Twin Blessings from Chicago
Peter Kline first propelled special needs athlete, Peter Ruiz, in the Chicago Marathon 2 years ago. Peter K flew both Peter and mother, Cindy, out from Chicago earlier in June to participate in his 24 hour-ultra and the marathon. As I got to know Peter R and Cindy, I heard their amazing story and wanted to share with you.
Cindy is a single mother to 4 boys, Peter R. being the oldest. Cindy is one of the most gracious, thankful persons I have ever known. Son, Peter, was born with Spina Ebifida, was hydrocephhalic, and suffers from epilepsy. He has endured 500 surgeries. Six years ago he was in a coma for 6 months. He has also had a heart attack. Peter is 32 years old. Peter’s favorite saying: “Never give up, keep trying.”
In the last 5 years Cindy has had 3 brain surgeries the latest in 2015 & 2016. While driving Peter to Niagara Falls via Canada 2 years ago she had a heart attack. For a variety of reasons (none of them good in our mind), Canadian doctors gave an initial evaluation, said we can’t treat you in Canada, and put her in a hall waiting area with Peter. Peter saw mom getting worse and yelled for help. A direct injection into her heart brought immediate relief, but no ongoing treatment. An ambulance was required for transport to the US for life saving treatment. Cindy’s comment: “God must not be through with me yet.” As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now for the rest of the story. ” Peter Ruiz is:
- A Special Olympics competitor in wheel chair racing and the shot put
- A weight lifter. His pusher in the marathon , Kerry Wate, can attest to his size & strength
- An encourager and loves to talk to others as he did with many during the marathoner
- A positive person. He has an infectious smile and I can’t count the number of times I heard him say, “thank you,” for small acts of service for him and his mom during their stay. Cindy Ruiz is amazing too and she:
- Has been a Special Olympics coach for 20 years involving several events.
- Is back at work in a hospital pharmacy working with cancer patients.
- Reads a biblical devotion every day and wonders who she is going to help next
- Is a cheerleader and key support for Peter (and her other boys). Cindy’s expression of encouragement, love and thankfulness is hard to capture in a few words.
In this, our 35th anniversary of Living Perspectives, in each week’s blog, I offer a different verse that has had significant impact on people we have served and to me personally. Cindy and Peter Ruiz are the epitome of these verses: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7-8 Sometimes, the situation of others can put into perspective our trials and tribulations and- to give hope. Have a great day!