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Heroes Come From Unexpected Places

This morning we had another meeting in preparation for Gary’s chemo therapy. For those of you who do not know, Gary, my grandfather, was diagnosed with Lung Cancer (something I talk about more: here and here). The overall prognosis isn’t good, but we’re trying… I don’t really know a good way to say it.

The past few months have been extremely stressful on my family. This morning I arrived at my grandma’s house around 9am. They were supposed to pick me up so we could head to the appointment together, but I’d been waiting for so long, I decided to meet them at their place instead. When I arrived I found Gary out of breath. Extremely. – Something NOT good for someone diagnosed with Lung Cancer (and COPD). He was fussing, but I was able to get him to calm down. I tried to understand what was going on and what caused him to get so out of breath.

Long story short, the trashcan was EXTRA full because of everything we’d been throwing out and cleaning in preparation for “chemo day.” He lugged the can all the way up the hill, only to realize he’d already missed trash pickup! *He was also pretty frustrated at my grandma for not telling him.* He almost passed out lugging that can around.

We left for the appointment.

When we got back home Gary explained that he planned on re-bagging ALL of the trash and taking each bag to the dump. It was an insane plan to say the least. I told my grandparents I’d see them later and headed out. I drove about 3 miles down the road and saw one garbage truck heading in the opposite direction. By the time I turned around I didn’t know where it was or where it was heading. I didn’t really have a plan at all. After driving for about 5 minutes I decided to randomly make a right turn and there it was!

The garbage truck.

I parked my car a few houses ahead and walked back to the truck. Still, no plan. The guy saw me walking and hopped out of the truck. I explained how my grandparents missed trash pickup and I also told him about Gary’s insane plan. I told him they were old and asked if there was anything else we could do. I was open to anything.

The kind man explains he normally takes that route, but today someone else did. They came by super early and finished superrr fast! He then explained he’d be more than happy to go back to my grandparent’s house to pick up their trash. I gave him the address and thanked him many times. I told him he doesn’t understand how much it means to me. A few hours later the can was empty.

This man didn’t know about Gary’s terminal Cancer. He didn’t see how he huffed and puffed trying to lug that can around. He didn’t know that I’d cried every single day since his diagnosis. He didn’t know Gary was scheduled for chemo the next day. He didn’t know how hard our life has been. He only saw a small person who really needed a hero. Today, he certainly was that hero.

I am so grateful for people like the man I met today. Heroes, much like blessings, can come from very unexpected places.

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What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19-04:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019