Imagine being a pro-baseball player---living your dream---and then one day, being diagnosed with cancer and given just weeks to live. That's what happened to a 27-year old Colorado man. And his run of bad luck didn't stop there. But Chris Forbes has, so far, beaten the odds and is taking on another challenge. He is the subject of this “People You Can Count On.
Chris Forbes was on his way to a great life. He played baseball for the Kansas City Royals and then the Arizona Diamondbacks. But that dream took a drastic turn. "When you're healthy, and I had just gotten done playing pro-ball, a swollen lymph node is no big deal," he said.
That ‘no big deal’ was diagnosed as Hodgkin’s Disease. Weeks later, he had several secondary brain tumors. They were inoperable. "Mentally, I was very angry and actually played the ‘victim’ for awhile," he recalled. But Chris vowed to prove the doctors wrong. He knew he would live more than just a few weeks.
Then, after taking his last chemotherapy treatment in Kansas City, Chris stopped at a red light and his world changed again. "Got to a stop light (and a) carjacker opened the door and said, ‘Get out of the car!’ The gun---he had in my side. He shot me in the abdomen as I drove away."
Chris admits that shooting was a huge turning point in his life. "It was hard not to laugh about it, because the bullet went right through and it made for a good story."
It's that humor that has gotten Chris this far. And it's going to have to work for another big challenge---climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska. He, along with friends Gary, Steve and Eric, are raising money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation. They're donating all the time and equipment. "The summit isn't our goal. That's just the icing on the cake. Our goal is to get everybody on the mountain and back off and raise awareness for leukemia,” says Gary Roth.
It will be many more years before Chris's cancer can be diagnosed in remission. But that doesn't really seem to matter much. "Tomorrow's another day and the sun's gonna rise. It's given me a pretty good grasp of who I am and who I want to be. And I am very close to my family and friends now," he says.
Chris and the group plan to begin their climb to the summit of Mt. McKinley on June 2nd. It could take them about 17 to 20 days, depending on the weather.
Climb 4 Hope
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
5353 W. Dartmouth Ave., Suite LL
Denver, CO 80227
For more information, call 303-984-2110
And for more information on The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, CLICK HERE
If you know of someone who'd make a great "People You Can Count On," contact Melissa Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.