Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Finish your race

Chances are that everyone reading this blog has been touched by cancer either personally or by someone very close to them. I think we all find inspiration through these very tough battles even though some of them don’t turn out the way we hope. I find inspiration every single day from my wonderful wife Carol who is a 16-year cancer survivor and, even more incredible, a 34-year survivor of me! She is my hero.

I also want to tell you about another inspiration of mine that has had a profound impact on my career and my life. Don Armstrong is a former golf course superintendent that I first met in March of 1980 when I went to work at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth (at the age of 8…right?). I was right out of high school trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. He was the assistant superintendent at Colonial from 1978 – 1981 and went on to have an outstanding superintendent career that included returning as the superintendent at Colonial where he hosted the PGA Tour from 1982 – 1987. He has been in the golf course maintenance industry for 38 years and has been a golf course consultant with his company Golf Resources, Inc. since 1987. For five years in the 2000s, he had his own financial management company in Fort Worth. His advice and the example he has set for me as one of my professional role models has been an inspiration to me throughout my career. I ask his advice every time I see him even to this day.

But the much more meaningful inspiration I have received from Don over the past 36 years has nothing to do with fertility, pest control, management, or anything else related to growing grass. Don celebrated his 10-year cancer survivor anniversary in 2015. In 2005, he was diagnosed with Leukemia and went through five chemotherapy treatments and a stem cell transplant. He was the picture of health before his diagnosis and we were all stunned. The story regarding his battle to survive is remarkable, but what he has done since his diagnosis to create awareness, raise money for blood cancer research and to inspire others is truly incredible. He has become an author and motivational speaker and still works in the golf industry in Texas and Oklahoma. He is an avid marathon runner and trains others to run marathons through his organization known as Team in Training which is a fundraising campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He also organizes and manages an annual fundraising event called the Honored Hero Run which raises money for blood cancer research. He has even inspired yours truly to get off the couch once and a while and participate!

Now, Don has taken his efforts to the next level. He has written a book about his life, appropriately titled, Finish YOUR Race. It goes on sale on January 24 on Amazon and I can’t wait to order one of the first copies. Below is some information about the book. I encourage you to take a look and get to know Don a little better. I hope you will find his story as inspiring as I do and will consider going to Amazon on January 24 and picking up a copy for yourself.

Don Armstrong was first diagnosed with leukemia, a blood cancer that threatened to end his life, in 2005. He endured five rounds of chemo in eight months, culminating in a successful stem cell transplant on May 12, 2006. This was his new “birthday” and his second chance at life.

This journey was filled with uncertainty as well as life lessons and huge victories that changed almost every aspect of his life. Don discovered that adversity affects us all, but it doesn’t define us — it’s the way we react that determines and changes the outcome.

Well into Don’s journey with leukemia, he decided he had to give back and make a difference. Since his diagnosis, Don has run 18 marathons (4 internationally), completed a triathlon and a 100-mile bicycle ride, and raised over $100,000 for blood cancer research.

Don decided to write Finish YOUR Race to share the extraordinary lessons and strategies he learned while his life was on the line. The strategies he discovered aren’t just for cancer patients — everyone can use them to empower their lives.

When you read this uplifting memoir, you will be captivated by Don’s story, inspired by his determination and encouraged by his example. You’ll learn that it’s possible to transcend even the most challenging circumstances and find your life purpose and live it with passion in the process.

Don Armstrong is a leukemia survivor having endured five (5) rounds of chemo and a stem cell transplant in May 2006.  He is an avid marathon runner having completed over 20 marathons to-date.  10 since his stem cell transplant.  Don is also an author and motivational speaker.  He teaches others to win their race in all areas of life with courage, confidence, grace and a positive spirit.  Don resides in Fort Worth, Texas. You or your organization may contact Don at or 817-917-5919 for information about his speaking availability.

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