My Weight Loss Progress

Friday, May 20, 2011

Accolades for the Apels

While living in Boise I was pretty active in my church choir. I bonded with a very special group of ladies. We were all different ages and had lots of different experiences yet we also had a lot in common. Mostly we all liked to have fun, we all loved to sing and we all have a heart for Jesus. One of the ladies in the group became my adopted mama in Boise, her name was Lorrie Apel. I love her and have learned so much from her and she probably doesn't realize the impact that she has had on my life. I miss her dearly as I do all my Boise friends.

Let me just tell you a little about the Apel family. They are one of the most successful families I know. When you dream of being the all American family you think about wanting to be an Apel. They had a beautiful home in Boise which they opened up and were wonderful hosts to so many events. I frequented their pool and had dinner there several times. Even after I moved, I stayed with them while visiting and they even hosted my college graduation party. I also would come over with a pile of homework on occasion and get Lorrie's advice on my college papers or speechs.

Lorrie is a nurse and finished her master's degree while I was living in Boise. It was really cool because one of her sons was also graduating from the same college and they got to walk together and receive their diplomas. Now that same son is working on his PhD in Geophysics. Lorrie's husband Win is also pretty incredible. A Yale graduate, a corporate lawyer and an athlete. Their son Peter and I attended college together. Specifically we took organic chemistry together. He must of gotten a better grade than me because he is a doctor now, actually a surgeon....I am not. haha :) Their youngest son is in Navy and attending Northwestern. I mean seriously does it get more successful? I don't know many families (actually any families) with a better resume. They have also traveled all over the world, Lorrie has participated in medical missions trips to Africa, been involved in the rotary, and accomplished many other incredible things. I am sure there are 100s of things I don't even know about.

The best thing about the Apels though is that even though they have so much success, you would never know it from meeting them. They are humble, giving, compassionate people. When I was in Boise, I knew that if I ever really needed something I could call Lorrie and she would be there in a heart beat. It is sad that miles now separate us but actually as of recently we are only 5 hours apart. I hope to see them soon. Again Lorrie just took me in under her wing and was a great surrogate mom to me.

So why this big post all about the Apels? Well, Win has a pretty amazing story. You can read more about it here but in short here it goes.....Win is a marathon runner. He hasn't always been a marathon runner; he actually ran his first marathon in 2000. After a battle with prostate cancer he set a goal to run a marathon in every state and on every continent. He completed this goal in 2009 when he ran The Boston. He has been featured on foxsports and NPR for his accomplishment. I remember hearing about this and thinking that it was so amazing that someone could be that dedicated to exercise and to a goal. I mean...Antartica is a freaking continent. Who runs a marathon there? Win Apel does.

Well, even though I would have thought of Win as your perfect picture of health...last year he was given some bad news. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been battling brain cancer since November of 2010. He has glioblastoma multiforme which is very serious and highly fatal yet he has already defeated several of the odds against him. He had 98% of the tumor removed, has went thru several radiation and chemo treatments, and is taking a new medication as part of a clinical trial; but the statistics are still against him. He has a CaringBridge website and posts frequently about the status of his health and treatments. Every time that I read I am amazed by his positive attitude, trust in God and outlook on his future. He is such a fighter and I am praying everyday for a miracle. He is still inspiring others as well as inspiring me; just recently he has participated in several speaking engagements to motivate runners and raise money for cancer awareness.

He has truly been an inspiration to me. I am no marathon runner but through my weight loss journey he has came to my mind a lot. We are facebook friends and he is always giving my workouts, runs, stairclimbs, etc the thumbs up. As I mentioned in an earlier post, he was a big part of my inspiration to run the 5K and to wear my shirt "pick a fight". I'm not sure about running 50 marathons but I would like to some day at least complete a half marathon. I'd like to do the Country Music half in Nashville with friends. I know he doesn't know it....but every time I run I think about him and what he has accomplished and what he is enduring right now. I know that if Win wasn't sick that he would still be running but right now he can't. I have no excuse; I can and therefore I will (even though I hate it). Win, will I learn to love it?

Lorrie and Win Apel, you truly are amazing people with an amazing family. Thank you for being such a blessing to my life and to the life of many others. You have touched me in ways that you will never know. Keep fighting and we will keep praying. Win! What a great name for a fighter and a winner. Thank you for helping me win my own battle!

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