Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.


Friday, August 3, 2018

From Neurosurgery to Addiction… From Incarceration to Full College Scholarship…

Two Stories: One of Heartbreak The Other of Inspiration

As I visited Emerald City last night, among many activities of the evening, the call went out among the community that there was an overdose with CPR in progress up one of the side streets.  Narcan is in full supply in Emerald City.  One container was grabbed by its owner as he ran up the street a short block away. 

When I arrived at the side street, a young woman who I barely knew said with obvious and yet humble pride that she, along with others, saved this guy and he had already run away.

I asked her if she'd like some water and a banana after saving the life of this man.  She thanked me.  As the conversation continued, she reminded me of her name and lost college status as a 4th-year med student specializing in neurosurgery prior to the demon of addiction knocking on her door.  As she shared this, I recalled the same conversation with her months earlier.  I asked her if in her studies she had heard the name, Dr. Eugene Spitz.  She said, "Of course!"

I shared with her how Dr. Spitz's two daughters had been in my high school with me years ago and how we routinely went swimming in his home's pool.[1],[2]  She thought that was cool but was more thoughtful, and rightly so, with her realization that tonight's save of this young man was her 12th for 2018.

As I reflect back on this conversation, there seemed to be a sense of reawakening in this woman's spirit as she connected in her mind the lifesaving that she had just done with the life saving on a much larger scale that she would have done as a neurosurgeon if the demon had not come knocking. 


Shortly thereafter, I was at a recovery group dinner at Urban Hope celebrating the 7th anniversary of this group.  Among the many activities of the evening, there were brief testimonies from various men and women.  One of the men shared that, following many years of incarceration during which time he earned two associates degrees he has been living in transitional housing for the past couple of years.

In about 3 weeks, he will be moving to his own apartment for the first time in many years (decades?) so as to begin at least two years of Biblical studies thanks to a full scholarship from Eastern University!  I graduated from Eastern in 1990. 

In Summary:        

Within the course of a couple hours last night,

  1. I conversed with a demon derailed would-have-been-neurosurgeon who knew of Dr. Spitz, world-renowned neurosurgeon, my sixth-grade class mate's Dad and founding board member of the high school from which I graduated.  She lives addicted and homeless under a bridge and bears all the burdens of a woman in such a situation.
  2. I was inspired by the testimony of a formerly incarcerated man who will eventually graduate from Eastern University and do so with a full scholarship, the college from which I graduated. 


Summing Up my Summary:

When you take time to get to know someone, anyone, you'll be amazed at how much you have in common. 





[1] Dr. Spitz and my Dad were founding board members of the school when it started in 1972.  I was one of the original 7 students when classes started. 
[2] Whenever I think of Dr. Spitz's one daughter who was in 6th grade with me, I laugh at the comment she made one day as we ate lunch together.  "Chris, you are a boy so that makes you my boyfriend but I don't love you."  

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