Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mark "my favorite cousin" Kohl

This past week has been a busy one for Lara and I. I haven't blogged in a while because we have taken a trip to Chicago and now we are visiting and spending the night with "my favorite cousin" Mark and his wife Misti. Mark was seen on American Idol as I jumped into his arms after I was told by the judges I was in the top 24. He also has been posting several comments on this blog. Most recently, he ran the Chicago Marathon in my honor last weekend. I wanted to thank Mark for inspiring me. For the past few months he has been using me as inspiration to run the marathon and using my chemo treatments as a way to inspire himself to push on with his training. When Mark first told me several months ago he was going to do this I was a little concerned. Mark was out of shape and not the marathon looking type. He is very athletic, but he consumed a few too many family pleasers at Monicals pizza. But I supported him and knew he could do it. Last weekend he finished the marathon like a champ. I was unable to attend the marathon because I was still recovering from chemo round 10 but he called me that afternoon and said "I did it man!" He repeatedly told me he was using me as inspiration to get through it. However, I think he was using this as a way to inspire me to get through my chemo. It's as if he was saying, "Luke, if I can finish this 26.2 miles then you can certainly get through 12 rounds of chemo." Well Mark you did it man! And I am almost there too.
While Mark ran the marathon he wore a shirt that said this on the front: "We are here for Mark. 26.2. 4.LUKE.

The back of the shirt said this: "And if you want to cheer, don't just cheer for him: He's running this marathon for his cousin LUKE. A Hodgkins Lymphoma survivor. So cheer for him too. Jeremiah 29:11."

Thanks Mark for the support and thanks for showing me that I can finish my marathon too. I can see the finish line now straight ahead. I will push through just like you did.

On a side note, I got a call from David Cook this week. He told me he will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 1st. Be sure to watch him rock it out on SNL. I gave him a Covington Beef house hat to wear on SNL. Those of you from the midwest may be familiar with this fine beef establishment located in Indiana. I don't count on him wearing it because his stylist probably will not approve of the hat. It's a little too rural.

I have also been informed that today is Michael Johns 30th birthday. Thanks to you Michael I was not the oldest one on Idol this year. Happy Birthday Aussie!


Anonymous said...

I so love that you just referenced Monicals in this post!! Yum. I'm a central Illinoisan transplanted to St. Louis, with nary a Monicals in sight.

Congrats to Mark, and to you. Two more rounds to go! You're almost there.

First time commenter, long time reader :) Thanks for keeping us updated!

Mazakai said...

it must feel great to have a family that cares so much about you. it always makes me so happy to read about you guys.

keep going, you're doing great!

I really hope David gets to wear your hat. I'm sure he can persuade anyone who tells him otherwise.

best wishes!

CK from MI said...

To finish a full marathon on what sounds like his first try is really incredible! Congrats to Mark on that achievement. The two of you are great inspirations for each other. (I remember seeing that idol clip.)

I'm looking forward to seeing David on SNL. Being the weekend before the election that show will get huge ratings, so this is an incredible opportunity for him. I'm sure he'll figure out a way to wear that hat, even if he has to strap it to his guitar! :-)

Glad you've had a good week.

- CK

idolette said...

At first, when I read about an out-of-shape man running a marathon, I thought of Run Fat Boy Run, so your blog update definitely made me smile (great movie, by the way, you should see it). That's so awesome that he ran that marathon, and I'm sure his shirt got a lot of cheers for both of you.

Ooh, yay, I'll definitely watch David on SNL, thanks for the head's up!

I hope you're doing great, and remember we're all cheering, wishing, and praying for you. Lots of love!

Grace said...

Hey Luke, Just wanted to let you know I am purchasing a lantern in your honor this week on our campus. We are having a cancer awareness celebration, walk, illumination, candle, prayer vigil, extravaganza (i'm sure that's not the official name). I've been praying for you and Lara :)
Grace McBrayer

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Mark! And, congrats to you on almost completing your chemo marathon.

Thanks for the Head's Up on Cook's appearance on SNL. Looking forward to it!

If you speak to your bud Michael Johns today, wish him a Happy 30th Birthday from us too, OK?

Amy (another long time reader, first time poster.)

Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for the shout out! You were my inspiration during my 18 week training runs, and on race day! The way you have dealt with the news that you got on May 17th has been amazing! Your continued positive attitude as been totally a GOD thing! You will continue to be in my prayers!
Keep on doing what you are doing!
You are simply- AWESOME!
Mark "Your favorite cousin" Kohl

Anonymous said...

Hi Luke - What an awesome story about you and your cousin. How great that you both inspired each other in different ways. Keep the faith - you are almost done.

I continue to wear the "So Much More" wristband and tell everyone I know about you and your faith. I can't wait for the "Light the Night" walk on November 1st to honor you. I have raised over $500.00 so far for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and everyone who has donated has received your "So Much More" wristband.

So glad you spoke with David. How great a man that continues to think of those friends who need him even in his busiest of times.

Love and Peace,
Kathy P. - kathypinaz

Carry said...

