“Healing humankind one patient at a time by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness.”  UCLA  Health Vision


What a powerful vision.  Think about it, it seems so simple, and sometimes it is; other times it can get to be complicated.  When you think about every minute, (or every second), of every day, and every instant of every moment to do nothing but helping others, well, it can be difficult in our lives.  This UCLA vision doesn’t allow that type of thinking.  Think about that!  The only people that come into a hospital, are people in need; every one of them.  Think of the doctors, the nurses, the technicians, the administration, the counselors, the service workers, the blood/platelets workers, the behind-the-scenes people, (security, researchers, interns, etc…), you have to ask yourself, “Who is the last person to be put on this list?”.  Guess what?  the “end of the list” never ends.  It involves all of us; you, me, everyone; we ALL have the ability to decide each and every moment to help someone.  How about opening a door for someone, or stepping behind a car that has their phone on the hood and let them know that; these are so simple, yet can be so effective in someone day, (or moment).  Last week, I stopped a car pulling out of a parking space, because I saw something on their roof.  I started by honking my horn, and they got a little upset over the honking, and got out of their car to find out, in their terms, “what the f##k are you doing?”.  Well, it turns out that this folder was full of documents, probably work wise, and when they saw it, they came over and gave me a big hug, continuously thanking me.  All I did was honk my horn.  Just delivering an act of kindness; honking my horn.

I think that we need to analyze this vision.

a)   HEALING: v; to make healthy, whole or sound; to restore to health/ to effect a cure  This is what a hospital is all about, but what about you?  I’ll bet that throughout a day, you have done something that has affected someone, either good, or not so good.  How about doing something really cool?  Give each day the thought of doing just one thing for someone, even if they don’t even know that you created an act of kindness for them.  The difference; you knew.

b)     HUMANKIND: n; the human race, humanity/ making kind, or gentle acts towards            humans.  

This is what we are all about.  As I mentioned earlier, we all do so much for everyone during our days; how about we keep this concept in our minds, all through the day, and multiply our kindness more than we thought we could; because we can.

c)     ONE:  adj; being or amounting to a single unit or individual or entire thing; being a          particular, unique, or only individual item.

Wow, think about that!  That singular word, ONE, means so much, especially in this vision that UCLA adheres to.  I guess the team that made up this wonderful vision, meant ONE PERSON AT A TIME.  Out of a hospital that brings into their building thousands of people per year, they are interested in only ONE person at this person’s time.  WOW, WOW, WOW!  Guess what, you also can do that; no matter what your environment  you might be in, one person, or a roomful of people, you can do one,(or more) wonderful act of kindness.

d)     PATIENT   n; a person who is under medical care or treatment

Each person, ONE patient, is on the mind of any recovery center.  That’s could be on your (and mine), mind.  It all goes back to your morning commitment, doing an act of kindness, in any way, to whoever it might be, known or unknown at any particular moment of that day.  (Lot of words there!).  All of these words, though, means observing what is around you, rather than, (how should I say it), keeping your nose to your phone all day!  (Oh, I said it!!!).

e)     AT A TIME  adj; at the specified time, punctually

“At a time” means right now, as this person needs us, in this moment.  I know personally, that my agenda has me doing and thinking about something else, but here’s is NOW a situation where I can be of service to someone else.  This decision is now up to me; is my agenda more, or less, important than someone else’s  needs?  Something to think about.

f)     IMPROVING  v; to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition; to make better

One time, as I was having lunch at the hospital doing my rounds, a lady approached me.  She said that I had stopped in her room when she was a “patient”, and she was back for a Dr. return visit.  I see a lot of people in a day, and really, that’s no excuse to forget what we had talked about, but I didn’t have a clue about our conversation that we had in her room, but that’s not the point, here.  The point is, we spoke of something that was very important to her at that time, and it stuck with her, and I found that it’s ok if  I don’t remember what I said, or did, because I addressed her concerns, and hopefully it affected her in a positive way.  That happens to you too.  Staying focused on someone, and their concerns aren’t about you, it’s about them, and giving your output for them could make their day, whether you know or not.  I sure didn’t when that happened to me, and good for her.  Good people make good thoughts.

g)     HEALTH  n; the general condition of the body or mind with reference to soundness             vigor.

Part of this definition is “body or mind”.  It is SO important to be observant to what a conversation does to someone.  As we know in general, the mind certainly controls the body, and sometimes  a simple line that we say, or even a word, can mean so much to someone.  It’s like sometimes we’ll hear a person say something 20 times, and the 21st time that you hear that some line again, you finally get it!  You will be that person, at some point, and know that what you say, really does mean something to someone.

h)     ALLEVIATING v; to make easier, to endure

Look what we can do!  We can make someone’s life easier by doing an act of kindness.  Kind of simple, isn’t it?

I)     SUFFERING n; the state of a person or thing that suffers

Even though I see word this a lot, so much can “alleviate” someone’s sufferings.  If you have experienced something similar to what someone else is suffering from, you become their answer, which is great.  Sometimes though, we aren’t in that position, and that’s ok.  Showing up to their door, showing concern, or just being there in just a silent state means so much to them, and somehow, just being of concern for them can easily help their suffering.  Know that; and by all means, don’t feel bad about approaching someone who just NEED something, or someone, for comfort.

j)     DELIVERING v; to disburden oneself of thoughts , opinions; to service for goods and         products.

Now we’re talking!  Now we are giving one act of kindness!  Know it or not, you are doing that every day; just put that in the back of your mind, so that it sticks there, and you’re aware of it, and it pushes you even further than you thought you could be pushed.

k)     ACTS OF KINDNESS ///  you, me, us, everyday…ACTS OF KINDNESS!!!

“Healing humankind one patient at a time by improving health, alleviating suffering and delivering acts of kindness.” UCLA Health Vision

Enjoy helping someone, because you already are!








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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, (and memories), DAD….

