John Dodge — WBBM-Channel 2 executive producer and former longtime staffer at the Sun-Times — challenges readers to a ‘good turn.’
Little Katie Gillespie is a small kid with a big heart. With some help from her mom, Katie is taking advantage of the annual block party to collect supplies for the Lincoln Square Friendship Center.
Tracy O’Brien is a working mother of two. A wayward dog greeted her at her home the other day. She spent over an hour knocking on neighbors’ doors before she found the lost pup’s owner.
A young boy was celebrating his birthday at a restaurant with his family. He was excited about his first telescope after having gotten hooked on the heavens in Cub Scouts. Dad was showing him how to use it. A total stranger came over, introduced himself and handed the boy an illustrated book on the universe. The man told the family that he loved telescopes and astronomy as a kid and saw a bit of himself in the young man.
I had learned recently that a tumor, which had been removed eight years ago in rather dramatic fashion, had decided it hadn’t had enough fun the first time around. The first tumor was much larger. This particular type of tumor can come back from time to time, according to one of my doctors — a team that seems to be expanding like the universe.
The mass is behind my left eye. The tumor, which grew out of the nerves in one of my eye muscles, was benign the last time. It could be the same this time. But there is a chance, however slight, that it might not.
I still don’t have those answers.
There are many specialists involved in solving this mystery. The first surgery eight years ago was complicated and messy. At one point, the six hands of three remarkable surgeons at Illinois Masonic Medical Center were working in the small space between my eye and my brain. I deal with some double vision now — a result of muscle damage that the tumor left behind. There is some chronic pain, which gets worse at the end of the day. I am embarrassed to admit that I am still self-conscious of the mild deformity left on my face.
Those doctors saved my eyesight. And, I am alive. Every doctor who has read the medical reports says the same thing: “You were very, very lucky.”
When I shared the news of the latest development, I humbly asked this: Prayers, of course, would be appreciated, but for me, there is something more important. I asked folks to consider doing what the Boy Scouts call a “good turn.” Or in the faith of my family, a mitzvah. Simply put, I am asking for people to do some good deeds. And share them with others. Help each other out. Spread some happiness. Could you do that?
Share your “good turns” by emailing Splash@suntimes.com and we’ll publish the best ones in an upcoming issue.