How to Combat Pre-Surgery Anxiety and Fears

lailan headphone

It’s still so hard for me to believe that seven months ago I experienced open-heart surgery. When I was eight years old I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis.  My aortic valve was bicuspid and should have been a tricuspid.  I was told to go live my life normally, but one day I would need to have the valve replaced.  Two years ago an echo-cardiogram test revealed that I had entered into the critical zone for functioning aortic valves.  At age 53, the time had come.  So, plans were made to schedule the surgery and get the replacement done.  I sought out the very best cardio-thoracic surgeon in town and was told I was in great health to have an uncomplicated surgery.  All very comforting.  And months before the surgery, God put incredible people in my life to help prepare me for the surgery.  These “angels” who had had open-heart surgery themselves lovingly counseled me about what to expect and were beautiful witnesses to how great it would all turn out. Continue reading

Remember and Help Our Warriors


On this Memorial Day, I know we will all stop for at least a moment to remember and thank those brave soldiers who have given their lives in the defense of our country. If you’re interested, consider going one step further and check out a Kansas City-based organization called Warriors’ Ascent.

I became involved with this 501(c)3 group a couple of years ago and continue to do what I can to spread the news of the amazing work they are doing.  You’ve probably heard the stats, but approximately 20 veterans commit suicide each and every day. And many thousands of others suffer from the daily impact of post traumatic stress. Continue reading

Bicycling Built for Two

Prairie Star Bike Trail

Ever since I was a little kid riding my orange Schwinn Sting Ray with the classic banana seat, I’ve always loved getting out on a bike (I still call a bicycle a bike, even if that’s confusing to you Harley riders).  There’s nothing quite like a little speed, feeling the wind on your face, all generated by your own effort.

While I’ve been a road bike rider almost my entire life, Lailan and I have found more casual cycling is another fun and healthy thing to do together. It’s easier on the knees than running and rest stops seem to include some sort of liquid indulgence, because “we earned it!”  Right? Continue reading

Best Friend’s Life Saved by CPR

Photo with emts

One year ago, almost to the day, one of my best friends and college fraternity brother, Rick Worrel, collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest 50 yards from the finish line of a 5K race. By the grace of God, he was running alongside a doctor who immediately started performing hands-only CPR. Other bystanders worked for approximately 15 minutes to keep blood flowing throughout Rick’s body until the ambulance and other EMTs arrived.  Special thanks go to Jack Uhrig, Bryan Rice, Rob Herrik and Jeff Rohr, who without any hesitation, put their “hands-only” CPR training to use on May 14, 2016, and saved Rick’s life. Continue reading