A Life Changing Experience By Jeremy Cox

I am Jeremy Cox and I had a life changing experience when I was nine years old. Many things have happened since this time that has caused me several heartaches. At the same time, I have grown closer to God and stronger in my daily walk with Him. Now, I am going to share a very important part of my life.

At the age of eight, I began to have many health problems. After all the pain and not being able to run without pain, I went to the doctor. After many tests, I was diagnosed with Arthritis. However, the most devastating thing of all the information was that I could not play baseball any more and that crushed me. Baseball was the love of my life and now I was going to have to give it up. After this shocking news, I left the doctor’s office and cried all the way home. I knew everything would be alright if I just put it in the Lord’s hands. Well, I did that and I struggled at first but it all worked out in the end.

However, my life did change because my brother introduced me to golf. My doctor told me I could ride and play a few holes at a time. I did just that and I fell in love with the game. My brother began to play completive golf. I would go and watch him, and wish I could play like him. He later signed a scholarship with Tennessee Tech. University. At this time, I decided I wanted to play golf in college.

After all of this, I began to practice every day. I knew I would have to work hard. I not only had to work on my game, but also on building up my strength and stamina. Most of all, I had to depend on God for my strength and to help me get healthy enough to pursue my dreams.

Many years passed and things seemed to be going good. My health was improving and so was my golf game. I had won or placed in several golf tournaments. The doctors could not believe how well things were going. God was truly blessing me.

Well, there was one more stumbling block that came my way. In November 2002, I had another disturbing event. I began to pass blood through my bowels. I was unable to digest anything and keep down any food. I was afraid and did not tell anyone.

After about 5 weeks, I had lost over 30 pounds and my mom continued to question me about what was going on with my health. I finally told her that I was having some problems. She contacted my family doctor and he began to search for a specialist. He was having no luck because of my age. My mom spoke with a nurse at our church and she hooked me up with a specialist, Dr. Youhanna Al-Tawil.

Upon seeing Dr. Al-Tawil, he wanted to do some testing. He was unable to complete a colonoscopy because my colon was in bad shape. He felt positive that I had cancer. He actually did not give me any hope of living. However, that again was not in God’s plan for my life. I spent nine days in the hospital without any food. At this time, I was diagnosed with crohns colitis.

During these last 6 years I have learned many new things. I have had to change my eating habits. Many things I ate went straight through me. I had to plan my eating around my golf. I was unable to play golf at times because I was so weak. I also received Remicade every six weeks and continue to do so. God again carries me through more tuff times. Gradually I got stronger, gained my weight back, and played more golf. I was finally able to play in tournaments by the middle of summer after being diagnosed in November 2002. My dream of playing golf in college was about to be back in reach.

However, I began my senior year of high school. I continued to play golf and rely on God to help me pursue my dream. In trying to obtain a scholarship, I did all the things such as contacting coaches and schools about myself. I sent my resume to coaches of universities in which I was interested in attending. Believe it or not, I was offered different scholarships and opportunities to play at different schools. This made me cry and thanked God for everything He had done for me.

Nevertheless, I choose to attend Samford University. God and Coach Eubanks were what influenced me to attend Samford. I am now a junior and am working on my degree in sports medicine. My goal is to own my own practice and work with youth in a local church. The reason I have chosen this path is due to the experiences I have encountered throughout my life. I have had asthma, arthritis, crohns, and lupus. The challenges that I have faced motivate me to learn more about medicines and cures that could possibly develop in the near future. I hope to contribute my time and money to provide funding and knowledge in finding a cure for these particular diseases. If there was not an almighty physician called Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I would not be alive. However, after all I have encounter in life I have learned to depend on the Lord for my strength and my guide.

All of these obstacles and illness that have come my way have not stopped me from living a normal life as of any other young person. I have been a leader and active participant in many ways in my school, community, and church. Presently, I am the captain of Samford Unversity college golf team. This past summer I was privileged to travel with Fellowship of Christian Athletes all over the United States leading huddle groups and giving golf lessons. I really love leading and teaching other young people that life is all about giving and helping others. After all, we were put here on this earth to share and demonstrate the ability in which we have been blessed.

I would like to thank Dr. Al-Tawil and the whole group for being such an important part of my life and helping me to get my health back on track. He has been an inspiration to me and my family. I have learned to trust him and I feel he is a part of my family. Thanks again to Dr. Al-Tawil, Dr. Cuevas, and Dr. Eidelwein and the entire group for their help, love, and support. If it were not for God and Him leading me to this fantastic group, I would not be doing what I am doing today.