Hi Luke,
Congrats to Mark in finishing that marathon, that was great! You definitely are an inspiration! I'm not usually a night owl but since I"m a 4horseman fan(you, David, Michael and Jason Y) I'm going to watch that SNL. And I hope Michael is having a great birthday! I just got diagnosed with diabetes in the last few days, so I"m praying for God to help me through the changes I'm going through. God bless you and you're almost there to finishing the chemo, keep up the wonderful job Luke!

annie said...

Congratulations to Mark! May you guys continue to always be an inspiration to eachother.

CK from MI said...

Ahh, you've added to your post!

HA HA. I saw an interview with Michael that said that he had a birthday party over the weekend. Wonder what he was doing at that party that made him "a little sore" today. LOL. A sincere Happy Birthday to Michael Johns. I (almost) remember my 30th birthday. ;-)

Mazakai said...

oh, tell Michael happy birthday!

and you guys have some awesome hat bonding!

Anonymous said...

Yo, Luke, so GLAD you were able to spend some time in Our Fair City -- because Chicago is a beautiful place, especially if you have a beautiful human being like your cousin running for you, lol!

And I know the thought of him going those 26 miles is going to sustain you through your last two chemos, and you're gonna get all the way to the finish line, and the radiation should be a walk in the park by comparison. And all will be well, in the end.

Hang in there, Luke. You have so much prayer support; I'm sure you can feel that. And for every person who posts here, you can bet there are untold others who have lifted up your name before our God. I know your life will be an amazing story written by the best Author of all stories -- and I can't wait to read all the upcoming chapters, because there's a lot more to come.

And good for David Cook for staying in touch, even though his own life is some kind of crazy these days apparently. That guy... is something special. And I have a feeling your faith in the face of adversity does something pretty profound for HIM, not just vice versa. And how cool is it that you guys got thrown together in LA, the way you did?

Like I said... the best Author of all is writing the story.

vaya con dios -- you'll be in my thoughts and prayers in a special way this week -- take care!

Julie, chicago

Anonymous said...


Glad you are doing well. I look forward to the Patriots-Colts game in 2 weeks. Now, don't forget, if the Patriots win, you have to wear a Tom Brady jersey while you strut around c-ville. Maybe we should up the ante, and make you wear it during your next Chapter6 concert.

- Gino

P.S. Keep kicking cancer's ass. Tell Chica I said Hi.

the camp said...

monicals....definitely an il. thing.

wow - mark is a rockstar too! looks like the family is full of
them. what a goal to be reached.

i swear, the hat on snl would be too much. maybe you should send the stylist some rolls, that might do the trick!


CK from MI said...

Hi Luke,

Just wanted to wish you well as you go through Chemo Round 11 tomorrow! I'm thinking about that picture you posted of yourself at the Grand Canyon with your arms raised high in victory! That finish line is getting closer & closer! Only two left - you're almost there! As always, my prayers for you are that the treatments are doing their job and for strength to get through the side-effects.

By the way, I recently ordered the C6 Christmas CD. I don't tend to listen to Christmas music a lot (probably because some radio stations around here tend to start playing it in October and I'm tired of it by December!), but I'm looking forward to hearing an a capella take on these songs.

- CK

twotwo said...

Luke, What a fantastic story of your cousin Mark in inspiring you to get through all of your treatments as he ran in your honor in the marathon. It is so great to have family, friends, and fans to stand by you through it all. I like the picture of you and Michael Johns. Happy Birthday, Michael. and I will have to catch David Cook on SNL in November.
As Always, Much Love, Laughter, Prayers,Strength, Success, Now and ALWAYS, Your friend, twotwo

Kim said...

Congrats to Mark and to YOU, Luke! I'm a first time poster/long time reader as well, and a FELLOW HOOSIER who has cheered you on and prayed for you throughout your journey, both in AI and in this journey of growth God is allowing you to go through with cancer. I'm certain that Mark is not the only inspiration here, but that you are as well.

Awesome on the Beef House hat! That place is amazing!

Keep on fightin' the fight, are an inspiration to many more than I'm sure you know.


Anonymous said...

just thinking of you and praying for you today, post chemo -- afraid you might be feeling pretty ick. But hang in there, we've got the light on for ya, only ONE left to go...

this too shall pass. Rest in the Lord -- his arms are around us all, and his strength will uphold you.

julie, chicago

Anonymous said...

Luke, well as I write to you are recovering from your ROUND 11 of Chemo.... and you know only have ONE more left!!!!
Keep the fight, keep the faith!
Mark "your favorite cousin" Kohl!

Anonymous said...

I love you, luke. You are an inspiration to your big sister. I watched E.T. Yesterday. You should see it again. I have a feeling it wouldn't be so scary anymore....
I miss you.

Love, bekah

Kaitlin said...

Congrats to you and Mark! You are both inspirational!

I am looking forward to seeing David Cook on SNL!

And of course a happy very belated birthday to Michael Johns!

You guys all rock!

Wishing you the best,

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