The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views


Do you have a March Madness bracket?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

LOHS students work to Live Heads Up

A variety of students packed into the stands at Cobb Field at LOHS. Despite attending the same school and cheering for their fellow Lakers on the football field, a lot of these students didn’t have much in common. In fact, many of them had probably never spoken a word to each other. However, to an outsider, it was clear that these students had joined forces for this game. Each and every student in the stands was wearing red. Some of their bright red shirts hosted the phrase ‘Be Like Jeff’ across the front. What could possibly bring such a large group of teenagers together like this? The answer: A man named Jeff Young and an organization called Live Heads Up. 

Jeff Young has been part of the LOHS community since he was a Laker football star from the class of 1980. In 1983, Young was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, also known as ALS; a debilitating disease that targets one’s nerve and brain cells, and currently has no cure. Young has been living with ALS for 40 years now and while many people in his position would shut down, Young is using his story to inspire others and bring awareness to his disease. Each week, Young writes a letter to the Laker Football team that is read in the locker room before their games. Despite being confined to a wheelchair and having lost his ability to speak, Young has an official coaching job with LOHS Football and inspires the team with his mentality everyday. 

Meadow Lemon, better known to the students of LOHS as ‘Coach,’ has been a member of the Laker Football coaching staff for about five years, and like many members of the football community he has a deep admiration for Coach Young. “You have to admire the fact that with all he’s going through, he’s still wanting just to feed into other people instead of it being about himself, he’s spending his life pouring into other folks. That’s pretty impressive to me,” Lemon said. Lemon and Young have worked side by side on many occasions to help better the Laker Football community, and Lemon has been inspired by Young ever since they met. “His body’s betrayed him and yet he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He doesn’t have pity parties,” stated Lemon, explaining that despite the life threatening condition that he is in, Young never complains. 

On Monday, Sept. 18, the LOHS hallways had been plastered with red posters and signs with bold, red letters that said ‘Live Heads Up’ or ‘Be Like Jeff.’ This is all thanks to a collaboration between the LOHS leadership program and Live Heads Up, a non profit organization dedicated to encouraging everyone to view life in the most positive way possible. Chris Dudley is the founder of Live Heads Up, and just like many others, she too was inspired by Young’s story; “Jeff has ALS. ALS does not have Jeff,” said Dudley. She further explained the idea that although Jeff is in a terrible situation, he does not let it get to him, and instead, he keeps giving to others. Dudley was proud to help LOHS spread ALS awareness and to support Young by providing shirts, posters, bracelets, sunglasses and activities for Laker Nation that all spread awareness in a fun and engaging way.  

On Thursday, Sept. 21, Students donned their red shirts and face paint and ventured to Cobb Field to support their school’s football team and Young. “Truly one of the finest moments, I think forever in my life will be the student body chanting ‘be like Jeff!’ and knowing that it’s because he is inspiring us all and because he will continue to,” Dudley explained, proudly boasting the spirit presented by the Laker student section. “I saw people really embracing the message and what it means to Live Heads Up and Be Like Jeff and it made me incredibly proud to be a part of Laker Nation,” exclaimed Dudley. She wants to continue to spread Young’s influence across the nation; “It needs to go to everybody.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Lake Views Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *