How would you respond to being told your days were numbered? How would you want your final days to be spent? Would you want to spend them with friends and family? Would you dedicate them to quiet prayer? Or would you go travel and see the world? These are the common answers; but one Massachusetts man decided on a different path.
Bob Charland is an auto-mechanic in Springfield, where he also works on-call, when needed, as a deputy with the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department. But he used to work as a nightclub bouncer and it was during that time he received serious head wounds on two occasions where individuals objected to him ejecting them from the party. These injuries have lead to damage that doctors describe as this 45 year old’s brain looking like a 90 year old’s. The end result is a cyst and a tumor that will ultimately end Bob’s life; sooner rather than later.
But it has been a year since the diagnosis and the doctors were unable to give a specific time-frame and so Bob has made some choices, since the announcement, about how he wants to spend his time. That choice came by chance when he received a call from a counselor at an underprivileged school, wondering if he had some extra bikes he could donate. At the time he received the call he had been considering ending his own life to not be a burden on anyone. That call changed everything for Bob.
Since then he has dedicated himself to helping underprivileged kids get bikes, donated $10,000.00 of his own money and countless hours of his own time to restore 1,000 bikes, set up his own not-for-profit called Pedal Thru Youth, and last spring he got married again. Coordinating with law enforcement in Springfield and surrounding towns, he works with police officers to help deliver the bikes and helmets to local schools, adjust seats and handlebars and give kids bicycle safety lessons.
Charland also recently started a backpack program to get grooming necessities and warm hats and gloves to homeless people through police officers, who keep the packs in the trunks of their cruisers. So how would you spend your last days? What if you had a year left? Or 5? Or 10? Don’t wait for doctors to tell you your time is coming, live your life making choices like Bob. Find out more about Bob Charland’s amazing journey since Doctors told him his life was going to end in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Story and Image from The Washington Post.