For over 25 years, I have been in ministry and can count on one hand the number of times I had to miss a Sunday because of illness. I want to take this opportunity to share with you why this past Sunday (4/29/18) was one of those unplanned times …
Five years ago, Jill and I were training for the Austin 10/20 run (10 miles and 20 bands). As part of the training, we decided to ride our bikes instead of running. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and perfect for a ride. The ride didn’t last very long because I experienced some chest discomfort which led Jill to the decision (against my wishes) to drag me to the Emergency Room. Nearly 1 week and 2 stents later, I left Sugar Land Methodist Hospital. Yes, Jill was correct about the need to go to the ER.
Since then, I have been faithful in follow-up appointments with my cardiologist, each time getting a clean bill of health. And for the last 3 years, I have completed the Houston half-marathons without any issues.
As some of you know, I have been training for America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride (AMBBR) which is 100 miles around Lake Tahoe. This past Saturday, while training in Chappell Hill, I experienced the same discomfort in my chest that I did 5 years ago. We contacted my cardiologist and were soon headed back to the ER at Sugar Land Methodist Hospital. Even though the EKG and blood work all came back with great news, Dr. Ellis decided it would be best to check things out a little more thoroughly. So, on Monday morning, I had a heart catheterization and everything looks great!!
I have negotiated with Dr. Ellis and still plan to ride the AMBBR for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Some of our staff (and maybe some of you) think I am crazy to still do this ride. Let me try to explain my reasons. This event will raise nearly $2 million dollars for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), an organization which Jill and I fully support. It is an organization that not only contributes millions of dollars to blood cancer research; it also offers support for the patients and families who are dealing with this disease. When I began fundraising for this ride, I had a set a goal of $3,800 (so far, I have raised $4,700). But when I received a great medical report, I thought about those patients who are not getting good news. So, I decided I could raise more than $4,700 and now have a goal of $10,000.
Again, thank you for your support and prayers. You guys really are the best of the best of the best!