One of the great blessings of our lives these past two years has been that God placed extraordinary doctors in our path. I give thanks every day of my son’s survival that he has Comer Children’s Hospital’s world-renown pediatric oncologists fighting beside him.
One of his leading doctors recently passed away. A larger than life, heroic guy, Dr. James Nachman was astounding. Brilliant, bold, funny, passionate about his work, so direct he would make my jaw drop, dedicated often beyond reason. A one-of-a-kind man, although his patients would probably give you hundreds of different reasons why. I spent the days following “Doc Nach”’s death pondering what made this man so incredibly effective and beloved. The answer came from one of my editors.
She once told me, “Make your heroes as big as your villains, and your villains as big as your heroes.” Dr. Nachman excelled because while pediatric cancer is an ominous foe, he was an even bigger persona. A seemingly un-opposable force of nature. There were days when that man felt to me like Tolkien’s Gandalf standing at the abyss roaring “You shall not pass!”
We love heroes because we need them. We need a champion larger than our challenges. What have been your favorite heroes in books? Who has been that hero in your life? What made him or her heroic to you? If you haven’t told your real-life heroes how much they mean to you, do so soon for one day--like “Doc Nach”--they could be gone.