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In The News

January 21, 2009
Chance Harman Classic Summary

The Floyd Press: Sports
Roger Mannon

Community supporters raised about $16,000 at the second annual Chance Harman Classic Saturday. The proceeds, which came from admissions and a barbecue dinner, will be used for scholarships at three local schools and for cancer research.
The event bears the name of a young boy who lost his life to cancer in 2007. His father, Brian Harman, coaches the Floyd County High School boys’ team.
On Saturday, basketball fans came out and cheered for several boys’ basketball teams, which, along with Floyd, included Blacksburg, Radford, Fort Chiswell, Glenvar, George Wythe, Parry McCluer, and Giles.
The four-game event was held at Floyd County High School Saturday, January 3.
Floyd County lost to Fort Chiswell 59-51 in the final game of the evening. In other games, Parry McCluer beat Glenvar 44-41. Tyler Kerr had 11 points for Parry McCluer, and Mark Johnson had 10 for Glenvar.
Radford beat Blacksburg 62-59 in triple overtime. The Bobcats’ Jon Thompson scored 11 points, giving him 1,000 career points.
Giles knocked off defending state champion George Wythe 74-68. Codey Williams had 16 points and 16 rebounds for Giles, while Will Sawyers had 20 points for George Wythe.
A shooting slump cost the Buffaloes in their loss. The Buffs went 9-for-24 from the free throw line and missed nine layups and put backs.
"If you look back on our losses, they’ve all been when we’ve missed free throws and lay-ups," said coach Brian Harman. "We still need a little time to gel."
The Pioneers trailed only 2-0, after a lay-in by Cole Peters. Baskets by Parker Mabe and Andrew White gave Chiswell the lead for good.
After Tucker Crawford tied the game on a steal, Akers got a fast break lay-up and two free throws, and Hody Viars scored for a 10-4 lead. Crawford hit a jumper with Chris Rodriguez scoring for the Pioneers.
A three by Nathan Coartney got Floyd within 14-9, but a stickback and a drive by Viars made it 18-9 at the end of the quarter. A turnover basket by Jacob Henley upped the lead to 11 at the start of the second.
Peters made a free throw, Coartney got another three, and Peters scored in the post to get Floyd within 22-15. Baskets by Mabe and Henley put the margin back to 11.
The Buffs got a drive by Zack Yates and were within 27-17 at halftime. The Pioneers opened with a three by Akers to build a 13-point lead that would be sustained by the end of the period.
Peters made two free throws, Yates scored on a break, Peters scored on a break, Brett Holman hit from the baseline and made a free throw, and Peters got a lay-in with 55 seconds left as the quarter ended with the Pioneers ahead 41-28.
Fort Chiswell led by as many as 18 points in the fourth. After a free throw by Yates, Akers scored on a break.
Holman got two baskets, but a basket by Henley, a three by Akers, a lay-in by White and a put back by Viars gave the Pioneers a 52-34 lead at 4:32.
A Buff rally got Floyd as close as six in the final minute. Holman made a free throw, Matt Hollandsworth scored twice inside, Holman drove the length of the court for a lay-up, and Peters got six points in the final 25 seconds on two free throws, a stick back and a lay in with six seconds remaining.
Akers made two free throws with one second left for the final margin.
Fort Chiswell: Poole 2, Mabe 10, Rodriguez 3, Henley 8, Akers 16, Viars 12, White 8
Floyd County: Crawford 4, Holman 12, Coartney 6, Yates 5, Peters 20, Hollandsworth 4

January 21, 2009
Family opens a new chapter

Family opens a new chapter
After losing their son to cancer in 2007, Brian and Desirae Harman have welcomed a new son, Chaycen Wesley Harman, into the world. Click here to see photos and video
The Roanoke Times - By
Lerone Graham

FLOYD -- Brian and Desirae Harman don't get as much sleep as they'd like.

"You're going to have to get him, Brian," Desirae Harman said she told her husband at 4 a.m. two weeks ago.

And it's like deja vu for the family, which lost sleep throughout much of last year tending to their son, Chance, as he battled a rare brain tumor.

The Floyd County community rallied behind Chance as he spent seven months in and out of surgery and chemotherapy, before dying July 6, 2007, at the age of 4.

While the Harmans spent countless nights last year in the hospital, they now have a different reason for stressful, sleepless nights.

On Nov. 4, the Harman family welcomed its newest addition, a baby boy weighing 6 pounds, 5 ounces.

They named him Chaycen Wesley Harman. The family said that baby Chaycen is a part of the healing process.

Initially, they wanted another boy. But after getting pregnant two months after Chance's death, only to miscarry that November, they said the gender didn't matter as much, "as long as it was healthy," Brian Harman said.

