One Hour With Hope Segun

 

December 30, 2011

A conversation with Scott & Glennis Brodie about Scott’s Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) diagnosis, how he is living with it, living longer than the prognosis, life and everything in between …

Every year we take a trip or two out of the studio to meet our guests and this time we went to the home of Scott & Glennis in Puyallup, WA.  As we started the interview I pitched to them, “What attracted you, Scott to Glennis and vice-versa?” “We initially met in the health club in 1983. I was a fitness instructor there and Scott was selling vitamins and protein powders, working behind the juice bar.  He was very handsome, very fit and very tanned. I was very attracted to him,” his wife, Glennis, said.  Now it was Scott’s turn to respond but because of this disease and “the volume of breath that he’s speaking with”, talking has been very difficult.  When he talks, he rocks forward with each breath trying to get the words out and also writes “with his foot” for clarification.  To answer this question Scott said, “[You are] beautiful.” Like a very active family, the couple enjoyed “running and lifting weights [and even] Scott helped coach [her] on a fast pitch softball team with [their] church.” Glennis began laughing and we all joined when she added, “I guess it wasn’t fast pitch, it was slow pitch!” I could see Scott smiling, too. 

At this point in their lives, they were in “full swing of raising their kids, [being] self employed, very active members of [their] church, active with kids in sports, etc.” So, everything was going well according to plans until 1997 during Christmas time when they noticed that “Scott was having trouble pressing with a pen or pencil when he would write an invoice for a repair in [their] business.” The prognosis wasn’t what they were expecting to hear but other visits to neurologists also confirmed he had Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Interview with Hope & Michelle Segun 8-14-11

This is a terminal, degenerative disease of the motor neuron system and doctors “don’t even know why it happens.”

At the age of 37, he was “given 2-5 years” to live.  As Glennis was still talking, Scott interrupted and said, “[I] was so frustrated with this doctor who sat on the other side of his desk, being very professional but there was no care or seeming compassion to deliver this news to us. It was hard news to receive. [I told him], well, God can heal me.” Then, the doctor noticeably turned his shoulder to talk to Glennis “and just wrote him off for being in denial.”

This changed the “outlook of what was to come” for them. I asked him, “What were the fears that began to develop?” He said, “It was a battle in my mind” and Glennis chimed in to say, “Because the projection of death just says, ‘you are not going to win. It’s going to take you. You are going to go in this slow demise. So, the battle is always in the mind. There is a physical battle but more so, it’s so much to do with you not entering into despair, or depression.  He does amazingly have the joy of the Lord and his spirit is strong but he has to go to God for that.”

As the disease tries to wear Scott down, he tries to stand tall, toe-to-toe, ika ese si ika ese, mano-a- mano, pound-for-pound to it.  In doing this, he spoke again through an interpretation from Glennis, “Romans 4:18 [Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed …]” Glennis would add that this has been their motivational verse in the sense that, “God is good and you can hope. No one can take that away from you. You can hope till the end. When you don’t know if you have the faith, you don’t know you have the means, you can say, I can always believe for something more and be hopeful. Especially, [those] early years, hope was just a foundation for us.”

Scott began blogging about his experiences on deathvalleypromises.org  and among these were visions and dreams he had about healing, many people who believed in healing for him, and also “that he would serve God in Phoenix.” The family has been visiting the Phoenix area every year since 1999 because of this vision.  I asked them, “As a person of faith, is your approach different in tackling this disease?” Before I completed the question, Scott already finished the answer (smile). That’s, “Yes, I think it makes all the difference.” Glennis added, “We trust that God is good. So, there is no blame and there is no bitterness. We believe He allows things into our lives so that we can draw near to Him and we can go for directions, for guidance. We can bring our cares to him, and He cares for us. Had this not happened, our family would be very different. We are so very dependent on each other now.”

“One Hour With Hope” Show

This is such a powerful, inspirational story to share because this family did not seem to be down but determined to overcome this obstacle.  I asked, “When the doctor says there is no cure for a disease, people of faith like you turn to prayer. How much has prayer helped in this situation?” “It’s the only thing that God hears when we go to Him,” he simply said.  Glennis also reiterated, “… I think it’s just always having our thoughts concentrated and … keeping our minds fixed to draw near to God.  Because, there is just so much for anyone, there is just so much going on these days, with adversity people face. And we feel like we have our own adversity but people suffer in many ways … Prayer is vital to the Christian life.”

These two make a great team. Glennis would read whatever Scott wrote with his foot or what he said softly.  According to Glennis, there are good days and bad days just like every other family but it’s very comforting for us to see the attitude that the Brodie family demonstrates in living with this disease. And seeing Scott’s can-do attitude firsthand, I was prompted to ask him, “How would you encourage someone diagnosed with ALS to not be discouraged?” He said, “Just to be in the Word of God, to draw near to God in His Word and to believe God over what you hear.” Scott has outlived the 2-5 year window that was given to him and just passed the 14 year mark this month.

When I asked Glennis how she understands what he’s saying, she responded with a smile, “I don’t always get it right. He thinks I adlib sometimes.  We have been married 27 years and I know him very well. We have fellowshipped together. We hear the same messages together. I share books I am reading with him. I know him well. I don’t get it right all the time, but he’ll always spell with his feet if I need more clarification.”

We talked about what kept their marriage intact for all these years, daily routines, impact of this disease on his spiritual journey, etc. As we were rounding up the interview, we decided to follow Scott into his office.  Glennis helped him up and slowly we all walked forward. As we were about to enter his office, we didn’t have to look too far to see a sign above his door that read, “Dad’s Office, OPEN FOR ADVICE” and inside a white circle by it was “24/7”. I am not done yet, fans! He sat down, and wanted to let us know that he is a big fan of our show, too. He used his foot to work the magic to navigate to our fan page on Facebook.  I was astonished! In saying good bye to him, I sat down on the floor, lifted my right foot up to his right foot, did a high five and we parted. It’s our prayer and hope that his healing will come soon!

 

 

One Response to “One Hour With Hope Segun”

  1. Juergen Says:

    Very encouraging to always read of you and Glennis’s testimony of faith in your trials. God Bless. – JD

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