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Monday, March 26, 2012

Inspired By A Stranger

Thoughts from the desk of Ruby

I have never met Donald Strunk. We have never talked. We have never crossed paths, but, we are related. He is married to my cousin Deirdre. Busy lives and different life paths have kept us apart for years. I see photos, read posts about what is going on in their lives via Facebook, but I truly do not know Donnie, as Dierdre calls him; in many ways I do not know Deirdre either after all these years. I do know that both she and her husband Donnie inspire me. Everything that I know my cousin has been through, all the heart ache and triumphs, she is the very person I think of when I picture strength, positivism and triumph over lives struggles. I shared long ago how she inspires me on this very blog*here. Today however, is not a blog about Deirdre, but about Donnie. A stranger that inspires me. 

Donnie is suffering from a rare form of Leukemia called Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia (LGL). This cancer attacks the T-cells in the immune system. He was diagnosed in May of 2010. He states on his fund raising page ( I will get to that soon), that he was in denial at first, but that did not last long, he soon took on the fighting spirit that so embodies that of my cousin Deirdre and together they have been beating the odds. Not without set backs and stumbles I am sure. Neither are the type of person to give up, or give in or stay down for long. They come back stronger, fight harder. 

Life has not been easy for me. Most of my life has been a struggle. Since childhood there was illnesses, abuses and loss. That pattern has continued through my adult life as well, as I have often opened up to you all through the life of this blog. People say I inspire them, motivate them, much the same way my cousin and her husband motivate me. In my mind I can not wrap my thoughts and feelings around that. What I have had to go through, face, live with, seems as if it is hardly worth mentioning when I look at what the two of them are dealing with on a daily basis and still manage to smile, laugh and come together to support others. I could only hope to aspire my whole life to reach the level they have in how they live the life God has given them. 

Case in point both Deirdre and Donnie have been training to run in a half marathon in San Diego on June 3rd of this year. That is until a set back during Chemo that once again put Donnie in the hospital. I believe they still have plans to participate, and Donnie, nicknamed "Superman" by friends, is indeed fighting back the evilness called Cancer, and all that goes hand in hand with it and I have every faith that both Deirdre and Donnie will be in Sand Diego for that marathon, raising money to help find an end to all types of Leukemia. 

Both Deirdre and Donnie have fund raising pages. They have a goal that they wish to not only meet, but surpass. Deirdre's page met it's goal, Donnie is at 94% of his goal. It is my hopes that if you read this you will be moved to donate. Donate a 1.00, each dollar counts. My husband and myself donated 25.00, perhaps not a lot in the scheme of things, but it is a start! You can read more about Donnie and his fight and be inspired by him as I have, as well as click to donate by going HERE

I and my husband's life has been touched and robbed of a family member and of friends by cancer. We lost my husband's mother to lymphoma. I have no doubts that it will continue to be a part of our life. It is just a sad fact of life. However, doing what we can to help the doctors and scientists find cures and in the meantime find ways to easy the life of those that suffer from the deadly disease can be a way each and everyone of us can be a super man or super woman in this battle. We can inspire others to do the same, and together one day we will win. I just know it. Doubt can not enter the picture. You can start today with clicking on the link and donating and spreading the word. Be inspired by a stranger and inspire a stranger in return.   


  1. What a very touching post. It really makes me think about how we all touch each orher's lives, whether we realize it or not, whether we know each other or not. xx

  2. Hi Ruby, I have read your post before on this awful illness that has reached your family. It sounds like they are strong people, and it's amazing what strong love can do. I will pray for them. Cancer is a monster! I truly believe that what doesn't break us, makes us stronger. I agree with the comment before many people do touch each others life in so many ways.
    God bless this family.
    Dee xoxo


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