Posts Tagged ‘bravery’

The Courage of Dr. Robert Fisch

January 2, 2014

Dr. Robert O. Fisch

Dr. Robert O. Fisch

I was privileged to interview Dr. Robert Fisch about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. Click here to read his incredible story.

After World War II ended, and after he escaped communist Hungary in 1956, Dr. Fisch consciously chose to live with love and joy as his dearest friends instead of succumbing to hate and bitterness.

Dr. Fisch’s positive approach to life is reflected in his astonishing bravery. Here is an excerpt from his remarkable book, Fisch Stories: Reflections on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

In my first years of medical school at the University of Budapest, the different political parties pressured students to join. I established the Fisch Party and edited the Fisch Journal, both designed to ridicule the Communists. One spring, at a May Day demonstration, the Communists produced a poster with a cartoon of President Truman with a snake around his neck. When they asked me to carry it, I refused.

“His soldiers liberated me,” I told them. They put the poster on (more…)

Shanna Decker: Lose a Leg, Learn to Love

June 21, 2013

I wrote this profile of childhood cancer survivor Shanna Decker for what is now Caregiving in America magazine.Today, Shanna views her cancer and the resulting loss of a leg as a great gift. She is a remarkable young woman.



Shanna Decker

For one week, Shanna Decker hid under the covers and cried, not wanting to talk to anyone, not even her parents. If you were seven years old, just found out you had malignant bone cancer and were about to lose all your hair to chemotherapy, you’d probably hide under the covers and cry, too.

And yet, after just one week, a week that Shanna said her mother spent not eating or sleeping, the entire Decker family—father Jack, mother Sherrie and 13-year-old sister Melissa—found the peace and strength they needed. “We talked about it as a family and we understood that we were not in control, that this was happening for a reason,” Shanna remembers. “We said, ‘Okay, Lord, take us where you need to take us.’”

That act of surrender changed everything. “We decided that we were going to (more…)

Michiko and Kimiko: A Love Story

February 17, 2013

Not long ago, I was reading a free weekly newspaper at Swami’s Cafe in Encinitas, California, when a photo jumped off the page and into my heart. The photo, which is at once both beautiful and heartbreaking, showed Michiko Lindsey cradling her cancer-stricken child, Kimiko. The accompanying story told of Kimiko’s battle with cancer and of Michiko’s battle to stay sane and strong in the midst of her fear and grief. Deeply touched by what I read, I contacted Michiko and asked her to tell me her story from the beginning. So here, in Michiko’s own words, interspersed with actual journal entries from her CaringBridge journal, is her love letter to her precious daughter.


Michiko Lindsey and Kimiko Lindsey-Schroder


I named my daughter Kimiko because in Japanese, “ki” means precious, “mi” means beautiful, and “ko” means child. She may be only one-quarter Japanese but she is a full-blooded precious, beautiful child. I’ve loved her ever since I first dreamed of her when I was fifteen years old, twenty-five years before she was born.

Kimi’s nurse practitioner had pronounced her perfectly healthy at her annual physical on July 29, 2010, a week after her fourth birthday. Six weeks later, on September 10, her daycare provider called me to say that Kimi was crying because her back hurt. I picked her up and took her to Urgent Care, where I was told that she probably had caught a flu bug. Since we were leaving for Japan later that month, I made an appointment with her pediatrician for September 17, just to make sure. On the 15th, I was thrilled when Kimi called from her dad’s to say that her back pain was gone. But later that day, after going to the movies with her Aunt Dee and Uncle Chris, her leg hurt so much that she couldn’t walk. When Chris called me, I said, “I’ll meet you at Urgent Care.”

Thank God that Chris had e-mailed me the night before. After doing some online research and talking to a doctor friend of his, he had recommended that I ask her pediatrician for a CBC (complete blood count) and MRI. He may have saved Kimi’s life because if (more…)

Do You Have a Hero Within?

December 29, 2010

Would you brave an electric fence to step between an enraged bull and the woman he’s mauling? Would you go back once, twice, three times into a burning, sure-to-explode car to save its unconscious passengers? Would you jump into the track bed of a subway station as a train was rumbling in to save the life of an unconscious man on the tracks?

These people did. That’s why they were honored as heroes. Would you (more…)

Running at the Dog

November 19, 2010

Pema Chodron

In her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron tells this story about Buddhist meditation master Trungpa Rinpoche:

He told a story about traveling with his attendants to a monastery he’d never seen before. As they neared the gates, he saw a large guard dog with huge teeth and red eyes. It was growling ferociously and struggling to get free from the chain that held it. The dog seemed desperate to attack them. As Rinpoche got closer, he could see its bluish tongue and spittle spraying from its mouth. They walked past the dog, keeping their distance, and entered the gate. Suddenly the chain broke and the dog rushed at them. The attendants screamed and froze in terror. Rinpoche turned and ran as (more…)

John Challis Lived For One More Pitch

August 21, 2008

FIve days ago, I wrote a post called One More Pitch. Here is a story about an 18-year-old baseball player who, against insurmountable odds, stepped in for one more pitch himself. You want to know what the embodiment of bravery looks like? (more…)