Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
Today, I will share a burden and a prayer request to my many praying and blogging friends.
Our family has been blessed to know another family, Ruben and Melody Chamorro and their son Durrell. We met them many years ago when Corey and Durrell were very young, first at our same church of fellowship and later our lives would be connected through sports and the community. Ruben was both a junior high and high school teacher for much of his career as well as serving in the church and being a lay pastor. Before we met the Chamorros, they had experienced the worst experience parents can have, that of losing their oldest son, Eric.
Eric was tragically killed while driving on his way to college, San Jose State I believe. He had fallen asleep at the wheel. Eric was a promising young baseball player, having received a scholarship. I am not exactly sure but I think this happened around the time Durrell and Corey were about six years old, so maybe 1986.
Ruben was a very popular teacher. He taught many years here in our school district, receiving the "Teacher of the Year" award. He also taught at Boys Republic, a well known reform school here in Chino, where Corey attended during one troubling time in his life as a day student. I was thankful Ruben was there to teach Corey and keep an eye on him for me.
Ted and Ruben share a great passion for sports. Coaching AYSO as well as supporting Chino football brought our lives together many times. Durrell started on the Chino High Football team as a freshman field goal kicker and as a result of a lot of hard work, saw Chino High to many division Championships. Ruben was Booster Club President at that time when Corey and Durrell played and that was an exciting and fun time in our lives.
When Timmy passed away, the Chamorros were there for us. Melody was at the hospital, I don't know how many hours, but I know she was there when Tim passed. They were in our living room, sitting, praying, doing what needs to be done, getting food delivered, collecting donations...but most of all, Ruben was ministering to Ted. That first morning, I remember so clearly, they left together and were gone for awhile. I do not know what words were shared between these two fathers who both now shared one more thing in common, but I know it gave Ted great strength and even more love and respect for this wonderful man. I asked Ruben to help memoralize our son, and gracefully he accepted although I know it was quite difficult for him to do, bringing back so much pain and memories of his own son. I am forever grateful for his courage. He spoke of Tim, Chino High Football Team's #1 fan, and also of Timmy's passion for sports. Ruben honored us by presenting a plaque naming Tim in memorium as "Chino High Football's #1 Booster" and we were blessed.
Ruben retired from Boys Republic, but went on to teach "at risk" kids at Chino High for a few years. The economy put an end to that program. Not soon after that news, Ruben became very sick. Here is his description from his "Caring Bridge" sight.
I was experiencing severe back pain, nausea, excessive bruising, lethargy, black stool, and skin rashes for over a month so I asked my primary care physician to run some tests on my blood. I gave blood in the morning and that evening my physician called and urged me to rush to the emergency room. As soon as I arrived at the ER I was given a bed and informed that my red and white blood cell count was dangerously low and my blood platelets were lower than the ER staff had ever seen in a living person. I was told that if I fell down or bumped into something too hard I risked bleeding to death. After receiving several blood transfusions and running several tests at Kaiser for a week I was diagnosed with a rare disease known as aplastic anemia. Current medicine still has a lot to learn about A- plastic anemia, and we don't know how I acquired it. I'm very fortunate to be in the care of Cedars-Sinai right now, because Cedars is one of the few hospitals in the world capable of aggressively treating my condition.
This was last December, in fact the night Melody took him to the hospital was Dec. 10th, the same day they were planning on attending Corey's graduation. It has been a very tough road for Ruben. He has suffered many setbacks and side effects including a small heart attack.