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October 14, 2007 Guest – Dave Dravecky
Program: Hope Born of Adversity


Dave Dravecky’s story is one of hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty. In 1988 his 5-1 opening day victory over the Dodgers was overshadowed later that fall by the discovery of cancer and the removal of half of the deltoid muscle in his pitching arm. For baseball fans worldwide Dave Dravecky etched his name into history on August 10, 1989. Defying all odds, after battling cancer in his pitching arm, Dave came back to pitch once again in the major leagues, and became an inspiration not only to cancer fighters, but to all who needed hope that day.

His comeback was short-lived. Five days later, in Montreal, Dave threw “… the pitch that could be heard round the world.” Dave’s arm had split in two. His triumphant defeat of the cancer and his return to the game of baseball is chronicled in his award winning book, "Comeback," which has sold more than 650,000 copies. After Dave’s comeback and fall from the mound, with the weakened bone, the cancer returned yet again. Slowly the treatment and the cancer ate away Dave’s arm and simultaneously his career. Radiation treatment after radiation treatment resulted in a staph infection that placed a hole in the middle of his arm, exposing bone. Finally, the arm along with Dave’s shoulder blade and left side of his collar bone had to be amputated for fear the cancer would spread and take Dave’s life.

In the book, "When You Can’t Come Back," written with his wife Jan, Dave describes his loss: "My arm was to me what hands are to a concert pianist, what feet are to a marathon runner. It’s what made me valuable, what gave me worth in the eyes of the world. Then suddenly my arm was gone.” Dave continues to examine the impact of the amputation on his life in his book, "The Worth of a Man," and offers men a new definition of worth.

Because of the overwhelming response to their story and their desire to walk alongside others who suffer, Dave and Jan founded Dave Dravecky's Outreach of Hope, a nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Draveckys realized through their own experiences that one cannot battle cancer alone, so they have created this ministry to bring hope for those who hurt.
 
 

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