Two years ago, today, was my Dad’s last birthday; 84.  Seems like yesterday.  It’s funny, in the past when I read someone’s writing about one of their parents passing, I’ve always feel for them, but even more, now, because I HAVE experienced the passing of my Dad, and he pops into my thoughts so many times in the most inopportune occasions.  It’s amazing. For those that didn’t know my Dad, and if you’re interested, I’m writing about some of the memories that are still fresh in my mind, from my younger years until present.

I’m sure that there are so many people out there, where their Dad, or actually their parents, literally saved their lives, in one, (or more) situations.  I can’t even start to count all of them; in physical, mental, and spiritual ways.  My family was very Catholic, and my parents spent some time explaining to us kids, (brother and sister),what and how they believed in the Trinity, and how their beliefs were in our reality.  Little did know, (about that reality?),  how that would be in my life, and I didn’t even know what that meant back then! My pop was always there, how he rescued me in some situations, I couldn’t even start to put it together.  I’ll tell a story that wasn’t in my mind, until a few seconds ago; again, dad just came into my mind.

I grew up in a smaller town, Peoria, Illinois.  I don’t know the population, especially back then, but every neighborhood had families that knew each other, and it wasn’t unusual for my dad to send me on a little errand, for whatever he needed, even at five years of age.  There was a little market about a block away,  “Jack’s Market”.  At that time, dad smoked Camels, and wanted me to run up to Jack’s, and pick some up some smokes; back then, the neighborhood was full of kids my age, and my brothers age, and all of us were running errands, up to Jack’s Market!  So I went into the store, got the smokes, and  instead of crossing at the corner, like I told to do, to go home, I ran between two parked cars on the side of the road, without looking, and got hit by a car.  Basically, my big ol’ nose got hooked on the handle of the front door, and it carried me 10-20 yards.  Jack came running out of his market, and I guess he called my folks and described this, and they came up immediately.  One piece of info; before my mom went running out, she was cooking, and left all of the burners on.  Boy, we were lucky at home, too!  Dad got there first, and he cradled me to his chest, (as you might suggest, blood was everywhere), and the police got there before the ambulance, and since I had lost so much blood, we went to the hospital in the squad car.  Dad kept blaming himself for what I DIDN’T  do, follow their instructions on crossing the street, and it really wasn’t a busy street.  Long story short, I was in the hospital for about 3-4 weeks, had a little plastic surgery around my nose, and I asked my parents why did they have to come to the hospital every day?  My thinking was, “didn’t they have two other kids to worry about, go home!”  As most of you know, sometimes I don’t think about the most correct thought pattern!  Dad, though, held me so tight on the way to the hospital, I could hear his heart beat, and I just knew I was safe; nothing could break that armor, that was my first recollection of knowing that God was with me.  It’s funny, I remember EVERYTHING about that event, except the actual body/car moment.

Dad was a policeman, so as we all know, we weren’t wealthy, and he always had a second, or sometimes a third job.  Whatever it took, we had food, a roof over our heads, and FUN, lots of fun!  With all the jobs that he worked, somehow, and I certainly didn’t know how he did this, he always coached my basketball, and baseball teams.  How does that happen???  As I said, he was our baseball coach, and ironically, our team was sponsored by the Peoria Police!  In all of my Little League years, dad went to the police benevolent meetings, and asked the department to sponsor the cost to take the whole team up to Chicago, and see a Cubs game, all expenses paid!  How cool is that??  We stopped  at a restaurant called White Fence Farms; family style chicken, and whatever else we wanted.  When we got to the ballpark, all the soda, hot dogs, peanuts, anything we wanted, we got.  We got this, because Dad wanted us experience a major league baseball game, each season.  Don’t know how proposal worked from the police department, but us kids felt so special due to my dad’s efforts.

So, so many events like this happened in my life with my dad, but these are just two that just “popped” into my head.  Speaking of my head, when I had my first tumor, it obviously was a shock to my parents when my brother had to tell them about my condition, (I was in the hospital).  At that time (with my tumor), I really didn’t  have a memory about how all of my family found out, but later on I found out that my brother worked up a plan to”soften” the story, (that will be another story!).  They came down immediately, and throughout my life, when my dad was in a stressful situation, he really didn’t have much words, but that was when I found out that his presence, and spirit, carried me.  I do remember, though, when I was at the hospital, that he sat at the side of my bed, and just held my arm; no words, just belief in what God can, and did do, and it came to me through his connection with no words; I’ll never forget that.


Now I understand those words, when I read other people’s writings, when they said that they think of that parent every day.  I do, multitude times of my Dad, everyday.  It made me think of how all of these “little dots”, (events, as I call them),  have connected my life, and all of those people that have fit into my world.  If A didn’t happen the way it did, then we couldn’t have gotten to B, and onto C….etc.  That was my way of learning that my plans for my future didn’t take precedent over God’s plan, it just became;h and as He said, I AM.  That’s all I needed, to acknowledge His way over mine.  It wasn’t just me who recovered from surgeries; Him, my family, and my belief led to me from my dad, family, and a lot of LOVE!

Remember your moments in your life, that changed your life, and accept them, because your are where you are supposed to be.  I DO miss my dad, and I DO think about him every day; Happy Birthday Dad, 3/08/33.





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This might sound a little funny to a bunch of people out there, (or those that don’t!), but I was going through my old-time luggage trunk.  This is a trunk that was bought by my grandfather in 1917; over 100 years old!  The story is, my Mom wanted to throw it out, because it was taking up space, and it’s not attractive, (and I’ll vouch for that), but my grandfather bought it, and had put a note inside of the trunk, stating that he, and his brother bought it.  I said, quite definitely, “I’m taking it!”.  No way was I going to let something like this, (in my mind, a family classic), to be thrown out.  I brought it home, did what I could do to recondition it, and had a beautiful piece of tainted glass made up to the trunks size, and set it up as my coffee table, where it became my “chest” for trophies, medals from high school, grade school, and college, and also uniforms from the sports teams that I was involved with as I was growing up.  Even my letterman’s jacket from high school, ( of course with all of my “letters”. not enough space on the jacket for all of them!).  In between the glass, and the top of the trunk, is the letter from my grandfather, and now, because of my Dad’s passing, his obituary is with His fathers possession.  I think it is so cool!


