Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

A shining example

I haven’t watched ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition all season, but tonight I decided to watch the season’s final episode.  The Williams family is amazing.  The father, a football coach, is dealing with a diagnosis of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and the son has spina bifida. 

Watching the show I was taken with Jeremy Williams attitude about his illness.  ALS, one of the most devastating diseases on the planet, ravages the body while the mind stays alert.  In this case, Jeremy Williams has a mission deep in his soul that I believe helps him maintain as much of his physical capacity as possible.  

He coaches a football team that last season was undefeated.  He shows his team what can be accomplished against incredible odds by simply choosing to get out of bed and be the leader of this amazing team of young men.  He is committed not only to his family, and his own health, but to the young people he mentors.  Even if they never personally have to fight a health challenge, the lessons they learn from Jeremy Williams will make them successful in each and every endeavor.

He’s clear that the future is uncertain.  He doesn’t know if he’ll be alive a year or two from now, but he’s determined to live each day giving and receiving love.  I thought his wife was eloquent and should be doing commercials for the national caregivers association.  She spoke to the point that others feel that she is shouldering a huge burden having both a husband and a child with challenges.  Her response is that being involved in her husband’s and son’s life in such a caring and loving was is a privilege.  It has allowed her to evolve as a person.

We all need shining examples in our lives, especially when we’re facing the diagnosis of a chronic or life-threatening illness.  We need to know that others are willing and able to share their nuggets of wisdom about living in the moment.  It’s important to have a go-to person who can show you how to follow the ancient Chinese proverb, “Fall down seven times, get up eight”. 

I hold healing energy for the Williams family and hope that every day they spend together is blessed and filled with love!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

2 thoughts on “A shining example

  1. Greg,

    That episode was something else, wasn’t it?

    I think we have a lot in common; take a look at We are engaged on the same cause as you are: help, educate, and support others.

    Lets together make it happen

    Best wishes

    The Dimmi Team

    1. Thanks for sharing the information on your blog. I have a friend in Canada who volunteers with hospice and the person he’s been working with has ALS. He has gone on a journey with her through poetry and now she’s writing great poetry. It’s a way for her voice to be heard without speaking. It gives her life meaning when some would say it’s questionable and he’s learned as much from he as she has from him. We’re truly all in this together.

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