Tag Archives: Gramazin

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Roxanne Roundtree, Houston TX

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Roxanne Russell Roundtree was diagnosed with ALS-Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2008 at age 30. She is an active mother of 3 growing boys: Don (16), Brad (13), and Bryce (11). Before her disease took over, she was a home health nurse and traveled the Madisonville area caring for those who were not able to travel for health care. After her full time nursing job, she was also a full time mother. She was team mom, home keeper, and cook. Her boys are her everything. Although she is no longer able to move from the neck down or speak, she is still at every event her boys are a part of. Football games, band concerts, rodeos, jackpots, baseball, stock shows, etc., she does it all!

Her husband has dedicated his life to care for her 24/7. She wrote this cookbook over a period of two years using a computer that reads her eye movements. With this technology, she is able to write, text, email, speak, and use the internet to shop for birthday and Christmas gifts! This cookbook originally started as a Christmas gift in a 3 brad folder to her mother and sisters. Then it was sold as a fundraiser to help her middle child, Brad, pay his way to the Junior High State Rodeo Finals in Gonzales in June of 2013. He qualified in team roping and chute dogging.

During that particular fundraiser, her story caught the attention of various people including roping great, Joe Beaver who sponsored Brad, companies like Holiday Inn Express-Gonzales, Texas, who donated a handicap accessible room for the family to stay in for the duration of the finals week and RFD-TV, who filmed a special that will air June 24! The funds from the sale of the cookbook will contribute to the Roundtree family to cover living and medical expenses, as well as, helping pay for their handicap accessible home. Their home was built due to the generosity of Roxanne’s parents. Through the hard economic times that have affected us all, Roxanne’s parents are now in need of help to continue paying for Roxanne’s home. A web page has been created using Go Fund Me for those who wish to donate to that specific cause.

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James Mitchell, Cincinnati OH

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Sometimes the worse moments in life happen at the most convenient times.

On May 24th, 2011, at around 3 o’clock in the morning, Police Officer James Mitchell had a heart attack which occurred with perfect timing.

How so? How can a heart attack possibly occur at the right moment? Well, early that day James and a friend spent 8+ hours driving back to Cincinnati, Ohio from Atlanta, Georgia. And he never experienced a heart attack while on the road. Not while he was in Atlanta for a class reunion/cookout. Not while he was driving 75 North in Tennessee, and not while he was stuck at a gas station in Sparta, Kentucky because of a severe rainstorm. No, James had the blessing of experiencing his heart attack a couple of hours after he got home, while in bed with his wife – a nurse at Mercy Fairview Hospital.

After all the hours James spent on the road, it wasn’t until he came home when he started to feel a throbbing pain in his arm. He was able to figure out that he was having a heart attack in a peaceful setting. He started to perspire, asked his wife if she felt the room was getting hotter, she said no, they prepared to make a trip to the hospital as a result, he ended up collapsing on the bathroom floor, and his wife took care of him until the ambulance arrived. Once it did, EMTs transported him to Mercy Fairview. There, he discovered that he had 100% blockage in his right artery and was immediately operated on. He has since made a full recovery and has continued his work for the past two years with the Cincinnati Police Department.

James said, “It could have easily happened when I was out on the highway. I feel abundantly blessed to have been with my wife.”

Talking to James, I found it really awesome how relaxed he was about the incident. Clearly, he perceives it as a more of blessing than a memory that another person may not wish to look back upon. He told me, “The incident changed my total outlook on life. I now value every moment.” The event may have been a tragedy, but God took that moment, made it something James could handle, and helped him to grow from it.

Because of the heart attack, he told me how he even valued the moment my dad and I briefly met him, after the Cincinnati Reds’ game at Great American Ballpark. Homer Bailey, one of the Reds’ starting pitchers, threw a no-hitter, so practically all the fans were there until the last out. It was still a packed stadium, so we stuck around the area until the parking lots were empty. As we walked around, we bumped into James, who was on-duty, and had a short, very friendly conversation with him. He said it’s not like he wouldn’t have appreciated our conversation before the heart attack, but that now he appreciates such conversations in a new light – greater than before.

