He’s gonna die.
It’s not a thought that crosses your mind, while you sit through another boring business meeting.
It’s not something you remember when your mom reminds you for the millionth time that it’s been three years since your last visit.
It’s not even lurking in the back of your mind when you stand next to your man, in front of God and everybody, vowing to stick together in sickness or in health, ’till death do you part.
It might be a universal truth – we’re all gonna die, sooner or later – but it certainly isn’t something we like to think about, let alone talk about.
I didn’t used to think about it much either. Even though I’ve watched a brain tumor destroy my family. Even though I’ve watched people I love disintegrate before my eyes. Even though I’ve been to more funerals than anyone else I know.
Death isn’t on our radar, until it has to be. Until it muscles its way into your consciousness in the form of an aggressive tumor, a freak accident, a brain aneurysm. ALS.
Usually, when death does confront us, we run the other way. It’s hard to talk about; it makes us uncomfortable. What do you say to someone who’s dying? How can you possibly relate to them without acknowledging that yes, this could just as easily be your aggressive tumor, your freak accident, your ALS? And that you are ridiculously, inappropriately relieved that it ISN’T?
It takes an enormous amount of bravery to hang out with a dying person and not treat them like a dying person. It requires a compassion so large and deep, that digging it up shakes the very earth you stand on.
But if you’re very very fortunate, once in a while you’ll cross paths with someone who makes it easy.
That’s what it’s like to spend time with Jack.
Jack is charismatic and gregarious. He’s been places. He can wax on about any number of topics, from launching a small business, to the price of tea in India. He has a loving family, and recently realized a lifelong dream to retire and purchase a small, beautiful mountain farm.
Also? Jack has ALS.
The voice that’s commanded audiences now slurs a bit and gets short of breath. The firm handshake that’s sealed hundreds of deals is now interrupted by his shaking hands.
Jack will be the first one to tell you how grateful he is – and you’ll believe him. He and his family are the very definition of proactive. They took measurements at his Physical Therapy sessions, so they could build the tools he needed at home. They made a beautiful website to get the word out and accept donations. They travel back and forth across North Carolina, raising money and canoodling with the National ALS Association.
Not only that, but the Jack’s Fight campaign isn’t just for Jack or his family. Its mission is to help all families affected by the fiscal nightmare that comes with a Motor Neuron Disease (MND) diagnosis.
We consider ourselves lucky to know Jack Crowley. So lucky in fact, that we’re pulling out all the stops to help him in his quest.
If you’re around this Saturday, October 24th, come by the gym for a big fundraiser. We’re running a silent auction all this week, and raking in raffle prizes from all over the community, including gift cards for local restaurants, personal training sessions, massage, and a whole lot more.
Go to AshevilleFamilyFitness.com/jacks-fight for more information.
If you can’t make it on Saturday, you can donate anytime this week, in person or online. We accept cash, checks and most major credit cards (see below).
My family is going to lose me, and there’s nothing you or I can do about that. But losing me, AND falling into financial ruin? No. That, we can do something about.
In Jack’s own words: The bell has rung for the final round. Kick the corner stool aside.
Lets stand together and fight!