Saturday, October 30, 2010

Upcoming Speeches

Date: November 2, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: Collin College's Spring Creek Campus (Living Legends Conference Center)
Address: 2800 E Spring Creek Parkway Plano, TX
Audience: Collin College students and faculty, the community

Date: November 4, 2010
Time: 10:30 am
Place: Collin Higher Education Center
Address: 3452 Spur 399 McKinney, TX 75069
Audience: Nursing students

Friday, October 29, 2010

Last 2 Games

I'm confused. Did we or did we not make it to the World Series? Let's ACT like it Rangers!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 25, 2010

Yesterday was an amazing day. It started with me speaking at Blue Ridge HS in the morning on behalf of MADD for red ribbon week. This was my first time speaking at a high school which is the main reason I wanted to team up with MADD. The school body was about 200 total. As the lights dimmed so that my powerpoint would display, the students entered the gym and I began to speak. The students were very attentive, more so than I expected based on my experience in school when we would have speakers come. After praying for the stuents for a couple of weeks - that they would be receptive to my message - I sensed that they those that needed to hear it and fully grasp it did. Afterwards, one of the students thanked me as they were dismissed as well as some of the faculty which was nice. Hopefully, my message will stick with them more than just a couple of days, but the rest of their lives.

Yesterday was also mine and Billy's anniversary! Billy and I celebrated 8 years together. We actually decided to start celebrating on Saturday, October 23rd. We ate at Chili's and rented the movie "Killers" with Ashton Kutcher. It was surprisingly very good. On Monday after I spoke at Blue Ridge HS, we went out to eat at IHOP with my Mom. We celebrated the rest of the night watching the Cowboys unfortunately fall apart... But atleast we have the Rangers doing well!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Red Ribbon Week

This week (October 24th - October 30th) is red ribbon week which is dedicated once a year to raising awareness of drugs and alcohol.

Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country ... Red Ribbon Week serves as a vehicle for communities and individuals to take a stand for the hopes and dreams of our children through a commitment to drug prevention and education and a personal commitment to live drug free lives with the ultimate goal being the creation of drug free America (

This is usually MADD's most busy time of the year. I'm dissappointed that my own city, McKinney did not request presentations from MADD. This is a serious issue that needs addressed especially to young people.

Just Say No!

"Red Ribbon Week.", 2009. Web.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

World Series Here We Come!

The Texas Rangers have finally made the WORLD SERIES!!! Come on Rangers! We know you can do it! Let's beat San Francisco! Woo Hoo!

Christmas List: Andrus Shirt!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Injured Rutgers player Eric LeGrand may benefit from new advances in spinal cord research

"Just last week, the first stem cell treatment for a spinal cord injury was administered in the United States. Various drugs are in the research pipeline. And there is optimism in the medical community that new treatments may be in the offing."

"The first embryonic stem cell treatment for a human in this country was administered Oct. 11 to a patient partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury in Atlanta. Millions of embryonic stem cells were injected into the patient’s spinal cord, with the hope that he or she could recover some of their damaged nervous system."

Augenstein, Seth. "Injured Rutgers player Eric LeGrand may benefit from new advances in spinal cord research." The Star-Ledger. New Jersey Local News. 21 October 2010.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Surviving and Living with Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The most common site for acquiring asbestos related diseases is the workplace. Shipbuilders, construction workers, and industrial workers are at the greatest risk. Secondhand exposure is also possible, and some mesothelioma patients have never been in direct contact with asbestos. Exposure probably occurred while touching the hair or clothing of someone who works with asbestos.

Because of the latent nature of the disease, victims do not begin experiencing mesothelioma symptoms until at least two decades after being exposed. The diagnosis comes as a complete surprise. In most cases, the cancer spreads unnoticed. By the time individuals seek medical attention, and the physician reaches a conclusive diagnosis, the cancer is already in advanced stages. The discussion often turns to palliative care and quality of life, rather than surviving and living with mesothelioma.

Living Examples

Surviving and living with mesothelioma is possible. Some patients are surviving fourteen years after the initial diagnosis. Survival largely depends on the will of the patient to continuing living, and the willingness to learn as much as possible about the disease and all available treatment options-both traditional and alternative.

Belle McGuckin is diagnosed in 1998. At the time, her physician gives her little hope of surviving and living with mesothelioma. Like many health care professionals, the discussion turns to palliative care. In an interview with WebMD, “McGuckin, her family and friends refused to give up hope. They researched the disease -- of which local doctors knew little -- searched the Internet for information, and subsequently contacted lawyers, doctors and research centers”.

Beth found a physician with the skill and knowledge to remove the mesothelium and the lung that was affected by mesothelioma. Relatively pain free, Beth continues to live a good quality of life at the time of the interview. It is years since one doctor gave her the fatal prognosis. Beth took the proactive approach and sought out treatment options most people do not take the time to consider.

Paul Kraus is another example of someone who chose living and surviving with mesothelioma. Faced with a grim prognosis, Paul begins searching for answers and different treatment options that are right for him. He begins immediately by changing his lifestyle, especially his eating habits. Paul’s opts to forego any traditional treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma.

For example, Paul chooses ozone therapy. After much research, he learns that oxygenated cancer cells do not survive well. The therapy cycles his blood to be oxygenated and returns it to his system. Paul’s approach is to give the body tools to promote healing, in all aspects of life. While some may think his approach to cancer is radical, no one can deny that he is one of the longest surviving individuals living with mesothelioma.

Johnson, Alex. "Surviving and Living with Mesothelioma." Message to Tonya Winchester. 8 October 2010. E-mail.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nix Reunion

Yesterday was our family reunion. We met at a family-owned restaurant in Forney, TX. I think about 50 came. It was so nice to see everyone but at the same time, I found myself feeling sad. My Grandma's siblings and spouses aren't doing well. It is a reality check when you finally get to see them but realize how old they have gotten. They are all in their mid-70's and 80's. The deaths of Uncle Billy, Uncle Johnnie, and Aunt Janette have really made an impact on the family. I think it has aged everyone. My Mom's Uncle Wesley was on oxygen, could barely move and now uses a walker since the death of his wife. I went to visit my Mom's Uncle Cecil and his wife after the reunion and they have aged just as well. I sensed a bit of lonliness in all of them.

Lord, I just pray that they will lean on you and know that you are with them. I don't know if they are saved but I pray for their salvation and a mighty strengthening of their faith. May they find comfort in you. May their pain and lonliness disappear. I pray for them to find peace. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*Pictures to come.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Answering the Holy Spirit

I met two of my neighbors today for the first time and found out that one of them has stomach cancer. I felt a little voice calling me to pray for him. That was the first time I've ever prayed for someone I had just met. It is unlike any earthly feeling when you answer the Holy Spirit's calling. The joy that follows is amazing. :)

Please keep him in your prayers. His name is Mark Smith.