Scott Michael Stewart (Mikey) died Aug. 7 after a battle with cancer. He was 18.
Michael was born bright and early on Feb. 13, 2003. He came into this world strong and with a huge appetite for milk, always carrying two bottles at a time. He was so strong that it gained him the childhood nickname Moose.
Mikey lived his last few months of life traveling between his sister’s home in Wilson and his beloved girlfriend’s home in Pocatello, Idaho.
Michael was a man of few words, but the words he did speak rang truth, strength and sometimes a clever yet devastating roast. You were special to him if he shared his thoughts with you.
Michael’s work ethic was nothing short of inspirational. With just one leg, he was able to quickly and efficiently do his job better than most. He enjoyed working with his co-workers at Three Canyons Restaurant in Thayne and often would tell his sister that he liked the ones who understood how to “speak Mikey,” as the family likes to call it.
Michael was happiest with his family, his best friend Henry Thomson, good friend Olivia Binns and especially his girlfriend Jordyn, who could pull him out of his shell no matter what and could turn the hard-looking teen into a soft marshmallow with just one glance.
Michael enjoyed writing music and was a very real lyricist. His lyrics about growing up in a hard situation and living with trauma from his past could bring anyone to tears.
He had an amazing ability to reach others on a deeply emotional level. Writing was the breakthrough for the selective mute to finally vocalize all the pain and anger he had been carrying around from surviving his abusive father. His music was a positive outlet during his chemotherapy treatments to help him push through the painful side effects from the medicine. He was given professional studio equipment by the Make a Wish Organization because of his great talent and passion of self expression through his music.
Michael was involved in football and had recently discovered a love for pole vaulting after joining the track team at Star Valley High School and said that was the happiest time of his life up to that point.
While Michael was healthy, you could find him in the gym or running up a mountain, he had a strict work out of 1,000 sit-ups, push-ups and as many pull-ups as he could handle. In 2018 Michael was at his peak fitness and, while pole vaulting, he was injured. For months he dealt with the pain, thinking it was just a pulled muscle. In September of 2018, Michael was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that had taken his ability to use his left leg.
Though he underwent chemotherapy it was necessary to remove his leg. Michael lost his leg but gained strength no amount of workouts could accomplish. He inspired many of his classmates in gym class to challenge themselves to do activities using only one leg as well as Michael did. Not once did Michael complain; he sometimes would even push his siblings in their stroller from the car to his appointments at Primary Children’s Hospital. His baby siblings loved Michael’s wheelchair rides around the house.
Although cancer took away a lot of Michael’s chances to be a teenager, he did learn to drive with the help of his sister. He bought himself a Land Rover SUV at 18, had a personalized graduation ceremony and got a few months of wreaking havoc with his newfound freedom that on one hand worried his loved ones but also was celebrated for the fact he was able to live a normal teenage life.
In May Michael received a grim terminal diagnosis after six moths of being cancer-free. He was given eight weeks but surpassed it, to no ones surprise.
At the end of his life he got the chance to fly in a personally piloted airplane for the first time, and also had the opportunity to go deep-sea fishing on the coast of Oregon.
He spent his time with his sister, girlfriend and close friends playing a lot of poker and Cards Against Humanity.
On the morning of Aug. 6, Michael was hospitalized. The brain tumor that had shown up weeks before had started to take away our Michael. Michael had a full room with lots of people who loved him and lots of laughter, chances to remember, and never did he not have someone holding his hand.
Michael took his last breath close to his Mom and holding his girlfriend and sister’s hand on the morning of Aug. 7. After fighting nearly three brutally difficult years of cancer, Michael was finally at peace.
Michael is survived by his mother Vanessa Swenson; brothers Tray Stewart, Kyle Stewart, Tyson Stewart and Zander Fredderick, and sisters Tess Stewart, Abby Fredderick and Rhannie Fredderick; his close friends Henry, Olivia, and his girlfriend Jordyn. There is also a huge army at Three Canyons Restaurant and an incredibly large extended family. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him and forever inspired by his example.
Condolences can be sent to the family to Valley Mortuary at P.O. Box 9059, Jackson, WY 83002.