Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stephen Hawking is BADASS!

Ok completely random and has absolutely nothing to do with triathlon, but in the course of my research for my Anthropology paper I managed to do a little more reading on Hawking. now I had always know he had ALS but I did not know he has had it for almost 50 years.....According to Hawking's website he was diagnosed in 1963 when he was 21. He is now pushing 65 and is on pace to outlive most able bodied persons. What has been the secret to his longevity with a disease that normally kills in 2 years...positive attitude. Hawking described that he had seen a fellow patient dying of Leukemia ( enter shamless plug for Team in training here) as he was in the hospital trying to have his " mystery illness" diagnosed. Whenever he needed strength Hawking thought back to this patient, and realized that even though his disease was physically crippling, he did not suffer the same crippling effects of the cancer, and if he felt down on himself to remember that there were others suffering like and worse than he was. Another reason he credits to his longevity was unlike most ALS patients he has been able to continue his work and research as an astro-physicist. Most ALS patients usually leave their professions, to spend their remaining time in the company of family and friends and to meditate on life, and mankind's place in the there a does the universe work....concidering this was Hawking's day job ( finding out the inner workings of the universe.) he was one step ahead of the game and as a plus he was getting paid for it. Also Hawking's sense of humor has also played a role in his survival. He often jokes about the computer that allows him to "speak" , he complains that it gives him an American accent ( concidering Hawking is British), but is a lot easier than the "old method" of having to have an aide hold up cards with letters of the alphabet an then moving his eyes to choose letters and then spell out his communications letter by letter, or before he needed his breathing tube, having a close friends or family memeber intrepret his lectures to students or secretaries due to the degeneration of his voice. Since his diagnosis Hawking has written several books, lectured around the UK and the world, married twice, has rasied 3 children, and has been an ispiration to persons with physical disabilities everywhere, just because the body has shut down, does not mean the brain and soul have followed suit.
Dr. Hawking You are badass!

R. D.

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