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September 14, 2022 3:00 am
On this episode of Our American Stories, Saje Hellstern was the fastest on his cross-country team and always finished in the top. After a tumor was found in his brain, he endured over a year of radiation and chemo. But, that didn't stop him from running and finishing his races. Here to share his story is his stepfather, Roger.
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This is Lee Habib and this is our American stories that show where Americans star and the American people up next, we have another listener story center was from Roger wrench in Iowa today. Roger is sharing a story about his stepson. They called the winter always finish last. This is the story of the kid who finished last. Every time he ran in the slowest teen with the slowest runners and he was the slowest of the slow, often coming in several seconds behind the other runners for three years in track meet after track meet after track meet.
He finished last. It had not always been so in seventh grade. He was the fastest kid on his cross-country team and competed with the best runners from the other schools in his last mean he finished 12th out of 169 runners and the other 11 ahead of him were all a year older and eighth grade.
He loved running and look forward to getting better and faster then tragedy struck. A tumor was found in the back of his brain. This after a lifelong genetic disease had limited his physical activity is whole life running was the first athletic thing he was able to do now that was being taken away. He endured a year and 1/2 of radiation and chemo because of his rare disease. Sometimes the doctors weren't sure how to treat them. There were difficult days, including 17 in a row where he was unconscious for most of it over the Christmas holiday. The tumor was removed quickly after being discovered. He made it through treatment and many months of physical therapy for four years now. He's been in remission, but cancer left its mark is radiation and chemo treatments stole much of his physical strength, balance, speed and endurance that seventh grade flyer is long gone, but he ran anyway. He joined his track team and competed as hard as he could.
He ran his best every race and improved his personal best time he cheered on his teammates and inspired them every time he ran the clock said he came in last again and again.
Those who know him would tell you a much different story.
So when his mom and I walk sage out onto the track on senior night. We couldn't have been prouder in the bulletin noting his plans after high school graduation. These were of his own in this life you will experience hardship and tribulation, but don't let those life altering experiences define as a person. Write your own story defy the odds sage holster.
Real winners are not the ones with the fastest times.
There is a want to keep running and always give their best. They never give up. They take their tests and make it their testimony.
They turned their tragedies into triumph. They inspire others to make the most of what they have. They believe there is purpose in all of life's challenges and they do their best while cheering others on to greatness. The clock may tell one story, but their lives, tell another. This is the story of a runner who could have quit when tragedy struck and never set foot on track again. Instead, he lysed up his shoes and endured the humiliation of finishing last. Every time because he loved to run and inspire others. Sometimes he wonders what could have been what if he never got cancer.
How fast would he be able to run good heels. Once the metals gone to state those questions will always linger in the said but he gave a small with what he had. That's all any of us can do sages developed other skills in life that he's working on things like music. He taught himself to play guitar and recorded some of his own songs even perform them before his peers.
He's worked extremely hard to develop that talent with years of hard work and he knows that probably wouldn't have happened if it weren't for cancer is attitude faith and trust in God's purpose for his life has grown by leaps and bounds, and he still running as fast as his remaining strength and endurance will take clocks don't determine the winners. People do. By the way they choose to live there. The ones who keep running and never give up no matter what obstacles they face are what life throws at them. Sage will keep running his race.
Let's all follow his example and run our race with perseverance.
Let's keep doing our best every day. Forget about everyone else and stay focused on improving ourselves and getting better each day. Let's take what we've been given and make the most of it to all the winners never finish first. Roger and a special thanks to Madison for work on the production of a special thanks to Roger wrench and I will listener and a contributor.
Thanks also to sage for providing his example write your own story. Sage said defy the odds, Roger put it right.
Clocks don't determine winners people do and sage will keep running this race. That's what we all have to do in the unfolds we have to keep running a race. My favorite quote on all of this comes from one of my heroes John wooden said about success. Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable and phases. Life is a living example sages story so many of us running our own race. Maybe not getting the blue ribbon running anyway and running for the joy of this is our American store. Our American stories we bring you inspiring stories of history, sports, business, faith and love stories from a great and beautiful country need to be told we can't do it without you are stories are free to listen to with her not free to make you love are stories in America like we do.
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