"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On the MARK!

Chris Gillespie & Mark Eldridge at a TEAM 413 Event
This weekend Donnie Maner and I will represent TEAM 413 as we travel to Jacksonville, Florida for the National Breast Cancer Marathon -- 26.2 with Donna. This will be our first trip to this race but it will not be our first brush with the disease. Many of the people who are involved with TEAM 413 have been touched in some way by breast cancer....so, this will be a special weekend for a lot of reasons.
The most recent person to be affected by breast cancer is my wife, Kiki. Her mom recently underwent surgery and is about to start additional treatment. Before my mom's death from a major stroke back in 2008, she had survived a bout with breast cancer. Many of our folks have stories like this. But, there is one person who is involved with TEAM 413 who has a completely different story.
Several years ago my friend went to the doctor for a routine check-up. While waiting for the doctor, the nurse noticed something unusual and asked the doctor to check it out. The physician returned to the room and examined my friend's breast. He found enough of a problem that he ordered additional tests. It turned out that my friend had breast cancer and it was the type that was very aggressive --- only a few percent of the people in the country suffer from this particular cancer.
My friend is our chief administrative officer for TEAM 413. HE is a breast cancer survivor. You read it right. HE is a breast cancer survivor. Mark Eldridge is a wonderful person. He doesn't want any of the focus to be on him. He is simply a survivor and praises God that he beat cancer through the grace and goodness of God. Through his cancer he has helped many others who never even knew about it. He has given so much to many people who never knew that he helped.
As a survivor, Mark Eldridge has given from the heart for his family -- for his friends --but, more importantly for God. He has served in many ways. I've come to know him as a very intelligent, thoughtful, and helpful administrator who keeps TEAM 413 going. He stays on top of things. He does more than is necessary. He pushes himself to be better in so many ways. But, he doesn't ask for anything in return.
The nurse that helped Mark on the day that he visited the doctor saved his life. So, he is giving back by doing things through the heart and hands of a servant. God sent that nurse to Mark on that day. Now, God sent Mark to us to help us grow under His grace.
Mark, God bless you just as He has blessed us with your friendship, with your brotherhood in Christ, and with your servant's heart and hands. TEAM 413 dedicates this event to YOU and the others who have been affected by breast cancer.
Under HIS grace...

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