A Brother’s Inspiration – Running a 5K


My Brother Ron - A True Inspiration


Ok, my  family’s health is like a ticking time bomb.  My four brothers are older than me, and two of them have had some pretty serious heart issues.  Cholesterol levels in my family, pre-statins, would be a PBA title winning bowling score:  over 280.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to have health issues since I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life to enjoy great health.  I certainly attribute it to running, and if it were not for my brother, Bud, I probably would be a fat, sick man today.  He was a great runner and a tremendous inspiration in my life.  He lit the fire underneath me not only to become a runner, but to strive hard and dream big in my life.  But this is not about my brother Bud.

Last year, my brother, Ron, almost bit the dust.  Since his first heart attack at the ripe old age of 33 (yes, thirty-three!), his health record is as long as a criminal’s rap sheet:  6 heart attacks, 3 strokes, 2 stents, quadruple bypass, pacemaker/ defibrillator, oh yea, and bladder cancer.

Ron loves to walk/run, and was actually training for the 2011 Houston Marathon 5K.  One day, just after his daily walk, he was loading some things in his van and began to feel funny.  He went in to the house and my sister-in-law, Lettie, said he looked white as a ghost, was in tremendous pain and throwing up blood.  Lettie called 911 and the ambulance took him to the hospital.  The doctor said his pancreas was causing the pain, and additionally saw a shadow on his bladder.  Yes, it was a cancerous tumor.

After half of your life with major health issues, this is the point where most people would say, enough – just let me kick off.  I’m sure he had those thoughts, probably many times.  Once he was home, my wife Debbie and I took a trip to Houston to see him, and to be honest, I even had my doubts about how long he would be around. He looked tired, extremely weak and very unhappy.  When Debbie and I left Houston, I looked at her and said, “this could be the last time I see my brother.”  But…Ron is a fighter and just like a boxer that was knocked down in the 6th round, Ron slowly got up.  He took another beating with the chemo treatments but got through them like a champ.

In the past year, Ron’s health has improved significantly.  He started walking again and, unfortunately, even got his sarcastic humor back 🙂  Then, in January 2012, I am proud to say he completed the Houston Marathon 5K in 48:31, even running most of it!  The medal he has around his neck means more than just crossing the finish line, it’s really about what it took to get to that finish line.  It’s about the extraordinary power of the human mind ,body and spirit and simply refusing to be knocked down.

I am inspired by lots of people, but a brother’s inspiration is 100 times more powerful!  Job well done bro!


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Categories: Inspirational People & Stories, Running Related

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