were pitted against each other so that both could realize their dream. Ultimately, however, they did not make the final cast.
Adam continued on and ultimately was cast for this most recent season. However, mere months prior to the filming of the show in Fiji, Susie was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. At the behest of his family, Adam made the journey to compete in Fiji with the understanding that should her condition change, he would return home immediately.
During the game's last stages, the remaining castaways were granted visits from a loved one. It was during this time that Adam's brother informed him that his mother's most recent treatment was not working, but upon taking her off of it, she was gaining strength through knowing Adam was fulfilling their collective dream.
The finale, complete with the reveal of the Sole Survivor, is shown live months after filming is completed. When the show completed filming back in May, Adam knew he made the Final 3 and it was all but certain he had won.
Upon arriving back in the country, Adam hopped on the first flight to his hometown of San Francisco to see his mother who just days before had been doing as well as could be expected. He was able to tell her that he loved her and whisper to her that he had won. She passed away an hour later.
According to Adam, Susie lived at 100%. She was the picture of health and fitness, which is why her diagnosis came as a shock to everyone.
What isn't shocking, though, is the love that she had for her family. Before the beginning of filming, producers told Adam that they would give him a spot on the show in a year or so, should he want it, in order to spend this time with his mom. But because of the love she had for her family, she told her son to take the opportunity that was in front of him, to live his life at 100%, just as she does.
We could all stand to #LiveLikeSusie. We could all stand to show more love to those around us. We could all stand to put someone else before ourselves once in a while.
To share your love and make a donation to lung cancer research, visit youcaring.com/SusieKlein.