“Where’s the good news? I need some good news,” I lamented to our staff recently. Given the way our culture and our government are going these days, we typically don’t lack for bad news—news that is accurate and necessary but that is often just hard to hear, especially when it’s a steady diet of it. So today’s commentary is devoted exclusively to good news, and I sincerely hope it encourages you.
Let’s start with some kudos for New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, who opted to miss the first two games of the new season rather than miss being with his wife at the birth of their first child. The couple’s son, Noah, was born via C-section on Monday. This surgical procedure requires a bit longer recovery. Mr. Murphy said, “My wife and I discussed it, and we felt the best thing for our family was for me to try to stay for an extra day—that being Wednesday.” He was back in the lineup for Thursday’s game.
Now, Mr. Murphy took some hits from some of the self-professed sports pundits. One sports announcer said Mr. Murphy is rich and “could have like twenty nannies taking care of his tired wife….” In limited response to his critics, Mr. Murphy stood by his decision of putting his family before his job. That shouldn’t even be a question.
Kudos on this one also go to Major League Baseball for giving the players three days off for paternity leave. It’s never wrong to put family over profession. Years from now, Mr. Murphy will be able to tell Noah how special his birth was—that he was right there as he made his entrance. To a child, that story will eventually be way more important than hearing about the stats from the baseball career—and that’s because this story will be about him. Mr. Murphy will also never have regrets about being there for his wife and this once-in-a-lifetime event. Had he missed it, he’d likely have regrets for his entire lifetime.
Our second piece of good news is the story about the obstetrician Dr. Bob Sansonetti, who practices in Maine. About four years ago, Dr. Sansonetti bought a book he says he thought his teenage children would enjoy. The book was about a man who set out to knit 50 unique hats for his friends. It came complete with instructions.
The good doctor took the challenge and knitted a hat. It ended up being pretty small; but as he looked at it, he thought it was about the right size for newborns. He tried it out, and it worked great! Now he knits a hat for each baby he delivers—and it comes complete with a tag on it that says, “Baby Beanie by Dr. Bob.” The adorable, one-of-a-kind hats keep the tiny infants warm and warm the hearts of the parents who enjoy the personal touch from a doctor who enters into their joy in a special way.
The final good-news story is about a young woman who was originally from Green Bay. Jackie Stollfus now lives in Texas but she was just 21and in college when she started having severely swollen and sore ankles and other symptoms over a spring break. The diagnosis wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She had lupus, an autoimmune disease.
This young woman tried numerous treatments; nothing worked. In the meantime, she married. At their wits’ end, Jackie and her husband Brian decided to take the recommendation of her rheumatologist and check with Dr. Richard Burt at the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Burt was doing some amazing work using adult stem cells to treat autoimmune diseases.
Jackie was eventually accepted into Dr. Burt’s program. Her bad white blood cells were destroyed and her own harvested stem cells were put back in, creating a brand new immune system. In about six months, Jackie turned the corner. She regained her appetite and strength, went from enjoying short walks to now 5 years later hiking with her husband and living a full and rich life.
Many women who have lupus cannot get pregnant. Jackie knew that. However, Dr. Burt told her that her body now doesn’t even know she has Lupus. With that encouragement, Jackie is looking forward to one day fulfilling another of her life’s dreams—becoming a mom. Chalk up yet another wonderful victory for adult stem cell therapies, treatments and cures, proving yet again that we don’t have to destroy life to save life.
The Bible tells us that good news from a far country does for a thirsty soul what a cold drink does for a thirsty person. I hope your soul is refreshed and encouraged by these good news stories.