John Orfino enjoyed his first breath of heavenly air in the early afternoon of June 18, 2018. What a welcome relief after his thirty-six month long war with ALS.
He Finished His Course
(originally published in 2018)
He – and his loved ones – fought the good fight, together.
John couldn’t beat the odds against a cruel disease he did nothing to deserve, but he never quit on his faith in Jesus. And he would say to anyone facing their own life and death struggle – hold on to Jesus, fight for life every single day you have breath, and hold your loved ones close even if you can’t touch them. He passed away June 19, 2018.
John Orfino showed up at my office sporting his orange Broncos jersey, a huge smile and his new walker.
In April 2015 John was diagnosed with ALS. Since then, the muscle function in his arms and legs has deteriorated. He and his wife Judee sold their bi-level home, and John’s truck and motorcycle to simplify their lifestyle. He bought a Mustang GT convertible (which he has now sold).
Now he needs the use of a wheelchair.
It doesn’t take long being with John to know from his tone of voice and his attitude that ALS doesn’t have John, he has ALS.
Better still, Jesus has John.
The smile you see on John Orfino’s face is genuine. He’s only in his 50’s, facing “end of life care” but he’s not depressed or bitter.
John says he’s happy. He doesn’t actually say the words – he uses eye movement to type out his message on a synthesized communication device. The effort alone is extraordinarily taxing for John.
He enjoys a measure of peace because his loved ones worry less about him due to the compassionate, round the clock care afforded him at the General Hospital in downtown Edmonton.
John has remarkable courage but don’t try to tell him that. He says its his wife Judee and daughter Kandis and the rest of his family that are the courageous ones.
We pray together.
Here’s a man who personifies – “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Do you have a memory of John? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.
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