Imagine a man—tall, fit, just out of the Navy, broad-chested and clowning. He’s wearing a tight Superman t-shirt and he smiles at you from the TV screen of your old home movies.
This is how I like to remember my Uncle David. Each summer, on our family vacations to Charleston, he would take my sisters and I out on the river in an old fiberglass canoe. Always the jokester, David would laugh and pretend the boat was tipping, “Don’t fall in! Don’t fall in! The alligators will get you!” as the canoe rocked side-to-side, we would squeal in delight with each jostle and tilt.
Now, Uncle David lives in a VA care facility. When he speaks, his speech is slurred and he’s hard to understand; he uses a motorized wheelchair to get around. But no matter how much his body changes, he’s still David. He still plays pranks on the nurses, and he won’t hesitate to wear a clown nose and grin for the camera. Uncle David also proudly wears the t-shirt I sent him, emblazoned with our Bike MS Team name: “M.S. Is B.S.”
We named our team because M.S. really is B.S., but it can’t change who my Uncle David is, or what he means to me—he’s still the toughest, funniest old sailor you’ll ever meet.
I believe if David can keep fighting and keep smiling, we can keep fighting, too.
PS. If you have a chance to put on a clown nose, or a too-tight Superman t-shirt, please do it, smile, and think of David.
HELP US CHANGE THE STORY FOR GOOD PEOPLE LIKE UNCLE DAVID.
Make a gift of $35 or more to your favorite Bike MS Oregon team, individual, or to Christina and Team M.S. is B.S.
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