Twin Blessings from Chicago

Published by Paul on

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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

    Cindy, Peter with Medal, Terry Waite, pusher supreme, and marathon runner Summer (mom) and daughter Ellie

    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!


Categories: Life


Paul has worked with hundreds of individual clients from executives to recent college graduates related to career transition and life coaching. Paul holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology. He has written a book, How a Man Handles Conflict at Work. Paul founded (1991) the Career/Life Institute and provides coaching, organizational design and career transition serving clients ranging from large organizations to family owned enterprises. He served as a consultant to management teams, and had senior positions for Bank of America, Right Associates and CRISTA Ministries. His ministry outreach includes Poland, Romania, and 11 trips to Ethiopia. He volunteers for Congregations for the Homeless in Bellevue, WA.