In light of all of the tragedy in their lives -- Desirae Harman's sister was shot and killed two months after Chance's death -- they chose not to tell relatives that Harman had gotten pregnant and miscarried.

So when they learned that she was pregnant yet again, they waited a few months before breaking the news.

"We were blessed again to have another," Brian Harman said.

He said that he and Desirae were tested to see if Chance's tumor was genetic. Thankfully, they said, the tests came back negative.

"If it was [genetic], I never would have had another child," Desirae Harman said.

The family said that they prayed to God, asking for another child. And if it happened to be a boy, they would take that as a sign that it would soon be time to move on.

When Chaycen was born, his mother said that her prayers were answered, so they would mourn for two more years and then move forward.

Two more years.

In two years, the family will move Chaycen upstairs to the bedroom where Chance's presence still breathes life into every corner, and they will redecorate it to accommodate their new child.

This means painting over Chance's tiny, traced handprints on the wall that were done before his second surgery, when his time was nearly up. It also means getting rid of his favorite basketball-themed stuffed animal, which provided comfort to him every day that he fought for his life in the hospital.

Simple objects in the room are sure to conjure up memories of Chance. They would have to clean out the bottom drawer that he used as a hiding place, still full of the toys he would stash away from his younger sister, Destiny.

A glance at the DVD player might remind them of the movie "Cars," which they watched in the hospital with their son so often that the disc stopped working.

While memories such as these will always be cherished, the Harmans say they don't want to live their lives in the past or too far in the future.

When Chaycen was born, they were overjoyed, but the feeling was different than with the births of their previous two children.

"We weren't looking down the road," Brian Harman said.

The doctors told them that he was a little small, which worried them at first, but they were relieved when they were able to bring him home.

"Some people look down the road. Enjoy every day, because you might not make it to that vacation," Harman said.

As head coach of the Floyd County High School boys basketball team, a normal, enjoyable day on the job for Harman is far from serene.

At the Dec. 17 home opener against Craig County, Harman was anything but the gentle family man. He was all business.

"Attack! Attack!" he shouted from the bench. His jaw remained clenched, his eyes intensely locked on the game action.

In the end, Floyd County prevailed, 75-34. And, finally, Harman relaxed.

What might have been

Family seems to be central with the Harmans, as they adjust to the beginning of another chapter in their life.

Desirae Harman said that the long nights checking on the baby might be stressful, but she wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

"Before it was like, 'Oh, I've got to check on the baby.' Now it's a blessing," she said.

Still, the Harmans are human and can't help but wonder sometimes what could have been.

"I'll always think about what it'd be like with three," Brian Harman said.

For starters, Chance would be in school now, which would cause their schedules to be different, he said.

Desirae Harman said that the birth of Chaycen would have been a dream come true for their son.

"Even during the fight, he was asking when we were going to have another one. ... He wanted a little brother," she said.

Harman can picture her son, who would now be 6, playing with his little brother. She said that if Chance were here, he would constantly be in his little brother's face, trying to make him laugh.

"He'd always try to make people laugh," Harman said with a smile, as her eyes gazed into the distance.

Harman sees similar traits in Destiny, who adores her little brother and plays with him every chance she gets. Harman said that she can't wait until the two are running around, getting on each other's nerves as most siblings do, because it will remind of her of the days when Chance was alive.

Two Sundays ago, when the Harman parents were trading baby duty even up until 4 a.m., their plans constantly changed when debating whether or not they would go to church as a family for the first time in more than a month.

They finally decided to get up and go, much to the delight of their fellow members at Topeco Church of the Brethren.

It was everyone's first time seeing Chaycen, so they couldn't go very far without people wanting a peek at the baby or giving some advice.

The Harmans say that seeing Chance's faith never waiver during his sickness -- and their belief that he is in heaven -- has made their faith stronger than ever.

"Before Chance, I kind of knew where I was going [after death], but now there's no question," Brian Harman said.

Much of the service was a juggling act, with Desirae Harman tending to the baby and Brian Harman trying to get their daughter to sit still.

Brian Harman would often get distracted from the service, because Destiny seemed to get a kick out of putting her feet in her dad's face. She also provided her mother with some baby advice of her own.

"Mom, he stinks!" Destiny said in the middle of the service, cracking up. A diaper change soon followed.

As the church choir went through their Christmas selections, one song stood out more than others.

"The world has joy through a baby boy," the choir sang during "The World Has Joy Medley."

The way the Harmans live their lives on a daily basis, family seems to be their world.

"It's a circus," Desirae Harman said, referring to their new family life. "But it's the best feeling in the world."

c/o CW Harman & Son, 2894 Floyd Hwy S, Floyd, VA 24091 •
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