August 18, 2016 the phone rings twice – two voices one of hopelessness and one of hope.
How could this be?
9 AM My beautiful wife, Julie, learns that her gall bladder surgery scheduled for later that day is canceled and replaced with a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer – hopelessness calling.
2 PM A call from California UCLA to our son, Chaz, inviting him to be part of a "pool" for a clinical that may have the potential to restore the use of his hands 14 years after his diving accident on August 10, 2002 -- hope calling.
My God, life can be so cruel and yet love can overrule everything.
Without hesitation, Julie looked at Chaz and said , “You are going to do that trial no matter what and I don’t want to hear anything else” knowing full well that her health would only deteriorate and she would not be able to go to California with him. For 14 years, Julie championed Chaz, kept him healthy, and shared with him the highs and the lows that came with this devastating injury. She never once gave up hope that the world of science would come through.
Sadly our beloved Julie passed on October 23, 2016, a mere eight weeks after those phone calls and to the day she insisted that Chaz go to California. She looked hopelessness straight in the eye and never flinched. Not one complaint, no self-pity, fearless to the end and never using her illness as a reason for him not to go.
We will do everything we can to see that Julie's dream of Chaz having the chance of being set free from the shackles of his injury, along with the thousands who suffer the same fate, comes true. Clinical trials came with a cost -- treatment is covered, but those who are selected to participate must bear the burden of travel, lodging and meals along with caregiver expenses.
We as a family are humbled by those who are willing to help and will be forever thankful. Let hope overcome hopelessness.