How My Daughter’s Rare Blood Disease Taught Me What Rocky Balboa Taught His Son

My life changed forever when my daughter was diagnosed with Plasminogen Deficiency at 4 months old. Plasminogen Deficiency is a very rare blood disorder that can lead (and has led) to the formation of severe fibrous depositions on mucous membranes throughout the body. The day I learned that my daughter would have this blood disease forever was the day I learned what it really meant to have a bad day. I also finally understood what Rocky Balboa meant when he told his son,

“The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Well life hit me with a haymaker and it beat me to my knees. I was knocked out for a long time, but I didn’t want to be down permanently. Abraham Lincoln once said, “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.” So, I took Honest Abe’s advice and I decided to go try and help someone else.

I met a gentleman who was hurting and I started to help him. After a few months, we were having breakfast one morning and he looked at me and said, “John, before you came along, I was in the deepest, darkest, blackest hole and you pulled me out of it. I thank you for it, my wife thanks you for it, and my kids thank you for it.” I then looked at him and said, “Before you came along, I was in the deepest, darkest, blackest hole and you just now pulled me out it because of what you just told me.” Out of all the success I’ve had in my career, that was the most significant moment in my life. We were two people that were wounded who helped each other get back on their feet.

That’s why I’m starting a blog. I want all of us to help each other through life’s journey and help each other take the hits. Leadership is one of my biggest passions and I would love to share with you what I know and what I’ve learned up to this point in my life on leadership. I’ve been through a lot and I’ve worked with some great leaders and I’ve worked with some not so great leaders who all taught me very valuable lessons. I plan on sharing those stories with you and I know that they will add value to what you are going through in your own lives. If my blogs help even one person out there, it will be well worth it for me. I know I can help you, so please follow me down the Green Brick Road.

Please be sure to follow Green Brick Road on Facebook by clicking the link: Green Brick Road Facebook Page



22 thoughts on “How My Daughter’s Rare Blood Disease Taught Me What Rocky Balboa Taught His Son”

  1. You are an inspiration to me personally and I value your priorities. You truly make a difference with what you say and you live by certain morals that just can’t be taught. You have a way of opening someone’s perspective on reality and nothing stands in your way Johnboy. You make me proud to say you are my twin brother and most importantly, my best friend. I love you with everything I am, brother.

  2. This is a great thing you’re doing John. I’ll keep your daughter and your family in my prayers. Looking forward to reading your blogs.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story and bringing light back into the lives of others who are hurting. It’s so refreshing to see a positive post of someone being kind and helpful amongst all of the negative posts out there. I look forward to following your blog.

  4. John,

    Making a difference in others lives and staying positive even when there are difficult times is what helps build who we are. It builds us. God brings people into our lives when we need them the most, even if we are not sure why. It’s makes me proud to know that you are the amazing man you’ve become and always have been. Your daughter will look up to you and know that her father is her Hero and Knight in a shining armor. Always. That will never change. Whatever you need from me, I’ll always be there.

  5. A very wise person from my past once taught me to “Lead with the heart of a servant”. YOU, John Green, are a servant leader.

    I really like this excerpt from Ken Blanchard’s site:
    In a sense, developing a “servant’s heart” is a lifelong journey. It is my belief that you finally become an adult when you realize that life is about what you give rather than what you get. The shift from self-serving leadership to leadership that serves others is motivated by a change in heart. Servant leadership is not just another management technique. It is a way of life for those with servant’s hearts.

    Take a look if you want to learn more:

    Very proud of you for making a difference in this world instead of just surviving through it!

  6. John,

    Not only does God place people in our lives when we need them the most, he also raises up people when the world needs them the most. I am so sad to hear of your daughter’s disease – but I am awed by your response to hardship. It is people like you that our broken world so desperately needs right now. I am looking forward to following you on this journey and will be praying for your sweet family.

  7. Thank you John for sharing, we will pray for healing and peace to your family. Looking forward on reading more of your blogs. Love you man!

  8. RGR! Thank you for sharing your heart with the world! You and Amanda are amazing people. You two make me want to be a better person. I’m so glad you are starting a blog because I miss you! I’m so excited that I will get to hear John, Amanda, Reece & Baby Kat stories! Roll Tide Roll! Roll Reece Roll! Roll Green Roll! Roll Meaux Roll!
    God bless you and your beautiful family.
    ❤️❤️❤️ KMeaux

  9. John your story and that of your little girl is so inspiring! Thanks for sharing with others! Very proud of you!

  10. John, your words are so inspiring and beautiful. I certainly do agree with you…family is everything❤️ I look forward to following your blog. Love and hugs to you and your family.

  11. Thanks for sharing to help others. It takes a lot to turn something difficult into an opportunity to help someone else. Best of luck.

  12. Thanks for sharing, John… I always knew you were one of the great ones even after sharing only a brief period of time with you, and this just solidified that belief! My thoughts will be with you and your family while along this journey!

  13. I am glad that I had the opportunity to get to know you before you left. I hope your new job and city are treating you well. You are a quality man and I think of you often. God Bless you and your family!

  14. John, you are the man. You have handled every situation with so much class. I have the utmost respect for you and glad your daughter is in recovery!

  15. Hi John,
    I just came across your Green Brick Road blog, and read of your daughter’s diagnosis. My heart goes out to you and your family. But she is such a lucky girl having you for a dad!
    I’m so happy you’re doing a blog. At MN, after we’d have a random talk, you had always said something I needed to hear, that resonated with me. It was uplifting, positive strength and helpful.
    I still have the page Two Wolves that I printed out at work one day. And you gave me Mental Toughness! Thank you. Some people you miss and remember, you are one of them.
    Love and Happiness to you and your family, Lora

  16. I will keep your daughter and entire family in my prayers. I was with this rare disease when I was 6 weeks old. At that time no one had a name for it even when I went to Mayo Clinic and that was over 40 years ago. So much has been done with research that wasn’t done when I was first diagnosed I hope and pray that there will be a cure or Treatment that is easily obtained for the people that suffer from this rare disease

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