Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!! Hope you all brought it in with a bang! I am looking forward to a great 2007. Nothing new here. I am feeling great, but my balance and strength have been diminishing. So hopefully we get that figured out. All in all though the Pack finished strong, the Twins are right around the corner and the Gophs start Big Ten B- Ball soon. So Happy New Year!! Oh ya, and UFC was good last night with another good one coming up. Later.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Derek Redmond and Dad...

No one has probably heard of Derek Redmond of Great Britain, nor had I, is in agony as he is helped to the finish line by his father, Jim, after tearing his hamstring muscle in the semi-finals of the men's 400 meter run.

Redmond collapsed about half way through the race with the injury, but got up, determined to finish despite the pain. His father came out of the stands and onto the track to help his son. Redmond initially tried to push him away, not realizing who he was, but then heard a familiar voice. "Derek, it's me" his father said.

Redmond told his father "I've got to finish this race." His father said "If you're gonna finish the race, we'll finish it together."

With his father's help, Redmond made it to the finish line.

Redmond, a brilliant runner whose career was plagued by injuries, had previously suffered a similar fate during qualifying for the 400 meter race in the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. In a qualifying heat for the 400 meter race, he pulled an Achilles tendon, an injury that led to five surgeries.

Later, watching a video of that 1992 Olympic race, Redmond said "I don't think I've ever cried so much in my life. It's more embarrassing than anything else--men don't cry."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The World's Strongest Dad

The following is a great story written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated. It appeared in the June 20, 2005 issue of Sports Illustrated.

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much -- except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution."

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain."

"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."

That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?"

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 -- only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.

"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century."

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape," one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

"The thing I'd most like," Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."

12-27-2006 Courage Center...

I am talking about doing an extended rehab at the Courage Center. This may be the best thing for me as we don't know where to go or what to do next. So prayers are invited please God help me make the right decision.

12-27-2006 Merry Christmas

Everything is going great. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!! Hope all your holiday wishes come true.

Friday, December 22, 2006

12-21-2006 Great News

I got some great news today. 5 cancer spots appeared last time they did an MRI, only 1 is there now. We'll learn more next month on the 20th. I have a full MRI schedule, but 4 spots gone after 1 treatment. I just finished #2 and I am TIRED. It went really well though. Tonight we celebrated Christmas at Ma's and Bub's. The food was to die for. It was fun. Sang songs and opened presents. I got my two front teeth. j/k Ryan. So, everything is going well for me. Go Grandpa Go!!

Here two great examples of perspectives:


I'll start out by saying that many times it is hard to know if I should be asking you the difficult questions, or without seeing or talking to you everyday, not knowing maybe if you'd gotten some bad news or something that day, if even asking how are you doing, how have you been, is appropriate. Going back to the beginning, when I first heard you had a tumor, I wasn't overly concerned. Maybe it was being naive, maybe it was what I'd heard from you, your dad, Tim and Kay, that the doctors assuring that everything was going to be fine, and that you'd be back on your feet in no time. Plus you get a false sense of security sometimes that, our family is a good, Christian family, and God wouldn't let bad things happen to anyone in our family.

Even after the surgery, when they found out the tumor was cancerous, it was like, ok, they are confident they've removed everything, and the chemo is just a matter of making sure everything gets cleaned up. It's been hard to watch the physical aspect. It's hard watching someone you grew up with, and hung out with, and played on the tractors with at grandpa and grandma's, and took shortcuts with on the bike ride, all of a sudden struggle to walk to the bathroom, and really have to concentrate to speak clearly enough to understand. Again without knowing what to expect, maybe my expectations of seeing progress were unrealistic. I realize the side effects in your case are in the very small percentile of those that have had this surgery, but sometimes it has been discouraging to see. I'm sure at times it's been 10 times as hard for you. I guess I've been too scared to ask questions like, have the doctors given you a chances of survival percentage? Like are they 90% sure you'll survive this, or is it more like 70/30, 50/50?? If this new procedure doesn't work, are there still other alternatives or options to try? What's the likelihood that you will get back to being able to walk without assistance, or play ball again, driving, running, etc.? And is there a timeframe on that?

