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Meet James O'Neal

[UPDATE, 10/25/09:
James' most recent surgery]

If you need a genuine feel-good story—bingo.

Lynn left a comment last Friday regarding the Johnny video. I looked up the Washington story she referred to. Love it. Thanks, Lynn!

Meet James O’Neal.

He's a grocery store clerk at the Kingsgate Safeway in Kirkland, Washington, with a massive tumor covering half his face. And with a more massive fan club. He doesn’t try to hide his looks, but rather lives by this philosophy: "Everyone has a handicap one way or another, you may not see it but you have one." But the tumor did weigh him down--literally.

So one of his long-time grocery store customers, Katie Knopf, launched a fundraising campaign last fall for surgery money for James.

The initial goal of $50,000 was quickly surpassed. Five-year-olds emptied their piggy banks and wealthy folks wrote checks. The supermarket Safeway chain donated $10,000. The local Toyota dealership donated a car. The Seattle Seahawks gave James a day to remember at training camp. Fire departments, ambulance services, couriers, doctors, ... on and on came the donations. Volunteers to walk his dog; cooks to bring him meals after surgery;...

Then on November 6, 2008, after eight hours of surgery, James had a new face, less an eight-pound tumor. He’ll still need more reconstructive surgery (August 2009 is next), but for now, he’s proud to say, “I have a nose!”

Read the on-going story on the Friends of James O'Neal blog. To get the full excitement, begin with the oldest entry and read forward.

And the next time we have a bad hair day, for crying out loud, please, let’s just let it go.
(1 Samuel 16:7)

[UPDATE, 10/25/09:
James' most recent surgery]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa!

You are quite the researcher! I am getting to your blog very late, into March 10th but I am elated you have put your spotlight on James. He is such an amazing man as is his story. I am so glad I thought to mention him and that you ran with it!

Bless you!


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