So I’m looking through it a couple of weeks ago, and I came across an “Autograph Booklet” from 8th grade graduation, and that’s really hard for me to realize that I actually had that!  There was a quote in there, from a good friend of mine from grade school, that said, “Scott, why are you always in a rush?”.  Think about that; what would a grade school kid, even at 8th grade, have to be in such a rush for?  Can’t think of why, or how, that could be ME!  I kind of think, (present day), that I try to think things through, and take my time.  I can also remember those words, back in those days.  I had to be first, had to be captain of the basketball team, captain of the school guards; remember those school guards with the shoulder belts to hoist up the American flag, and then at the end of the day, take it down, and just as a veteran would fold his flag, and so did I.  Had to rush around, and go…..nowhere.  Really, what was so important, that I had to be first, had to hurry, had to keep going like I was going to miss something, anything, whatever! How did I get past that?  Don’t have an answer for that; but I will throw an idea out there.  Sports.  Team sports.


Team sports means patience, letting the play (of whatever sport you’re playing), play out.  every play changes, sometimes within.  In the past week, if you watched playoff football, the last play of a game can dictate who won, and those that didn’t; that play didn’t happen until the last play of the game, and you had to have patience , and believe in your TEAM, not just you and yourself.  You don’t have to hurry when you get behind on points, or runs.  Believe in your commitment to your team, because every other teammate had to do that, too.  I know that I’m a little biased here, and you can ask anyone that I work with, or communicate with, team sports provides us with patience, skills to work with others, competitiveness to win, (but with others at each others side), compassion with the play of others, or their compassion towards me when I fail on a play, or a situation.  Hard work makes you be at your best, because the next guy is doing the same thing to take your position, because no one gets a break; you win, or you loose.  That last statement doesn’t mean that your life depends on winning and losing, it just means that if your give your best on a team, in practice or in a game, it could also impact your life on giving your best in everything you do.  Team sports also give you an insight on sacrifice, the moments that you have the team to think about, and prepare for, rather than other events that could be part of your life, but team comes first.  How about the fact that “team” could also mean your family; ie sacrifice, competitiveness, hard work, and commitment to your family, (it could go on and on…).  Sports can humble you, also.  In a sport, the outcome means that a team “wins”, and a team “loses”.  This is life, no one is perfect; we have all seen what we would call “the best”, come in second, or beyond.  Losing means your next time CAN be perfect, as with your life!  When we get over that hurdle that set us back, you have now achieved something that you didn’t do before, and now you have the opportunity to push yourself ahead, to use everything to get your best in front of you; and if you have given your best, well, you just won, because you gave what you could, and you feel good about what you could do.  When this happens, you didn’t take “winning” for granted, because you tried, and you tried your best.  To me, it also means that “losing” can actually mean “winning”.  We learn, we  accept losing, and try to live in giving to others, and we love others, because we gave them everything we had in sports, why not in life?  We must love others, how would we get on with life if we think that we always have to fight for our power? Doesn’t work that way.  Love, be courteous, and enjoy giving to others, and believe me when I tell you, that one way or another, others will be giving back to you in ways that you can never except.

So slow down, let the play, play out,( you can’t rush a game) and give to the team without ever excepting anything back, because you will give a “winning” game throughout your life.



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Perfection; great word, only, what is it?  Perfection by itself is being perfect.  Seems simple, but I look at being perfect, as being the best you can be.  In my opinion, how can you be better, than being the best that you can be, or provide?


PERFECTION:  n.  The highest or most nearly perfect degree of a quality or trait.


For all those times when I was an actor. all I did was audition.  That’s what that business was about, audition, audition, and more auditioning.  At some point, you actually started to enjoy it.  I remember so many times when I did my “best”, meaning I did exactly what I wanted to do, felt great afterward, felt at ease, and then I didn’t get the job.  So many things dictate whether you “get the job”, way beyond your control.  I did my best, I gave them my version of perfection, and didn’t get the job.  So how did that affect me?  What did it mean to me about the “business”?  That’s the easy part, you just move on.  When a time comes, and a person did what they thought was a perfect action, what more can you ask?  Then again, did you actually “fail”?  I don’t think so.  First of all, you learned something, and really, I’m speaking to anyone who seeks perfection.  You did your best, period!  What an experience; and who’s to say that the benefits stop there, at that ONE effort for perfection?  The results of future events could affect you in such a different manner than you could of ever thought, coming from our actions of that one event.  I certainly experienced that.

When I was in the hospital, my intentions of recovering were much different from what I had done for myself in the past.  I now had to work on ME, my rehab. I had no choice, I just had to “move on”.  Sometimes that sounds simple, and sometimes it is, and sometimes it just certainly isn’t!  You just have to move on.  You have to think of yourself, and so many of your past accomplishments, and really let them sink in.  Then, you look at how perfect your preparation was for those accomplishments, and repeat that effort; meaning that the job that you didn’t get that one time, actually gave you a push on how to move on, to just take another step.  When I was doing my rehab, there were certainly a lot of days that didn’t come out as I had hoped, but I did my BEST, and I wouldn’t have done it any other way, so I still had to count that day as MY day, because I did my best.  That’s the point that I’m putting out there, feel comfort for doing your best, even if the results aren’t what you expected,  It makes a huge difference, feeling self confidence when our results aren’t what we were expecting.

