Bob Kiesendahl and some little athletes at one of his BK Hope Cures fundraisers.
Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was great. Actually we celebrated “Thanksmas,” both Thanksgiving and Christmas, with my husband’s family. It was a great time of togetherness, loads of presents and too much yummy food. I threw in the towel and gave into the turkey and stuffing and a couple of cookies, even though they are off my strict diet. I have much to be thankful for this season. Most of all that I’m alive and well to see my daughter grow up into a beautiful teen. I am also grateful for my online family and all of you who take the time to read and comment on this blog.
In the midst of watching the Ohio State/Michigan football game, my sister-in-law Julie shared a video about Brock Mealer, a friend of her daughter Alyssa and younger brother of Michigan football player Elliot Mealer. I’ll admit I’m not a big football fan, but after viewing this video, I’m a fan of both Brock and Elliot.
On Sept. 18, 2007, the the Mealer family was driving home from midnight mass when they were hit by a car that ran a stop sign. Elliot’s 17-year-old girlfriend and the brothers’ dad were tragically killed. Brock was partially paralyzed and told he only had a 1 percent chance of ever walking again. He did not give up; far from it. Thanks to some tough love and aggressive physical therapy from the team’s physical therapists, Brock took the challenge of walking the tunnel with the team on their 2010 opening game.
Brock had every right to give up, but he did the opposite. It was a long walk in every sense of the word. Soon, he’ll have another chance to walk … down the aisle with his bride this coming year. You can view the amazing 8-minute, award-winning video by clicking on this LINK . It’s a wonderful testimony of the power of hope and determination. Like the awesome people featured in From Incurable to Incredible, Brock defied the unbeatable odds.
A while back, a reader shared a post about famous athletes who beat the odds of cancer . Lance Armstrong, of course, was one of them. It had me pondering what are athletes’ common attributes that might have contributed to their success. Athletes are trained to push past their physical limitations, aches and pains, and insecurities. They are focused on winning and use intense training and techniques like visualization to achieve their goals.
Bob Kiesendahl, who’s featured in my book, was 28 when he was diagnosed with chronic mylogeneous leukemia back in 1998. He was given a 25 percent chance of survival – even with a bone marrow transplant. An athletic young man, he used a sports model to conquer his disease. He saw the heavy chemo and radiation as “training” for his “Super Bowl”of getting the transplant. He incorporated visualization, seeing awful side effects as proof of his treatment working. He was in it to win it. Bob’s transplant took, and today he and his family are giving back to the cancer community with his BK Hope Cures charity. This fall Bob invited me to his family’s fabulous resort, Woodloch Pines in the Poconos, for his annual golf tournament fundraiser. Bob recently was one of five notable persons from across the country who was awarded the Lance Armstrong’s foundation “LIVESTRONG” Survivor of the Year award.
You don’t have to be an athlete to exhibit Olympic qualities. I’m certainly not athletic, but I think I can learn a lot from these outstanding individuals. I believe we all have an inner athlete we can summon to help us with our challenges. How do you awake your inner athlete?
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