It was last February when I first reported here that my friend, Jerry Fowler, had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
Jerry and I have been close friends for a number of years, working together on matters of business, marketing, politics, networking… you name it. He is well-known here in the Midlands for his real estate brokerage, as well as his weekly radio talk-show. He has boundless energy, and one of the most-positive attitudes of anyone I have ever met. He’s an achiever. In 2004, I, along with others, helped talk Jerry Fowler into running for a seat on the Lexington-Richland District 5 School Board. As it turned out, Jerry was a natural vote-getter, and became one of the most positive forces on that board.
His campaign for school board is when I really got to know him well. Since that time, we’ve worked together on a number of projects.
Shortly after being diagnosed, Jerry called me to let me know of his situation, and to tell me that he would like to share his coming cancer battle with readers of this newspaper.
While the diagnosis seemed like bad news to me, Jerry didn’t sound like he was delivering bad news. Instead, he sounded full of positive energy, as usual.
“I know it’s going to be a big challenge,” he told me, with characteristic optimism. “I want to face it with a positive attitude.”
He told me that he wanted to use the opportunity to do something positive for other people.
“I want to tell my story, step-by-step, as I face these upcoming challenges, and maybe it will somehow help others overcome obstacles they face.”
Since that time, we’ve published reports from Jerry Fowler each week – for over a year – detailing the highs and the lows of his battle. And the response from readers indicates that Jerry was right: his reports have helped many, many people. In 19 years of publishing newspapers, we’ve never seen anything else have such a positive impact.
But this week, we don’t have a report. Instead, we have a request for prayer.
His wife and partner, Judy, called me this weekend to let me know Jerry is in the Baptist Hospital, and unable to prepare his weekly report.
“Please pray for him,” she asked.
He has endured terrible headaches for the last few weeks, she said, but his faith is strong.
Apparently, the cancer has spread further. A spinal tap indicated that it's now moved to his spine. His doctors say the treatment they plan for Jerry is aggressive and dangerous.
But Jerry and Judy believe in the power of prayer, as they have from the beginning. They know a miracle can occur. She asked me to pray for Jerry, and I did. Now I’m asking all of his friends and acquaintances to also join us in praying for Jerry.
That will be a lot of prayers, because Jerry and Judy have earned a lot of friends over the years.
I wish I had someone more skillful at praying than myself to offer guidance, but I’ll try my best, and I hope the Lord doesn’t judge prayers: “Lord, please look over and protect my friend and your humble servant, Jerry Fowler. Embrace him with the miracle of recovery, so that he might continue to witness for you and serve his brothers, if that is your will. I pray for him in Jesus name. Amen.”
Please say a prayer for Jerry Fowler.