I know that I wrote earlier about a student, who was in the class that my surgeon Dr. Isaac Yang taught, and that Dr. Yang wanted me to be a part of that class by telling my story.  It was a success, and the student told me a very emotional take on my story, because of what she is going through right now, and how the events of my story, including the “ugly” aspect of what I went through, hit her, and gave her an inspiration to achieve her new life.   She is now, moving on.  Moving from that class from a few months ago, into last week, I stepped into an elevator at UCLA Ronald Regan hospital, and there was one person in the elevator.  The usual, ” how are you today” greeting, and I knew that face, but couldn’t place it.  It was a young doctor, and she said she was in the class that I was speaking at, and how it brought to her attention a personal part of her job from my story.  So as she’s telling me her take on my story, I’m feeling somewhat good about this girl, now a doctor, about my saying something in the class.  I then asked her about how big the class was this past October, and she said, “oh no, it was the class you did last year”!  Wow; I had no idea what I said, and of course I would never remember faces at that point, but somehow I did remember her face for some reason.  But to think that something I said ONE year ago, (or something that YOU might have said a year ago) would still be with someone this much  later in life, still amazes me. I guess that it boils down to whatever I did, I gave it my best, because no matter that I can’t remember what I said, or how everyone else reacted to it, it hit one person, and to me, that’s huge.  That’s moving on, from one person to the next.


As the great NFL coach Vince Lombardi said, “If you don’t succeed at Perfection, then you’ve achieved excellence!”  Well said;  wish I could have told him that, because if you gave your best effort on your path to perfection, and you did your best, then yes, that is excellence.  Believe that, do your best, give a lot to others, (a smile is a lot, by the way!), and know that your road to perfection is the right road, because only you know when you have given your best!


Always be at your best, that’s the true you…








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“Can’t Never Did Anything…”  Do two wrongs make a right, (grammatically)?  Yes, why not?  I’m always going with yes, and it’s a story that has stuck with me since I was in the 5th grade.  Funny story here, you can ask any and all of my past /present clients, about what this phrase means to me, my training, my beliefs, and my beliefs in people.  They hate it when I say, “Did I ever tell you about my 5th grade teacher…”


My 5th grade teacher was Mrs. (Carol) Adams; funny how it’s even hard for me to imagine calling her Carol, I mean come on, I was in the 5th grade!  She was my favorite grade school teacher.  Now, that’s what I grew up with; a grade school, high school, and college.  Never heard about pre-kindergarten, mid-school, Jr. high, and whatever else is out there right now!  Anyway, Mrs. Adams, ( who I think that I had a crush on!), would always explain something on a topic, and then would call on the class, for the answer to her question.  If anyone ever said “I can’t…” , she would immediately interrupt them, and say “Can’t never did anything!”  She would say that with such conviction, that, well it’s stuck with me throughout my years.  I use it with all of my business; “I can’t lift that,,,”, I’m too tired, I can’t go on…” “My mind isn’t in it today, I can’t …” , can’t, can’t “CAN’T”!!!  Stop, O.K???   That’s just an ugly word; any negative word is an ugly word.  Negative words are used so commonly now, it’s like the old saying, “stop crying wolf all of the time”!


I’m writing about this ugly word, because there’s so many great words, and great events in this world, and yet it seems that everybody seems to want to impress others by telling of a story, that is ugly, and a lot of times political ugliness.  That’s enough of my comment on that, please remember of all of the beauty that greets us every day, and what we’ve done, (and I mean ALL of us), that has meant something very positive to another person, and that could mean at that moment when you might be talking to someone, or a year or so, down the road and someone taps you on the shoulder, and says that you said something that has stuck with them from last year, and how much it inspired them, or changed them, or made them see the beauty of themselves, by something that you said.  What a feeling; and I’ll tell you what, sometime you never get that tap, but trust me, that tap really was there you just didn’t feel it, it has happened to all of us.


My neurosurgeon who removed a tumor from head, asked me about accompanying him to his class of speaking to second year intern Drs., and me speaking to his class, about some of my events when I was at the hospital as a patient, and that those would be some of the events that would occur to most, if not all, of them as doctors.  One hundred and eighty students, it was so cool, and inspiring even to me!  I told them of the good, the bad, and the ugly, of my experiences.  Ninety percent of mine were good events, the rest were the bad/ugly events, that will come up to every doctor, at some point in time for them.  Then there was Q & A, for the doctor, and for me.  A LOT of interesting questions, and I found out about a lot of interesting emotions that came from some in the audience.


Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing you might have entertained angels without knowing it”  Hebrews 13:2


After the class ended, an intern came up to me in a wheelchair, she had a tumor removed from her spine 2 weeks ago, and her doctor advised her not to come to class for another week, for the strain on her body.  She told me that she knew that she had to come to this class, and that she was so overcome by my story, she became very emotional, which meant, so did I!  I know a lot about the emotional aspects when someone has a surgery; the frustrations, the questions on whether a person will recover to what they “used” to be, anguish, all of that negative impulse comes in this area of post surgery.  What I say when I’m speaking to people, is simply my story, but sometimes my words come out to affect someone,  and me not knowing who that someone might be.  She told me that what I experienced was what she experienced, and that I gave her hope; simply that, gave her hope.  I didn’t even know that she was at the class.  So maybe I gave her hope, but what she did to me, made me think that she is, and will be, the angel who was entertained, because a word, a story, anything that matters to someone personally, without me aware of who is listening, is my angel.  All of you, know that, we all are affecting someone, and someone out there is affecting us.  Let’s try to be more positive, less negative stories, and know, and really know this, that you will affect someone in a positive way.  With that in mind, I came upon a story about the word “Can’t”.  Read it, and let it soak into your soul.


Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
On it is many a strong spirit broken,
And with it many a good purpose dies.
It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
And robs us of courage we need through the day:
It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
And laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor,
The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
It stifles in infancy many a plan;
It greets honest toiling with open derision
And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
It blights a man’s purpose and shortens his aim.
Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
Arm against it as a creature of terror,
And all that you dream of you some day shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
Its prey is forever the man with a mission
And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
For once it is welcomed ’twill break any man;
Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
And answer this demon by saying: “I can.”


