My name is David A Ross and I am not supposed to be here. I was diagnosed with Leukemia at age six. At that time, half the children diagnosed did not survive. The treatment was almost as bad as the disease. The chemotherapy they gave me damaged nerves in my legs. I am not supposed to be able to walk up a flight of stairs, much less do kicks!
I missed more than a year of school. I had to be home schooled. Even when I returned to school, I did so BALD, lost all my hair from the chemotherapy. I also have dyslexia, as if I didn’t have enough hurdles in my education as it is.
As an adult, I’ve survived cancer twice. In both cases, probably related to the radiation to the head I received as a child for the Leukemia. During one of the surgeries to remove a tumor in my head, I not only got a nasty Staph infection, the doctor bungles the operation and blood poured into my ear. I am now deaf in that ear.
Did I mention I also have a benign tumor in my brain that no one wants to operate on but which may at one point paralyze me? Really no one seems to know.
In retrospect, I have always lived as if I could die at almost any minute. I lived for the moment, doing some crazy, wonderful things. I’ve met amazing teachers, learned incredible things and done unreal things. I learned Chinese language, got formally “Baai Si” adopted, ran kung fu tournaments, promoted fighting events, trained fighters and traveled the world. I’ve also got a Master’s degrfee in Chinese history from a major university, published articles, appeared in videos/DVD’s, taught seminars around the country and helped people around the planet.
Anyone who tells you life is easy, is lying to you. A pastor I really respect once said “if you want to make G’d laugh, tell him your plans.” The reality is, you can’t really plan your life. There are always going to be twists and turns. And you can focus on the negative or the positive, that’s up to YOU.
It’s up to you how you want to tell your story. I could have told you a sad story about a kid who got sick, had a learning disability, and continued to have medical problems his entire life. Or I can tell you that I was that kid, and look at all I have achieved.
And, of course, this is why in large part when people complain about small things, I have so little patience with them.
Wake up! Seize the moment… NOTHING is impossible…
Sifu David A Ross