The heart attack seems to have helped him embrace the kids at the high school he works with. Through the Cincinnati Police Department, he has been specifically assigned Hughes High School, and additionally takes care of and provides for 14 other schools in the Cincinnati area. He spends each day, talking to kids for hours, whether on the phone or in person. He says he tries to make sure he interacts with every student in at least some way – he’s been known to give everyone he sees a handshake. He even visits the elementary school, with the hope that he’ll one day know all the kids before they reach high school.

In his free time, James mentioned that he simply enjoys being at home with his wife, mowing the grass, working on cars, riding his motorcycle, and bowling. He has five kids who are out in the real world, and looks forward to every time they visit. He added that he has an old car hobby. He has fixed up a 1985 El Camino and took it to a few car shows.

Again, all too often there is good which surrounds tragedy. I find that there are always blessings available in response to suffering. You just have to look for them.

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Daniel DeLeon, Lancaster PA

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I was born and raised on the streets of Lancaster city. I came from what could be classified as a dysfunctional family. This is evidenced in a mother who would lash out in frequent psychotic outbursts; a father who would discipline his children by pretending to be the devil; a sister who was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities); and a brother who made a name for himself for the animalistic brutally that he dished out on rival gang members. This was my family, so it should come as no surprise that at the age of eleven I started drinking alcohol and experimenting with drugs. At twelve, I was placed on probation for shooting a girl in the face with a pellet gun. At fourteen, I was locked up for almost beating a man to death. By sixteen, I was locked up once again for armed robbery. And from that point forward, I was in and out of detention centers and prisons for the majority of my adolescent and adult life.

As a result of my chronic addiction to drugs and alcohol, I became homeless at the age of 25. With an alcohol and drug habit to feed, I made a living by robbing drug dealers (and anyone else on whom I thought I could gain the upper hand). Eventually, this kind of lifestyle led to the demise of all meaningful relationships in my life. All alone, sleeping in a back alley in the middle of November, I found myself bracing for death. It was at this point that I began to ask the big questions: Why am I here? Where am I going? Why can’t I change? At various times in my life, I believed I’d had encounters with God. For that reason, I believed Him to be real, but up until that point, I was just not willing to surrender the only life I knew.

It was shortly after this, on December 7, 2007, that a series of events and influential people persuaded me to enter the Christian Life Development Program at (what was then called) the Water Street Rescue Mission. From the outset of this process I knew that God was involved in directing my life to this point, and my new motivation was to live to the fullest for Christ. From the very beginning, a thought was implanted into my heart that I was not at the mission to get my life back; rather, I was there to give it up.

The verse that was deeply implanted within my heart and mind was Jesus’ simple yet profound words recorded in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Since then, this verse has continued to motivate me to seek the things of God first in all I do. As a by-product, God has added many wonderful and undeserved blessings into my life. I have a wonderful wife (Alicia DeLeon) who has followed Christ since she was a little girl. I have a restored relationship with my daughter (Sabrina DeLeon) after three years of disappearing from her life. And my wife Alicia recently gave birth to our little baby boy named Micaiah DeLeon. On top of all this, I have had the opportunity to go on several out of country short term mission trips (Mexico and Dominican Republic) and I also had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Israel on a travel learn tour.

There are two things, besides my family and relationship with God, that bring me the most joy. The first is when I can spend time with God in His Word, and a light turns on in my mind as I see Him revealed through the pages of Scripture. The second thing relates to the first. When this happens, I must tell others. With that said, I believe I am called to be a pastor, but I also could see myself teaching in an academic setting. This spring (May of 2013) I graduated from Lancaster Bible College with degrees in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Ministry. If, God willing, I can raise the money, I will begin online classes this fall at Reformed Theological Seminary, where I hope to pursue a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies.

Archived Website

This is an archived website. Visit www.gramazin.com for our newest website. We maintain this older website because we believe content on here is still relevant to people in crisis.