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TODAY news for Thursday, October 29, 2007

Loma Linda University Medical Center news

Television program features stories of courage, hope

What’s it like to stare death in the face and survive? That question forms the focal point for Journey of Hope, an exciting new televised series that takes an up-close and personal look at the gritty, yet often inspirational, stories of people who have confronted life-threatening challenges and lived to tell the story.

In the broadcast, which is televised over the Internet at <www.llbn.tv>, host J. Lynn Martell, DMin, interviews guests who have survived severe accidents or illnesses.

In the case of Don Hawecker, an horrific auto accident left him as a double amputee. Yet instead of wallowing in self-pity, Mr. Hawecker challenges himself to excel at a variety of tasks.

He currently serves as a member of the Commission on Disabilities for Riverside and has put in more than 3,000 hours as a volunteer at Drayson Center. Mr. Hawecker’s testimony of how he overcomes obstacles on a daily basis inspires athletes and couch potatoes alike to pursue their goals with persistence and determination.

Two other recent guests—Bill Vancil and Jennifer Gardiner—are cancer survivors who share their discoveries of powerful resources to help them not only survive, but learn to thrive in the aftermath of great personal crisis. Mr. Vancil, author of Don’t Fear the Big Dogs, is president of Vancil Creative, a graphic design firm based in Cross Plains, Wisconsin.

Ms. Gardiner works as an emergency medical technician at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The stories of their struggles and courageous journeys challenge viewers to an experience of hope, healing, and wellness.

“I find it fascinating,” Dr. Martell notes, “that so many people not only conquer horrifying, traumatic situations in their lives, but live to say that the experience has opened up opportunities for growth they could never have experienced in any other way. Many of them have told me that getting cancer or facing death turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to them.” As director of special services for the department of radiation medicine at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Dr. Martell interacts with individuals facing life-threatening challenges on a daily basis. “The optimism and determination they display never ceases to inspire me,” he adds.

Journey of Hope is sponsored by Loma Linda University Medical Center and airs four days a week—Sunday at 4:00 p.m., Monday at 5:00 a.m., Tuesday at 10:00 p.m., and Thursday at 10:00 a.m.—over channel 17 in Loma Linda. It is also available worldwide as a streaming broadcast over the Internet. Viewers are encouraged to consult the website at <www. llbn.tv> for information on the Internet edition of the program. 

By James Ponder

TODAY news for Thursday, October 29, 2007