Korkey found herself on the other side of the hospital bed. Having been the attending nurse for countless people in her 40 year career, she now found herself asking the doctors the same questions any mother asks when her baby, her son at the age of 30 is diagnosed with cancer. Even though she has been witness to countless tragedies that have whisked youth away prematurely, it was entirely different when it was her son. As a nurse she felt so empowered to help others, but as a mother…she felt helpless.

Jed is a trooper. That is so in every aspect of his life whether it be gymnastics, his stint in the military, the loss of a child, and the dissolve of a marriage that left him as the sole breadwinner for his daughter. Jed lowers his head, his shoulder to the plow, and he gets through. He got through the loss of his 3 month old son. He got through the loss of his wife. He marshaled his stamina and got through cancer when the odds were 10:1 that he wouldn’t. After the pain he endured during chemo, he says that every check up that finds him hearing “Cancer free” never gets old. I had the honor of coaching with Jed a couple of weeks ago. It seemed funny to me, all this time he and I have been friends, and we are only just now coaching together. It seems that it should have happened long before.

Jed and Korkey must now face new challenges. Because of reasons still unclear to Jed, his beloved coaching job has dematerialized. The same day his professional career seemed to be falling apart, he learned his mother will need a bypass and open heart surgery. It seems a perfect storm. But, they will get through. They always have…they always do.

Jed and his mother make a good team. Where one is weak the other is there to lend their strength. Jed and Korkey tag team raising Jed’s daughter. The inexperience and experience blend to make a family with different dynamics than most, but a great amount of love at its core.

It seems that love is at the core of most things this family does. Love for the ocean, love for guitar, love for gymnastics, and love for family. One way or another…love will get them through this. It always has, and it always will.