Yesterday, my friend and colleague, Jeff Wiegers, had an experience that needs to be shared with all of you. I’ll get out of the way and let him tell the story in his own words:
I wanted to share an experience I had today that was one of the most amazing conversations I have ever had!
As many of you know, I have had a number of issues with Corneal erosions over the past 12 months, and today I was meeting with my Specialist at Washington University in Siteman Center for Advanced Medicine. I got there at 7:45am, and they always have to check vision, and eye pressure before they take you in to see the Eye Specialist. Today, there was a nice young tike in a Cubs jersey sitting in the waiting room when I got there, so I asked him how he felt about the Cubs being down 2-1. He was of course, the most articulate 10 year old I have ever met, and immediately went on to tell me all of Kris Bryant’s statistics in the playoffs. He said that he and his Dad believe he is pulling off the outside pitches and trying too hard to pull the ball, when he needs to stay behind the ball and try hitting the lefties to whatever field the ball is pitched!
I was immediately impressed, and thought about taking the rest of the day off to talk some ball! When they called my name, I told the young man good luck, and went in to get the initial check. That was fine, and I just happened to mention to the nurse that the young guy about to come in was tremendous, and she knew exactly who I was talking about!
As I returned to the waiting area to then see the Doctor, I asked his Mom what are they here for. It turns out that he, unfortunately, is a regular at the Eye Institute. This young man was diagnosed at a very young age with a rare form of cancer in the cornea that affects young children, and only affects 200-300 kids a year. In photographs as a baby, the pictures never had red eye, they always showed up as silver, so when they mentioned that to a Dr., they immediately saw what was feared, but removed the eye before anything had spread, and he was Cancer free from the age of 6 months until a few days ago when they noted it again in his other eye. Today, he was going to do all of the prep work for the removal of the eye on Thursday. I almost fainted!
Robby insisted on telling the story from there and his mom did not stop him. According to Robby, he wants to lose his sight so that he can show people that he is tough! He wants others with eyesight issues to see that you can use your other senses and find creative ways to not only SURVIVE, but THRIVE! (his exact words at age 10)! He said he will play baseball with his friends someday, but his goal is to throw a first pitch at a Cubs game from the mound, and it will be a strike! He knows the Cubs will win the World Series someday soon, and he will not miss a single pitch, even if he can only listen.
I could not stop him to get a word in edgewise, and for me that is an obvious challenge, but I could also not look directly at him because I was crying and in total amazement at how utterly courageous this young man has become at such a young age! I asked his mom for a contact number to be able to send an email or a card someday for encouragement, but I wanted to know if he could call me and give the same pep talk again whenever I am down!
His story is a great example of how the right attitude, courage and will can get us all through any of life’s challenges. I am forever thankful for having met Rob, and I thought I would share his story as it was very powerful to me!
I hope you all have a great day, and Go CUBS!
What an inspiration! What challenge are you facing today? And, perhaps more importantly, how are you handling it? Are you facing your challenges in a manner that would inspire others around you? Are you seeing the positives in your life, even though you don’t understand why you experience challenges? Seeing the courage that little Robby has and his desire to inspire others is enough to make even the most die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan root for the Cubs. Has your life touched anyone lately the way that Robby obviously touches those around him? Take the time today to “see” the positives that might result from those challenges you face.
Thanks, Jeff, for sharing. I’m not sure how you could even type this great message for us. Everyone, have a great day! And, if prayer is a part of your life, you might pause to say a prayer for Robby today.