Friday, April 5, 2013

April Update

Interesting Video/Water Sculpture/Feature at Chicago's Millennium Park
Greetings everyone - hope everyone had a Happy Easter, we certainly did.  We didn't do anything special or go on vacation, we just always enjoy the celebration of what Christ did on our behalf.  On Saturday I listened to a recent debate between Dr. William Lane Craig and a John Shelby, a bishop of the episcopal church who does not believe in a literal resurrection....Dr. Shelby is a member of a vast community of  scholars who call themselves "The Jesus Project", and who essentially reject all biblical miracles as myth.  My view is that the big bang is not a myth, and if the Creator can bring all matter, energy, mass, space, and time into existence out of a "singularity", then a little resurrection would not be a problem  :-).  Dr. Craig is a leading scholar of the new testament who takes the view that the resurrection really happened as the bible describes (my view also).

So today is a big day up in Huntington, NY where my sister Laure is raising money by setting up a booth at her Church's annual charity event - she is selling dinner events (she does all the cooking) and also tidbits that she cooked yesterday.  She had her friend record a video and you must see it here:

Laure's Charity Booth Video

She's amazing - she worked her tail off to get the booth ready, cooking all that stuff...and she'll work again at least 2 more times when it's time to cook the dinners she sold.  She is loved at her curch for all her service to the congregation - she's a deacon or something - and she makes us all tired watching her handle her career, her children, and her volunteer work at Church.  This event will raise about $1,000 for my cause.  She's a champ and I am a lucky little brother :-)

Moving on to the medical front.....I am becoming like a character from an episode of "House", the medical drama about a mad-genius doctor and his team of interns who solve a medical mystery each week.  I actually need Dr. House' help.  I've been to a gastroenterologist and an infectious disease doc in the last week and neither of them have a clue what is causing my liver inflammation.  My liver is working properly but the inflammation needs to be dealt with or it could cause damage which can have long term consequences.  At this point we know little more than we did 3 weeks ago - it's either an undetermined infection (Hepatitis A, B, and C, along with CMV, EBV, HHV6, lymphoma, leukemia, cirrhosis, and I don't know-what-all have been ruled out), or a graft-vs. host effect from either the original transplant or from the T-cell infusions that I received in November.  I've had more blood drawn today and we're going to test for another set of fungal and viral infections, and if those tests are negative, Dr. Hosing is going to recommend that I start back on tacrolimus (immunosuppressant), to see if that reduces the inflammation (which would be indicative of graft-vs. host disease).

Meanwhile, I feel fine and continue to get my regular workouts.  Mike and I have not hiked in a couple of weeks, so we're heading out tomorrow on a 10 miler.  The John Muir Trail fund raising continues apace, with about $7,000 raised this week - some incredible donations from some of my colleagues at IBM, plus a big-ticket item from a Taiwanese businessman that I have been acquainted with for over 15 years.  Once those donations are logged and matched by the anonymous foundation, we will be north of $50,000!!  It's amazing, and if you have not given yet, I encourage you to jump in with any amount at all - every little bit helps.

I also encourage you to visit the LLS website ( to see their newest campaign, "Someday is Today".  

Thanks as always for your prayer and financial support.

John Muir Trail Website