Patrick McCaskey included Zach Miller’s story of his injury to his popliteal artery in Worthwhile Struggle. McCaskey also included the story of Alex Ruiz a high school athlete who suffered the same injure and lost his leg. From Miller to Ruiz, the book also goes on to tell how Drew Brees was involved in getting Ruiz a prosthetic leg. McCaskey then goes on to write about Danny Thomas and the making of the Saint Jude Research Hospital and how it all began with a devotion to Saint Jude. Saint Jude was established through the kindness and contributions of many of Thomas’s friends of all faiths from the Middle East. From Thomas, then the book takes us to a personal friend of McCaskey’s, Alan Swanson, who was blessed with a family fortune that allowed him to do most anything with his life. He chose to teach school and eventually was coaching high school baseball and had a pitcher play for him named Kyle Long.
Like our other books in the Sports and Faith Series, Worthwhile Struggle often ties together stories of different people and places that are somehow connected.
Zach Miller received the Ed Block Courage Award today. And that ties his courageous recovery efforts to certain other efforts by many Bears and Halas-McCaskey family members like Ed McCaskey that have been synched up with Maryville Academy. And those people are connected to the thousands of Bears fans and other charitable contributors that have helped Maryville’s great mission. And at the base of all things Maryville was the effort of Father John Smyth to keep it all going after he took over the charity decades ago when it was weary and close to closing up shop. Now under Sister Catherine M. Ryan, Maryville Academy’s mission continues and expands in new ways.