Then, my brother's wife got sick. She's been sick and has been bravely battling a wretched case of cancer since being diagnosed last summer. All types of cancer are life altering and terrible but hers is advanced and quite serious. So far, she has risen to the occasion through surgery, chemo, and radiation, remaining charming and smiling through it all (more on her story here). She is a beautiful example of everything good in this world.
Jason has also been unshakable through this entire experience. In the last 45 days, he and Amanda have gotten married, moved, and been to the hospital uncountable times. He's wrecked two cars, trained, raced, made the US team, worked the exhausting hours of a medical resident, and remained faithfully by his wife's side as she has experienced what I'm sure are some of the deepest lows of her young life.
He's made it look easy.
He's teaching us all lessons in grace and love and life and in maintaining one's priorities. I've always joked that I've raised him since we enjoy the same sports, are embarking on the same career path, and in general have the same interest, but now, he's providing a great example not only to me and the rest of our family but to all who know him.
|Taken from the Deseret News Article|
He called me last week and asked if I wanted to go to France. I knew what that meant. As the alternate, I was the next up but I didn't want to go at his expense and I definitely didn't want to go if it meant that Amanda was getting sicker. I told him to wait and think about it; see if she got better.
A day or two later, an email from Jason to the entire national team popped up in my inbox that read:
...She was doing pretty well and I had justified going (even got a ticket) but over the past week the chemo kind of destroyed her. We've been in and out of the hospital a few times and leaving to go screw around in Europe doesn't seem right. I apologize that you'll now have to deal with my dumb ass brother but if he acts up just remind him he was 10th on the points list!
He made the choice for me and with his blessing, I'll join the other guys in a few days. I'll be wide eyed and jittery just to be in the high Alps with a chance to race the best in the world. I'm certainly not the fastest guy in the world (or Salt Lake or my own family for that matter) but you can be sure that I'm going to suffer like I never have before to honor my brother who couldn't make the trip and for Amanda, who less than a year ago ran a marathon with my wife but is now taking on a much bigger challenge than some puny race.
Also, thank you to my coworkers for picking up the slack while I'm gone. Thank you to Scarpa, Trab, and OR for the ongoing support. And mostly, thank you Jessie, my dear wife, for the years of patience and support to chase petty athletic goals.
Assuming internet access, I'll update the site over the next couple weeks with race results, impressions, photos, etc as the drama of hundreds of skinny spandex clad Europeans chase each other through the Alps. It should be a grand time!