You better have a good excuse

We have great employees, but it never fails, someone always calls in “sick” when you need them the most. I say sick in quotations because it seems to be synonymous with “hung over,” and always either on a Monday or Friday. Freaky. (Imagine Twilight Zone music.)

My brother and business partner, Mike, along with myself, can count our number of combined sick days over two decades on one hand. So, on one seemingly normal Wednesday morning, Mike said nonchalantly to me, “I’m going to need to take a few sick days.” I replied in my typical sarcastic fashion, “What, are you planning on getting sick?” “No”, Mike replied. “I have just been diagnosed with Leukemia and will be out of commission for a while for chemotherapy.”

What seemed like an eternity of silence followed.

An overwhelming sensation of confusion, anger and vulnerability hit me like a brick wall. This is my brother, and the engine that keeps this company of ours ticking. And this kind of stuff just doesn’t happen to us! Mike had just gotten married to boot.

Well, the chemo, true to form, was as Mike put it, “Just lovely”. Constant vomiting, bones on fire, you get the picture. Lets not forget the unspeakable “what if…” that no one dare utter.

Anybody that knows Mike, knows he is a fighter. It came as no shock, that mere days after the chemo, he was requesting paperwork and bills be delivered to the hospital because “they need to get done.” Leukemia never stood a chance against such will and determination.

We are pleased to report that Mike is in full remission, looks and feels better than ever, and is enjoying his new lease on life with his beautiful new bride, Tena. He’s even back to throwing people around the Judo mat. He is a third degree black belt, after all. Leukemia simply messed with the wrong guy.

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