How My Butt Got Kicked By A Guy On Chemo

I have a friend named Bruce Truitt who has been going through chemo for leukemia. He got out of the hospital last week and asked if I could go for a bike ride with him. I figured how hard can it be since he had been in the hospital for 3 weeks and doing chemo treatments so I said “ sure – why not”.  I could not decide if I needed to pack a water bottle or not, but I did one anyway thinking maybe we might do 8 to 10 miles. I had been building up to about 6-to 8 miles so I thought no big deal. I pulled up to his house early Saturday morning and I noticed that he had two water bottles on his bike. One of which was a blue color so I knew he had added something to it for endurance and there was a packet of something in his jersey. Suddenly, I knew this was not going to be pretty.

After the 20 Mile Ride

We started out on a good pace ( read slow for him ). As we rode we had parts where we could ride side by side and talk about life, family and God. This is always my favorite part of the ride a time where guys can just hang out and be real. There were also times he went “aero” so he could just go for it. After a while I started thinking “ I wonder if he remembers we have to go back?”.  At mile 10 we turned around and he shared his Stinger Waffle with me. This is a waffle shaped snack that gives you a quick fix of energy. Sadly the thought crossed my mind – I bet I could just push him off his bike and take the whole thing 🙂 We started making our way back and in the cycling world you are supposed to alternate who leads. The lead person takes the wind head on and carries the people behind just like birds in a formation. By mile 15 I did not care anymore and he was leading the whole way while I was thinking “ I wonder if it is rude to throw up on his back tire?”.  We finished the 20 mile ride and it felt great. Great because I got to share his first ride with him and see his face as we finished, and how it made him feel to push and  go for it.

That is how Bruce is. In the hospital he asked what the record was for miles walked while doing chemo on that floor. The nurse looked at him and said 5 miles. I could tell she thought poor guy I just crushed his dream. He walked out doing 5 1/2 miles. He does not just break the records he goes for, he crushes them. You have to like hanging with a guy like that! Bruce is a great family man, teaches 10th grade guys on Sunday morning, and enjoys triathlons.

Bruce needs your help. His cancer is in remission, but he still needs a bone marrow transplant. Like me he is an only child so he has to search outside his family for a match. For you to be tested all it takes is a swab kit with a q-tip and swab your mouth. If you test positive and agree to donate the process has never been easier. You go for 4 days in a row and they give you a shot and on the 5th day they draw your blood – that is it. How many times do we in this day and age really get a chance to save someone’s life.

Our church is sponsoring a Bone Marrow Donation Day on August 19th. For more details go here:    http://www.fbccoll.org/bethematch

If that date is not convenient or you live anywhere outside our area you can call or email  and a kit will be sent to your house:  Be the Match Representative, Mary LeSueur at (877) 601-1926 Ext. 7745 or (662) 403-0091.    mlesueur@nmdp.org

To follow his journey go to:  www.caringbridge.org/visit/BruceTruitt

Please help save someone’s life !

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About Mark LaGrone

Discipleship and Assimilation Pastor at Collierville First Baptist Church outside of Memphis, TN.
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2 Responses to How My Butt Got Kicked By A Guy On Chemo

  1. Fant Smith says:

    Bruce is a great guy, great Christian man, great father, great husband, great friend. I live in Murfreesboro and have already swabbed – it’s very easy. Thanks for the great blog. He’s been kicking me for years!

  2. Nita says:

    Loved your post Mark!! Bruce is all those things you said and more. But you, Mark, on the other hand, are the best for just admitting that he did indeed kick your butt. Most men wouldn’t admit it! Love you both.

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