Dalton Edwards died on October 15, 2017, following a courageous four-year battle with cancer.

Emily Walls awarded Dalton Edwards Memorial Scholarship

Posted at 3:30 PM on May 28, 2018

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

West Iredell High School senior Emily Walls was awarded the Dalton Edwards Memorial Scholarship on Friday, May 25, during an awards assembly at the school.

The scholarship was presented by Dalton's parents, Joseph and Geri, and his siblings, Dillon and Dharma.

Dalton, 20, died on October 15, 2017, following a courageous four-year battle with cancer. A graduate of West Iredell High, he was an all-conference, all-region and all-county goalkeeper for the Warriors soccer team. He attended Pfeiffer University and was a member of the Falcons national championship team.

Walls was selected for the scholarship by a committee of teachers and administrators as the applicant who best exemplifies the spirit of Dalton Edwards on and off the soccer field.

Here is an excerpt from Walls' essay for the Dalton Edwards Memorial Scholarship:

I have always had a love for helping others. I can not stand to see other people upset or in pain. This is why I wanted to go into the medical field and why I participate in so many clubs and volunteer in my community so much. I have hosted blood drive, donated blood, volunteered through the Salvation Army, read to elementary school students, cleaned up my school, made ornaments to take to a dementia unit, participated in breast cancer awareness fundraisers, collected clothing and toys for homeless shelters, hosted canned food drives, and planned events for my school. I take caring for others very seriously, so every time I do it, I make sure I do it perfectly. I believe that it is my purpose in life to care for others.

I have undergone a lot of struggles in my life already and I know that it doesn’t get easier. I lost my father at the age of seven to drugs, just to watch more members of my family continue to do them. I also recently lost my best friend and the love of my life, Dalton Edwards. I dated Dalton for almost a year, but had a crush on him for about two years previous. Dalton was the strongest person I knew. I could not even imagine being told at sixteen years old that I was going to die soon. I would have no determination to live anymore. This was not the case with Dalton. He was determined to prove the doctors wrong. Even though he became paralyzed at the age of 19, had to drop out of college, and continued to be told that he would not live much longer, he never once lost hope. He always had an amazing sense of humor and was always more worried about everyone besides himself. He taught me selflessness. He taught me how to always stay positive and to never waste a moment. He taught me that no matter what hardships I am going through, they could always be extremely worse, and there are people going through way more that I am everyday, which is why I always try to maintain a positive attitude and think about others before myself. I could write an entire book about this boy and the impact he had on my life and everyone that met him.

Losing the person that has had the biggest impact on my life really hurt me, and it still does, no matter what other people may think. However, I still talk to him daily and let him know that I love and miss him everyday and I can hear him telling me that I still need to go to college and chase my dreams. He always used to tell me to never give up because he believed in me and that I could do whatever I set my mind to as long as I work hard towards it and I have a relationship with God. I realized that, because of him, I want to help children just like him for the rest of my life. They are going through pain I can not even imagine, and the only thing that I want to do is make them feel better and take their mind off of their sickness. I hope that I can sprinkle the love and hope that I had for Dalton over every child that I care for.

I believe that I exhibit all of the qualities that I was asked to write about, but it is very ironic because the person that this scholarship is in memory of is the one that taught me all of them. He taught me that these things are the most important things in life and he made me a better person. I hope to teach others what he taught me and I hope to continue to model these characteristics.

The scholarship was sponsored by Statesville Free News.

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