“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
There was a man walking along the side of the road. He was down on his luck and just looking for work, anything to help him get back on his feet. A man in a truck drove up beside him and told him to get in, that he had construction work for him at decent wages. The man in the truck went on to say, "Everybody deserves a chance... An opportunity at a better life."
The man in the truck that day was my brother, Chris Pearson.
Chris works 6 to 7 days most weeks doing back breaking construction work so that he can support his family. His children are his greatest joy. You have never met a more proud and loving father than Chris.
After working in construction for many years, Chris decided to pursue his dream of starting his own construction company about two years ago - Pearson Construction. He started with one employee and, due to his determination and excellent craftsmanship, word spread and jobs started lining up. The two of them were very busy, but it was starting to look like the time and money Chris put into the company would be worth it.
Unfortunately, life rarely works out the way we anticipate. In September of 2013, Chris was hit by another motorist on the highway. The other driver died at the scene and Chris was rushed to the hospital where he was kept for several days. His truck carrying his construction equipment was totaled. But, somehow, Chris survived the accident with relatively minor injuries.
However, MRI's taken after the accident revealed something else unrelated to the crash... After narrowly escaping death, Chris was told that he had a brain mass, an acoustic neuroma.
In most cases, benign acoustic neuroma's do not require immediate invasive surgery, however, Chris's doctors told him they had never seen one so large in someone so young. He was told that the mass had been growing for about 10 years. This was the reason for the terrible headaches and tinnitus (constant ringing in the ear) he had been experiencing.
Since the accident and news of his tumor, Chris has continued to work to support his family, despite difficulty standing and walking due to the accident, excruciating headaches, and persistent ringing in his ear. But surgery can no longer wait. Waiting would mean deafness, facial paralysis, loss of balance, and eventually, death.
Chris is scheduled for surgery to remove the tumor on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. He will be kept in the hospital for atleast 4 days. The surgery will likely result in complete hearing loss in one ear. Chris must also learn how to walk again. This process may take months but I am optimistic because I know how stubborn my brother is, especially about not giving up! :)
After recieving news that surgery could no longer wait, Chris learned that the house he had been renting with his girlfriend Becky and their son Gabe in Inman, Kansas, had been sold. They were forced to move out of the house in October 2014 and are currently staying with Chris's parents in McPherson, Kansas.
The events over the past year have been trying, they have been heartbreaking, and they have reminded us of the fragility and unpredictability of life.
But nothing that has happened has meant defeat.
My brother deserves a chance...an opportunity at a better life, just like he has given to countless others and will continue to do throughout his life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please share Chris's story and, if you feel inclined and are able, make a donation to help him and his family with medical expenses.
- Stacy Larson
- Marc carter
- Charles Peery