It was June, a few weeks after his long-shot run for Congress and his marriage both came to an end, and Jason Roberts couldn't shake the nagging weariness that had dogged him through the campaign. He felt constantly as if he'd just racked himself on his bike frame.
It was an odd feeling for Roberts, who's become the tweed-clad leader of the growing movement to make Dallas less Dallas-y by encouraging walking, biking, and dense, close-knit communities. The IT consultant-turned-evangelical urbanist has had a hand in establishing any number of neighborhood groups in Oak Cliff, secured funds for a downtown streetcar line, and founded Better Block, which aims to create more livable neighborhoods by fostering grass-roots change. In other words, he's never been one to sit still.
His doctor told him that it was probably nothing, just some scar tissue common to youngish, physically active men. Still, he ordered some tests and sent Roberts on his way. His nurse called a few days later with the results and to schedule an appointment. She also mentioned, almost in passing, that he had a tumor.
"It was just like a state of shock," he says. "All the blood left my face at that point."More »