Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to introduce to you, the Miami Valley Hospital's Champion of Hope for 2013, Mrs. Susie Thomas!
Yes, tonight, Susie will be honored as A Champion of Hope through the hospital where she received a majority of her care. A few months ago I had the privilege of nominating her for the award and within a few weeks she was selected. Tonight we will enjoy a gala, with a lot of the doctors, nurses and support staff at the hospital. At first, Susie was unsure how to feel about a cancer award, but lately she's been excited that she got to buy a new dress and some new shoes!
There are so many reasons why I nominated Susie. I was pretty sure the amount of pregnant brain tumor candidates are fairly small, so I thought she had a good shot to win it. Just kidding, here are a few of my real reasons why she is my Champion of Hope:
Like many other champions she has been courageous in the midst of adversity. She has faced her tumor and everything surrounding it head on. Sure there have been moments of fear, incredible pain and uncertainty, but what a courageous champion she has been. There was no obstacle, including those terrible Lovenox injections, that she shied away from. There was nothing that caused her to crumble with fear.
She has been victorious. For the journey she has endured for the last 20 plus months, she has come out on top. Not in a cocky way, although there was a period of time where she did think the fact that she was awesome, was reason to believe that nothing really bad was going to happen to her. But I digress. Every thing that has come her way - weird symptoms, seizures, surgery, carrying a baby, radiation and chemo - she has come out on top. Not one of those things beat her down or made her quit. Whatever the obstacle was she took head on with beauty, joy, humility, laughter and love. Unlike other champions who compete for a prize, trophy, fame or money, Susie's thoughts were focused on her Savior, her Simon, her Talya, her Charlie, her Annie, her husband, her family and her friends. Her prize was not money or a championship belt, but hugs, kisses, poopie diapers, nights out, Bachelor and Big Brother viewings, packing lunches and being creative in so many ways. She wears these prizes so well each day.
Finally, why has she been able to do this? Well, she has pointed us to the reason for her hope throughout the journey. During this season through her actions, her words and sometimes even just by laying on the couch and doing nothing, she has pointed each of us to her Savior, Jesus Christ. She is the first to admit that her hope is secure because of what Christ's did for her on the Cross thousands of years ago. His love for her is why she can and does hope in Him. Completely and totally because of His great love for her, she has been secure in the midst of incredible uncertainty to live with a hope that is certain. She has taught us all how to live with hope in the midst of pain.
When my kids, grandkids or any one else asks me the question, 'Who was the greatest champion you ever saw?' my answer will be clear: Susie Thomas. My bride, my best friend and my love. She has taught me what it means to be awesome, what it means to be courageous, and what it means to be a champion. It has been an incredible joy and opportunity to experience all of this with her in the last 20 months. I am so blessed and my life will never be the same because of Susie.
The gala is set for tonight. We hope to have the video the Foundation has done of Susie available on our website in the next few days. Hopefully, we will also be able to show Susie's acceptance speech.
Thanks for journeying with us. Your encouragement, support and love have helped us. As a way of celebrating with us in the comment section, please let me know:
What are some reasons you think of Susie as a Champion of Hope?