Can is a beautiful word…




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There’s one thing that ALL of us have in common, Birthdays!  It’s funny that when we’re young, especially when we’re young kids, birthdays just don’t come fast enough.  It just seems so long that that last birthday, and everything that comes with it, always seems so far away, and when it comes, that day is gone, and then we have to wait until another YEAR before the next one comes around!  It not that any of this is good, or even bad to some people, it just is what it is.  Then we hit those 20’s and 30’s, and they seem to come up a little quicker, and then it seems that the only birthday that counts after all of this, is the one that turns into a new decade; the 40’s, the big 50!  After that, let’s just say, we’re hitting the back nine; maybe we are a little slower, (physically), an ache and a pain here and there, and sometimes, we forget things.  I’m just sayin’…  but the funny thing is, we still remember grade school, high school like it was just the other day, and if one went to college, that was CLEARLY yesterday!  Life, it’s an amazing journey, some might say good or bad, but without a doubt, it’s an amazing journey.


BIRTHDAY  n.  A day commemorating the founding or beginning of something


I had a birthday a few weeks ago, September 18, a Virgo.  I loved it, for a lot of different reasons.  I did find something, and it was the beginning of something, and it took quite a few years, (maybe all of the previous years!), to find; me.  So what does that mean?  That I never “found myself”?  That I was “always looking”?    No, not like that, it just meant that I knew what I felt when I felt it.  How’s that for not answering a question???  My parents were strict Catholics, and that was the way I was raised, maybe not what I chose at that time, but that’s the way it was with me, and our family.  Then I took about 25 years off, from church, (who would ever think?), but definitely not my religion.  I was under the impression that, back then, that everyone was from the same background.  Most of my friends were Catholic, and those that were not Catholic, were of another faith.  That’s what is amazing to me; what happened to faith an commitment in todays world?  I went through a few brain tumors, and that shouldn’t be the excuse to regain my faith, but I think that’s where we missed the boat.  I wouldn’t recommend that everyone should go through what I went through medically, but I’m a firm believer that we’ve all had a situation in our lives, that should, (or could), change our beliefs, and our faith.  I’m not preaching here, but just put it the back of your mind, and see how grateful you can be that attributes to where you are today.

The reason I brought that up, was that this year, I decided to spend a week with my family at the birthday time frame, and basically do nothing, and I can’t tell you how much fun I had?  I had a few years, where I was waiting for that birthday, because I had been through some stuff that I, well I just wanted to celebrate, because I was happy to be here.  I’m sure you all remember that when you were a teenager, and sometimes you might have missed a birthday gathering, to hang out with your friends; I know I did, and thought nothing of it.  Now that my Dad is passed, I realized how important that was to both of my parents to have something for me, and I wish I had those birthdays back, but, of course, we can’t do that, so for this birthday I thought that I would go and spend time with my family, Mom, brother, sister, nieces and nephews, cousins, friends.  It was a blast.  My brothers birthday is 3 days away from mine, and my 2 cousins in Vegas are also Virgo’s; when we were kids, one big party handled all of us kids!  Maybe my parents actually knew a few things, that we didn’t know! My brothers birthday was on a Saturday, which was the night of his B-B-Q that he wanted to throw, but he invited people that were also friends of mine, that went to Vegas for all of us, it really was great!  The food?  As most of your know, I like to eat, and boy did we eat!  Small petites, smoked,(I had three), brisket, smoked chicken, a ton of sides, and of course my favorite desert, caret cake!  It was unbelievable, delicious, and a ton of fun; all with my family.  Let me mention this; my last night there, Tuesday night, my brother had extra food that didn’t need to be prepared on Saturday, so he was going to do it that night, Tuesday night just me, my brother, his wife, and my sister.  We did this after a day of swimming at my Mom’s house, and we all thought it would be a early night, because it was my intention to leave early the next morning.  Joe and I had a few beers, then opened up 3 bottles of wine, smoked a couple a cigars, and THEN, we had to open the bottle of Scotch that I got him for his birthday; needless to say, I didn’t get that early start.  That night was  just our family, and my Mom was dancing, we all danced with her, she had a picture of Dad held t her chest while we danced, and we played her music, hers and Dads.  Unbelievable night, one that I’ll never forget.  We got my cousins from the Midwest on skype, and shared stories, and as I’ve said before, in my family, there’s nothing but family, and it sticks in your mind like an elephant brain!  This is what I believe a birthday is all about; family, family, and family, where we all were like kids, thinking like kids, behaving like kids, and actually thinking like kids for a brief night.

Enjoy your birthdays, your nights, your every moment, because don’t forget, we’re playing our back nine.

Peace and blessings,



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Big word.  Well, let’s make sense of that word.  In my world, a sense of emotion comes into play.  It is also actions, feelings, it can involve friends, among many other things, and for me, involves my past.

GRATUITOUS:  adj;  being without reason, cause, or justification,     or; given without receiving any return value.


I’ve had so many instances in my life, with regard to these definitions of “gratuitous”,  that I’ve had to realize how my heart and soul gets into this picture.  How does it happen that I say “thank you” to God every morning when my feet hit the ground, verses not acknowledging that I’m HERE!  Big change, because I’ve been in that picture before.  It’s amazing, that what I’ve noticed is when I speak to someone, I hear the word “I” so much; to me I don’t have any “I”, it’s always WE.  Maybe before,(let’s say 20 years or so), I gave tribute to myself for working so hard for myself, that “I” deserve this/that, or whatever.  I never realized that I was guided into a direction, a path, that gave me success, or “I hit my dream”.  I attribute so much of where I am today to my family, their love, their support, and some of their direction.  Oh, I should also mention my friends.  What a gang of friends that I have!  As we all know, no two people are the same, and don’t I know that!

This past weekend, one of my buddies from high school made a trip out here to L.A.  We played sports together in high school, football mostly, but we both played baseball, and we both went to different high schools.  When I was at that age of playing sports, basically you hung out with the guys that you played with, or against.  So that is where I say, I was given the ability to play sports, which gave me the friends that I hung out with, with whom I still associate with today, some 45 years later!  Did “I” pick them!  No, I was given the chance to, given the activity that I did, playing sports.  I call that, “connecting the dots”.  If you look back at so many events in your life, and see the “dot”, and how it associated with the previous dot, and ties into the next dot, this all had to happen for you to be in the position that you are today.


My buddy from high school, Jim, has the vision of going to as many professional baseball stadiums as he can, (maybe even out of this country?).  As it turned out, both the Angels, and the Dodgers stayed in town over the same weekend, so he called me a few months ago, and suggested that we should go to both stadiums, a Friday and a Saturday.  Why not?  I have a couple of other HUGE sports fans, and one wanted to be our designated driver,(good for us, who like beer!), so the four of us went, what a blast!  Got to see two stadiums, compare them, and their parking, walking from parking to the stadiums, and general parking costs.  Sorry Dodger fans, Angels win it hands down.  Hope I don’t loose any friends here, saying that, (maybe like politics?  Oooops…)  Either way, both nights were highlights, and had LATE nights, (beyond my bedtime!).  With everybody involved, how did I get involved with these guys?  I was put in a position to choose who I trusted, and who befriended.  I’m sure that I didn’t know about the “dots” then, but I surely know now how that belief works.


Do you question anything like that?  Honest question, really.  As I’ve said before, I know that we ALL have been in a situation in our lives that has been our deepest part our “weakness”.  I was, as most of you know. Tumors, radiations, seizures, medications, etc. For some that don’t know some of the details about my “story”, I had plenty of people in my life, at that time, who aren’t in my life now, but I couldn’t have made it then, without them; that a “dot”.  I was seeing a gal at that time, who basically saved my life; and brought me into an environment, that I would be spending all of the rest of my days, ( including today!), on a different path, UCLA.  From neurologists, to surgeons, to nurses, to my activity within this wonderful institution, to having two people put up $52,500 on the spot to keep me in UCLA, and to me getting their money back…  I don’t know how many dots are in that equation, but every dot had to be here, or…?  I have a big belief in what God does for us, and He certainly exceeds “I”.  I just follow.


That is why I say thank you every morning.  I’m given another day.  I thank Him for my dog, Peanuts.  Funny story, here.  Peanuts is a Jindo, a Korean dog, not to well known to a lot of people.  He is about 50 lbs, and their history is to be very territorial for someone like me, (and they are!)  My last dog was a Jindo, also.  You know how the saying goes, it’s the dog that picks the owner.  I still belief that, without a doubt.  My last dog was a female, Lola, and when she passed a few years ago, I wanted another female.  Aside from being beside myself without Lola, I called up a rescuer that I know, and asked them if they had any Jindo’s up for adaption, and they actually said yes, and they would be up at a pet store the upcoming weekend.  Jindo’s usually come in two colors, white with tan ears, and red ones throughout their body.  I saw “Peanuts”, an attractive white male, walked him, and said to myself, “well, he’s ok, but I want a female”.  I saw a female, who looked like my Lola who just passed the day before, thought she was SO pretty, so I told the rescuer gals, that I wanted to wait on the female for about a week, for me to think about it.  They said ok; but asked if I would foster Peanuts for that week, because the other foster people would be out of town for about a week, and I could bring him back to the pet store the following week.  I said sure, I don’t have Lola, so I thought it would be good company.  We had a good time that week, but you have to understand that Jindo’s really don’t bark, and their definitely not a snuggle dog, very alpha.  That was how the week went, I had a quiet dog that went his own way, didn’t snuggle, and we got along well.  I took him back the next week, put him in his cage, and he made a cry like I’ve never heard, especially at my house, cried a cry that sounded like he was getting tortured, to the point that I couldn’t leave him like that, so I took him out of the cage, told the rescue people that he was mine, at that moment, and went home.  Like I said, it’s the dog who picks out their owner.  I wanted a female that looked like my previous dog, but I took home a male of another color that wanted me.  That another dot; he softened my blow to me when Lola died.

Look at your life, count your dots, and have a great feeling of gratuitous for how “we” got there, and give an unlimited thank to every morning that you have been given, and say hi to a friend, especially an old friend who picked you, too.




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PASSION n: 1) strong amorous feeling; love

2) a strong fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for something


I am a very passionate person, and I believe that we all are in some respect or another.  If there is any question in your mind, about you having this passion, just sit back and think about what “thing”, or event,involved you, to the point that this “thing” was on your mind constantly, it occupied you, to so many various degrees.  I think we all have something that affects our lives, either literally, or emotionally, on our journey.  My passions are events that resonate with my brain.  Why wouldn’t it, given my past?  As most of you know, I’ve had 3 brain tumors, 2 sessions of radiations, seizures; but a whole lot of sharing with others about my stories!  A lot of these “others” are people in the UCLA Ronald Regan hospital, who share my story; neuro trauma to their brain, or head, and we talk.  We talk about everything under the sun, mostly about our own traumas, but simply as “fraternity”  brothers/sisters.  We talk about what symptoms we had, comparing them, or not.  We talk about what I had to do for my rehab; physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I realistically had to do a lot, but to me, it wasn’t “a lot”.  I had to do what I had to do, to regain myself.  For lack of better words, that last sentence wasn’t a pat on my back, it was what had to be.  I speak to groups, mostly in this same arena; I’ve accompanied my surgeon, Dr. Isaac Yang, into a class that where he lectures intern doctors, for a several days to explain our relationship, and what steps had to be taken on my surgery.  I am also a counselor on a palliative group, to administer companionship with those who are at the end of their days on earth.  This is part of my passion; there is another part of one of my passions, that are one of the biggest drives that urges me to become involved in brain research, and cures.  It’s an event, a fundraiser that occurs November 11 2018; let me tell you about it.


It’s called the 11th Annual Heroes of Hope Race for Brain Tumor Research, which I previously wrote about on my blog, (and which you can view on my 11/14/17 blog called “HEROES”).  For those of you who are on Facebook, go to my homepage, and scroll down until you can view that blog. if you haven’t already.  This is an event that I’m Passion about.  A wonderful, special person, Lisa Millar, that I’ve become friends with, started this fundraiser with this year becoming the 11 annual event.  This is a fundraiser that has contributed back to UCLA Research over $800,00!  That’s big bucks, from someone who lost her brother, before he hit 30 years old, to glioblastoma multiform, (think about brain).  This event is a 5k/10k walk/run, with lots of parents bringing strollers, walking the route, or simply coming down to the event.  This takes at Dockweiler Beach, Playa del Rey, Ca.  This is a beach town, and the run is on a beautiful Vista del Mar Blvd, right on the beach.  There is a stage for awards, entertainment, dancers, and wonderful survivors who tell their stories about their situations, their trauma, their recovery; in other words, being a HERO.  I can’t say enough words about the compassion of these survivors, what they have to say, and their wonderful zest for life!  At this event, their are so many “camps” set up.  Some are products in which the company wants to supply participates with nutrition, water, even pamphlets on their cause of brain cancer.  The Culver City Sheriff’s department sends a team to run the course, maybe 10-15 of their department running, several Teams for survivors set up camps. and of course, a UCLA camp where my surgeon, (and about 15 other doctors) run for us, and distribute information on brain cancer, which goes from brain tumors, to concussions; let’s just say, anything above the neck!  It is an emotional day for me, of course, because I’m one of “them”, but it’s also a day of fun, education, friendship, great food with all of the food trucks, and heartfelt emotions.  I will ask everyone that sees this, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contribute, come down, or donate.  Heroes of Hope is a 501c3 non-deductible group, so your donation will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of IRS law.  I beg all of you, save peoples lives by your contribution to research to cure cancer.


There are big sponsors involved in this event; UCLA Neurosurgery, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai, Kaleidoscope, iDance4aCure, etc…I will be having an event, with entertainment, food truck, silent auction, and more, to raise money for this event, especially those people in the Los Angeles area.  There will be several ways to donate, if you are not in this area.

1) You can become a sponsor

2) Become a vender to give out samples, give-aways to increase your  database

3) Start a Race Team for your company

4) Donate a gift certificate to be used as a prize for our participates

5) Market this event on your website, even Facebook!

Better yet, come to my fundraiser; I’ve done this so many times, it will be so much FUN!

For more information and to register, please contact us via:

www.wizathon.com/heroesofhoperace  or call 1-866-48-4CURE  lisa@tbkf.org

Please take this into consideration; you’ll be saving lives, literally.  Research is how we do that, and to contribute, we can’t thank you enough, but keep in mind what you are doing, saving lives from cancer, tumors, seizures, head traumas, etc…  plus keep in mind emotional fun that you’ll have with regard to any/all of the events listed here.  I wish you so much warm thoughts, and I will keep you updated as we go along.

Peace and good health,



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A DECADE…(in minutes)

April 29th, 2008

Biggest day in my life…

Let’s go back in our lives, all of us.  Let’s go back 10 years, and really try to put yourselves in that time frame, and recall all of the events that you went through; family,  friends, thoughts, emotions, job, well being, happiness, cars, religion, etc….In ONE, (very long!!!) sentence, I will try to explain my past decade, and before you read on after that, try to do this for yourself, and see how it relates to you now.  Here’s mine:


A brain for fitness, a brain for gratitude, a brain for appreciation.  Humbleness fits into that category; so does spiritual praise.  Each of these arenas, (and many more), have come into my life because of friends, and God.  People say how I’ve been so “lucky”, I say how I’ve been blessed.  Here’s my story, my pitch:

I had a baseball-sized tumor pressing on my brain, (over 8cm, baseball is 7.25!), which I didn’t have any knowledge about at that time, and I was dating a girl who knew something was wrong with me due to my actions faltering, and my speech weakening and since her uncle is a doctor at UCLA, who advises her to bring me in due a seizure that I didn’t know that I had, (but she did), and me not knowing what the hospital plans are for me, (which is how $52,500 fits in), and how TWO of my friends, without me knowing any of the “plan” (with the hospital),  put up that $52,500, and me having the operation to take that tumor out, set up by family and friends, because the brain that I had back then couldn’t process all of this, which led to my rehab to which I had to start practicing my own preaching, since that is MY business, (personal training), which then led me to NOW, present day, talking to neurological trauma patients at UCLA, (based upon a recommendation from my surgeon, Dr. Isaac Yang) to show the patients that I not only had an 8cm tumor taken out of my head, but that tumor decided to come back to my brain, (because it loves me, perhaps?), so for this second surgery, we had to do the same operation to take that tumor out of my head in September of 2010, and to tell them, (the patients), this is what I had to do, but I’m now walking INTO your room, and you, too, can do this if you persevere, have faith, and BELIEVE in yourself to put you back in control of your life! WOW! That’s a mouthful, and that’s only about 10% of the complete story!


Long sentence.  So that’s the summary of what happened to me 10 years ago, April 29, 2008.  That one sentence involved every event listed above, (well, except for the cars!).  Most of you know my story, but few know all of the details, and there were many.  I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.  I enjoyed the friendships that I had; some friendships which were very short from that specific time, but also very essential for my success, even of my life, if you can belief that.  I had family that was completely at my side, even though I actually didn’t know WHAT was going on, to be honest with you.  I had long term relationships at the hospital as support, those who drive a long way to be at my side.  For my emotional impact, and since I couldn’t process in my brain, that the surgery would/could be so debilitating, I thought that being in this hospital,( I mean, come on, UCLA Ronald REGAN HOSPITAL!!!), was actually fun!  Wow.  Probably was the company, my parents, (who were in better shape than I could have imagined), my brother, who made a ton if half-funny skits, with John Williams; Scott and Michael, who kept me in the hospital, to Kandy and her husband who kept me in their home after the surgery for almost 3 months, to so many others who I haven’t mentioned, but certainly know who they are.  It’s amazing, to experience so much in only one episode of your life; but this is the point, we’ve all had something like this, whether it’s physical, (mine), emotional, spiritual; wherever your emotions take you, you just followed, I know I did.

Right after I got home from the hospital, I returned to my religion; if you knew the details of this one event, (probably a GOOD two hour conversation), you wouldn’t think that I succeeded in my recovery because of ME, I guarantee you that, (even though I scheduled all of my rehab!).  I knew that I was accompanied by someone who guided me, gave me paths to take, and the belief that HE was in charge, just trust in HIM.  As I’ve stated before, there was no other option, I will succeed, period.  Everything was an effort, but who hasn’t had to deal with that?  Who hasn’t had to persevere with their efforts to recover from their situation?  Who didn’t have to grind their teeth with frustration, anguish, and so on, in front of them?  When you give your best, and you accomplish everything you can possibly do, and all of that comes from your commitment  to yourself, you have to acknowledge that.  I’m not the same person that I was 10 years ago, but my heart is much stronger, and my soul is full of belief in myself, my family, and God, who was my navigator through the rough waters.  Most important, though, I’m o.k. with all of this.  My little journey that I had planned for my future got detoured, and I’m so grateful for that, because I wouldn’t be on the path that I’m on now, things that I never would have had on my “journey chart”.  What a peace that gives me; it also helps me think up long sentences to tell a story!

I can use this story for fitness, commitment to yourself; I can use this for my/yours family; I can use this for relationships; I can use this for so much happiness; I actually think about some of this story every day of my life since Day 1, the day after the surgery.  I do that, because I went through it, and the strength I received from conquering this quest, and the feeling of accomplishment for the effort, because I had NO OTHER OPTION.  You can too, you can also pull some of the most trying times in your in your mind, and realized what you learned, how much more power you have from the strength you gained by solving, (or, as I say, “conquering” your quest), what you came up against.


Do it, reflect on your past decade, see all of the accomplishments, what you came up against, and see the happiness that come from your effort.  Enjoy your life, it comes in minutes……April 29, 2008.











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What a great word, wouldn’t you say?  I looked this word up in the dictionary, and found the definition very inspiring.


worshipn; reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred  personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.


I think that we all have something in our lives that we “worship”.  Whether it’s something we believe in, like religion, or a person that we know, or an honor that has bestowed us from some wonderful activity that was so much of a sacrifice of our time, and energy; we all have it, to worship something.  I have a few things that I worship, not just one.  This coming weekend, I will be visiting someone who was always my idol, or in this case, the person that I worshiped throughout my life, my Father.  For those that don’t know, my father passed away April 25, 2017.  His birthday is/was March 8, so I’m going to be with my family to honor, and worship a man who formed my life, and yet, he made me feel like he honored, and worship me.  Now, that is a real barn-burner; I who worshiped him, worshiped me!  I hope to visit the VA cemetery, ( he served in Korea), and have a Courvoisier, (which he loved!), with him, and worship him, and all of the memories that I had with him; to worship those memories.

It’s very easy for me to say that I worshiped my Father, because I did, and I also know that there are others who are not as fortunate as I was; from my childhood, to my adult years, (how about that, me saying “adult years”???).  Obviously, I’m a big believer in a very strong relationship with my parents, which I would love to see more of in this generation.  Society has changed, so has parenting, as I have observed.

As I had mentioned earlier, I have a few things that I have worship, and a few have entered my life recently, and a few from my younger years, that I recently realized that I DID worship!  That would be what I would call a “miracle”, to discover something from long ago, that affected me now, and that I reflect back on some of these events.  I also believe that most of you would have this, something that you worship.  You work hard, your self confidence grows, and you feel better.  What does that mean, though?  Is it reward of a paycheck?  Is it the feeling of accomplishment with the results of your effort in your work, or hobbies, or other interest?  Or maybe, your heart opens up, and you just feel peaceful inside.  That could happen!  Think about it, and it doesn’t happen to be some huge event that has affected you, maybe it’s something very personal, or “sacred”.  You have it, some time you have to put a little thought into point A, which then led to point B, and on to C,D,E…..When you start connecting the dots, and see where they leave you today, that could be the equation.  Each dot that you’re connecting, could be a little dot to worship, because it HAD to be there, to follow up to the next point, (A,B,C…..).  It might sound complicated, but I see it as very simple.  It’s the way things have panned out in your life, and I think we should be thankful.  It’s IS your life, and what could better than that?  My life has been serving others, and I never thought of that until recently.  I’ve had my business, sure, but I never put myself in that position of “helping others”.  Sometimes, you just have to put your thinking cap on, because as I look back, I have helped a persons health, I have also put in their head thoughts of how to help themselves.  I thought that I just did my job, but if me, and ALL of you, look at the big picture, and how you all have affected someone, (or some ones!), that really, is the BIG picture.  My Dad is the big picture, always was, and always will be.  An event in your life, is also the big picture.  How about this; you’ve been talking to someone over the years, and now again, you’ve heard a story that you have heard from him/her in the past, but NOW, it makes sense, YOU JUST GOT THE STORY!  I say that, because that’s what a lot of people say about you, how your interaction with them has benefitted them, to a degree.  It could be small, it doesn’t matter, you affected them!  That is the type of worship that we all have.  Keep it, own it, and relish it, because it’s yours!

I work at UCLA, as a lot of your know, and yesterday, I pass a married couple in the hallway, and they stop me.  Now, I’ll remind you, that I go to around 50 rooms per day, and not just seeing the patients, but also families, friends, and others in their rooms, so I see a lot of faces in one day.  So with the couple that stopped me, I recognized her face, and somewhat recognized her husband, and they were past patients of a couple of years, and they told me of the impact that they had because of our conversation, when the husband was a patient in the hospital.  Now, I couldn’t even start to tell you what that conversation was about, and I certainly wasn’t going to ask them, but it could have been 30 minutes, or 30 seconds.  Didn’t matter, they got affected by our interaction.  That is something I worship, and will always worship.  You have that, too.  Worship is a cool thing, all you have to do is acknowledge what you do, be very appreciative of what you do, and love what you do.  Could be simple…and is.



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