In 2003, I returned from Vegas with a terrible cough. Later that night while Jodi, Lucas and I were at a friends house, I got the chills and had to lay down. When we got home, I immediatly went to bed and woke up at 1am with cold sweats and felt like I had heart burn in my upper chest. I had to get out of the house so I told Jodi I was going to take a drive and possibly end up at the ER. She was 8mo pregnant with Ella at the time and I didn’t want her to trouble herself with taking me in. I did end up in the ER and diagnosed with Pneumonia.

It turns out I was in the hospital for five days having been released on my 30th birthday. I battled with the Pneumonia-Valley Fever for 9 months taking various steroids and went to two Pulmanologists and Infectious Disease doctors to figure out what to do. The toughest week I had during this period was waiting for the results of an HIV test. I was sure it was going to be negative but then again I wasn’t expecting to wake up in the hospital on my 30th birthday with part of my lung stuck together.

In 2009, pre-riding the NOVA Nationals course at the McDowell Regional Park, I had a little crash. I ended up getting some x-rays of my chest to check for a cracked rib. The doctor came in to the room with a concerned look on his face, ‘crap what now’ I thought. He said I had some fluid on my lung from the crash but that was no big deal because my body will eventually absorb it. His concern was the “cotton ball” object IN my lung. ‘Oh, that’s nothing’ I replied. ‘I had Pneumonia with Pleurisy a couple years back, no big deal’.

The point of this story is that in all my years of racing and competing, I have done it with 1 1/2 lungs but I love to compete and spend time outdoors.


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