It's also been hard because it seem like there's just been so many setbacks that it seems like every time it looks as if the situation is or has improved, something else comes up that knocks you back. It's hard sometimes not to wonder if this is ever going to get better. I think your outlook and attitude through this whole situation has been amazing. I don't think I would be as positive about life as you are if our situations were reversed. No matter what kind of curves are thrown at you, you just seem to get up, dust yourself off, and move forward. I also admire you for continuing to do the things that make you happy, traveling, continuing your education, visiting family and friends whenever possible, fantasy football and baseball, etc. etc. etc. You seem very determined that no matter what, you letting this get you down. Maybe doing these other things helps you take your mind off of it too. I mean, you have to deal with it every second of every day. You need to try to do these other things probably to keep you from going crazy. I know that me growing up in Lewiston and you growing up in Chaska, that we aren’t best friends like maybe Kels and Tor, and you probably have friends that you confide in more than you would be, but I'll just say that anytime you need anything, a ride somewhere, someone to go get something to eat with, go to a movie, watch a ballgame, whatever, just let me know, I'd be more than happy to do it. Not a lot else to say I guess. Kind of rambling here. Just wanted to say that there isn't a day goes by that I don't think about you and pray for you and hope like hell that you get through this. Hang in there and keep on fighting. Take care buddy.


An e-mail obviously wouldn't do justice to this subject for me. You have always been my BEST friend. I could probably write over a thousand pages about how much you have inspired me and changed the way I look at so many things in life from August 1, 2005 to present. I could probably write over a million pages chronicling our lives together from about 1985 to present. Just about every single memory I have growing up involves you. My three brothers, Jeremy, Jon, and Justin, have made me who I am today.

I really believe it was God's plan for me start my business ( if for no other reason than because it allowed me the flexibility to spend just about every day with my BEST friend. Honestly, I couldn't ask for a greater gift.

We are going to beat this cancer like Mike Tyson used to beat his opponents before Buster Douglas. Or like Johan Santana, Ben Askren, and Georges St. Pierre dominate their opponents now. Or like the Eden Prairie Apples are going to whoop Go Twins in our next SimLeague!

Thanks for being my BEST friend, JJ. Talk to you soon, buddy!

Believe me, there is no hurry placed here. Instead can I get your questions, place your feelings at different points, from being diagnosed, to surgery, to radiation, to chemo, cancer coming back, etc. All of these have been great obstacles in my life. If you cannot remember that far back, don't worry. Love yall. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

12-19-2006 Everything is great, just ask TCU.

All is good here, nothing too new going on. I start my second Blood Brain Barrier Disruption in a few hours. The first one went well, so let us hope for this to do the same. I had a Ct Scan that went well earlier then I have been in hospital the rest of the day. Nothing exciting, I'll let yall know how the BBBD goes. Grandpa we are all in your corner love you.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

12-17-2006 Great day

Today was a great day. This morning Vicky sang in the church choir's Christmas program. It was great. Then we got some coffee. Obviously the Packers won cause there sweet. Then tonight at our crave meeting we had a former Muslim turned Christian give a talk. It was very insightful. If you leave Islam, you put your life in danger, plus your family disowns you. It was a huge deal. Anyhow, that's all folks Go Twins!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

12-16-2006 It's a Wonderful Life.

Last night I was blessed with the opportunity to go to Annette Hartmen's (a good friend of mine) art show. It was a blast. Former Gopher John Thomas was there. I wonder what his momma fed him growing up? Cause he is a big boy. Then today we did photo's with the fam, and watched It's a Wonderful Life. That's a great movie and it is. Tomorrow should be great too. Our church has its Christmas show and Vicky is going to be singing. So it should be fun. Well all for now, Go Twins!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Nothing new happened today. Andy was sick today so T-Boggs filled in. Andy felt better at night. I took a break from occupational and physical therapy, but I went back yesterday. I took about month My Doc thought it was a good idea so I wouldn't get burned out. Let's Go Twins!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

12-13-2006 Mr. CHS....

At Chaska High every year now they have a thing called Mr. CHS where the men compete in four competitions: orange wear, swim wear, formal wear and a talent competition. Although this year was good as always, last years was a little crazier and funnier. This event is set off by a non-profit organization called Miracles for Mitch. Mitch was a 9 1/2 year old boy who lost his life to cancer. Incidentally, his favorite color was orange. The Miracles for Mitch organization is amazing. In just less than 4 years it has really given his parents a new focus in life and its growth is just outstanding. So every year a new student wins the contest, but beating cancer is always the true victor.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

JJ 12/12/06

Well, instead of sending out emails to update everyone, I am going to try and blog every day. If there's no blog, nothing happened that day.

I have been in the hospital a lot lately, but I have been feeling great. I got out on Sunday and Mya was baptized, I am her Godfather, so you could call me the Godfather, I'll answer. Today we went to Lion's Tap. Good food, then came home. Lame. Email questions and I'll answer here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Picture: Me, Dana White, and Andy

We met UFC President Dana White in Las Vegas.