Okay…I guess my pal Shawn is officially a “Deputy Sheriff.” I have no clue as to what his day-to-day gig is like, but when it hits the fan, I’m sure it really doesn’t matter.
And THAT…I DO know about Shawn.
We met last year, not long after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was at one of our concerts, and he had gone through hell and high water to get his wife, Chrissy, there. Tim McGraw is one of her favorites, and Shawn had made arrangements to attend and celebrate his love for her and his appreciation for the strength she shares through her care of her husband.
It was there I began to learn his story, though he doesn’t say much. His typical attitude is more “smile,” then “yeah, still goin’ at it,” and then “what do YOU need?”
We’ve become friends, and as he has continues to go toe-to-toe in his medical fight, he continues to throw the light on others. When I told him that I would like to run the New York City Marathon with Team McGraw in recognition of his example of spirit and perseverance, I learned more.
His uncle, Marty, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1981, also suffering a seizure, heart attack and stroke. He survived and is currently a Jesuit missionary in Nepal.
His mother passed at age 67, the result of her own tumor, in 2004. She never complained, and both he and his father were at her side, holding her hands, as she made her transition to Heaven.
Oh, yeah…and there’s Shawn’s tumor, discovered in 2009. He had surgery. Went through chemotherapy. Never stopped to ask “Why, me?” Treated it and moved forward, looking for someone else that needed his support.
Like Jedidiah Lusk. A young boy confronting a battle no young boy should. Shawn has taken up Jedidiah as his own source of inspiration, championing this boy’s fight with unending enthusiasm. He shares Jedidiah’s story, often before his own, and works to support benefit projects for the Lusk family, even as he continues to fight his own battle.
Shawn never bothered to tell me about the events held in his honor in California by his brothers and sisters in the sheriff’s department. He didn’t mention Congressman Tom McClintock’s public statements in the Washington, DC house chamber in recognition of Deputy Shawn Webb’s spirited example and the impact he has made on so many around him.
Nope…Shawn told me about everybody else. The rest…I had to “Google.”
My planned run at the New York City Marathon didn’t happen. So tomorrow, I will run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon instead.
It’ll get tough. It’ll hurt. When it does, I’ll take a deep breath, dig a little deeper, and remember the patch Shawn gave me from the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department… stashed in my pocket and carried through the marathon.
Fight on, pal.
To support my run in recognition of Shawn and his battle, please visit my fundraising page and make a donation to the Tug McGraw Foundation; your donation will help to improve the quality of life for patients confronting brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress.