A Fine Man – A Fine Story

The KHOU link does not embed in WordPress. Click the link below to read and watch the story.

Last June, I wrote about Dan Lauck’s battle with Parkinson Disease that cut short his honored career as a newspaper and television journalist. Lauck’s wife, Meg, provided details of the extraordinary medical procedures Lauck has endured with the hope of an improved life as he battles the disease.

Surprisingly, Lauck made a comeback recently to provide his former Houston television station, KHOU, with a fascinating story on Rich Clifford, a NASA astronaut that flew on the space shuttle Atlantis 15 years ago while secretly suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

Certainly, this is dramatic news, and I enjoyed Clifford’s revealing story. However, I spent most of my time studying my friend and listening to his voice while fighting mixed emotions as I watched Lauck on-screen.

No matter how hard Lauck fights, he is slugging it out with an opponent that, so far, cannot be beaten. That is very sad. Yet, seeing Lauck on a golf course playing a game he loves pleases me greatly. What sticks with me the most, though, is just how difficult this story must have been for Lauck. That five-minute story took many days of work that would tire a totally healthy man.

Consider those demands as you read an update on Lauck’s condition from Meg Lauck: “For those of you who have not been updated since Dan’s brain surgery almost a year ago, it came with pros and cons. His tremors have stopped and that is the best part. The tricky part is that he had some significant cognitive impairment after the surgery and it has taken a long time for the brain swelling to be reduced. He is significantly better now and outpatient therapy at TIRR (where Gaby Giffords goes as an inpatient) helped a great deal. Also, he now has trouble with unstable gait and falling down frequently.”

This puts a real perspective on the determination it took for Lauck to bring Clifford’s story to television. Lauck’s fight will go on in this difficult battle. It is a fight being fought by a fine man who gave us a fine story. The story is a remembrance of things past as well as an appreciation for a difficult future for both men. My prayers remain with Lauck, Clifford and their families that God’s will be done.

Read Lauck’s story and see the video here.  Read earlier story on Dan Lauck here.
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About jeffjacobsen

Thank you for reading my blog, Here I Stand. You can read all about me, my wife and my family on the Family page. God bless and keep you.
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4 Responses to A Fine Man – A Fine Story

  1. Carole Carey says:

    I enjoyed this story a great deal. As a patient who had battled with this disease for 28 years, all I can advise is to take each day at a time. Treat each day as a gift. Take joy in ALL accomplishments, even if it is something as droll as washing and folding laundry. I had DBS in 1999 as an experimental patient and have never regretted being a part of a procedure that has granted myself and 75,000 other lucky recipients a better quality of life had we not taken this surgical step. It takes courage to live. “Live to see another day” has always been my motto.

  2. Back in the late 80s I had the pleasure of working with Dan at KMOL. In fact, initially his desk was right across from mine at the very back of the room. He used to type standing up…and I do mean type, we hadn’t started using computers yet. I was just starting out in journalism, pretty fresh out of school and, as I know now, I didn’t know anything. Dan was always out on stories and I was to new to take much notice of but over the four years I worked there I was pleased to get to know him better. He was smart and funny and on occasion took me seriously as I moved up in the TV producing chain at the station. That was long ago and several careers back but the other day I was talking with another old friend from KMOL and we got talking about Dan. I knew he had gone to Houston and I live there now but I had seen no signs of him. So, out of curiosity I googled. Thank you for your stories. I have a particular appreciation for them not only because Dan was part of my journalistic life but because about 10 years ago I went back to school and became a surgical nurse. I appreciate his hard work more than ever. Also, thank you for the link to his Astronaut/KHOU piece. It was great to hear his voice. Please, if you think of it next time you speak with him, pass on my regards. He was a pleasure to work next to in the newsroom and he is an inspiration to other people with Parkinson’s.

    • jeffjacobsen says:

      I will be happy to pass this along to Dan. His battle is ongoing, but one still filled with great hope. Thank you for your message.

  3. billbrubaker says:

    Jeff: Please send my very best wishes to Dan. I was privileged to sit across from him when we worked together at the New York Daily News in the early 1980s. Bill Brubaker

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