God, Damm It!

Damm Family.jpgIn the '90s I ran two Dallas White Rock Marathons. I'll think I'll get out there and run a couple more.

Not because I want go retro like your Texas Rangers. But rather because I spent 30 minutes talking with Steve Damm. Didn't really take that long, honestly.

Dude's story will change your perspective in a second.

"I was always self-sufficient, a workaholic," Steve told me last week. "If I wanted something done right, I did it for myself. Now, I've learned to finally let people help me. My impatience is gone. I don't get road rage anymore. Life is too precious."

Steve was a healthy, happy, 39-year-old avid runner when last Thanksgiving he got headache that wouldn't quit. I mean, never quit.

Brain cancer.

Now the guy who ran two Rocks is just hoping to walk down the hall without falling.

"Reading to my kids every night, tucking them into bed," Steve says. "I appreciate the little things in life. Everyone should."

Not to get all Christmas-season mushy, but that means you. And me. Don't take running - even walking - for granted. And stop cutting me off in traffic. Everyone chill.

Steve's type of brain cancer - glioblastoma - is a random killer. No scientific reason for how or when or why, really. His wife, Tyra, has a theory.

Last February Steve developed Bell's Palsy, where outta nowhere your face just sort of freezes up. He had a high fever and the partial paralysis of his face lasted a month. No biggie. Lots of people get it.

"In retrospect we should've had an MRI," Tyra says. "Doctors don't recommend that with Bell's Palsy, but it's a virus. And that virus somehow triggered Steve's spot."

Steve will make it down to Sunday's Rock to cheer on friends and family - including Tyra - running in the race.

Here's praying he makes it back in 2009. - Richie Whitt

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