I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of my favorite pastimes growing up was skateboarding. I still get out now and then. We actually have a skatepark in the town where we live in Colorado. Colorado seems very friendly toward skateboarders. Almost every town or city I’ve been in has one or more skateparks. My best friend Erik and I skateboarded when we were growing up in Milwaukee. When I was fourteen, Erik died of cancer. In recent years I’ve been doing St. Baldrick’s Day. We raise money for kids with cancer by shaving our heads. It’s a neat way to remember Erik.
I went to medical school in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a really good school. They focused on the medicine, but were also very interested in cross-cultural issues, community service, and international health. About the time I started med school, my mother’s cousin, Fr. Doug, emailed me and invited me to come and see Bangladesh. Fr. Doug knew I was interested in medical mission work, and thought I’d like to see Bangladesh. Well, he was right.
I spent a month in Bangladesh the summer of 1999 and two months the summer of 2000. I got to meet many people there and make many good friends that I am still in touch with today. Of all the friends I made in Bangladesh, though, my friendship with Fr. Doug meant the most to me. He really is an inspiration for me, and I will never forget him. In December 2009, Fr. Doug passed away suddenly from leukemia. Maryknoll made a short video in remembrance of Fr. Doug. I really think it captures the essence of his life in Bangladesh.
I met my wife, Merindy, in California when we were in Family Practice Residency. She was a year ahead of me, but I was a year older. I had taken extra time in undergrad and med school to finish. So, I usually joke that I am a year older, but my wife is a year smarter.
We got married in 2005. In 2006, we went to Bangladesh for three weeks before we came to Colorado. Merindy has also been interested in medical mission work, so we make a good match. We’ve been to a number of places around the globe, both individually and together. After a lot of prayer, we finally settled on Bangladesh as the place we would like to do mission work.
You may have read in our About Us section that we have had a bit of delay in getting to Bangladesh. The delay, though, is God designed. We have plans currently to leave for Bangladesh as soon as our fundraising is up to 100% of goals, if God wills it. So, until then we are continuing to work in Colorado, raise our kids, and pray. God has a reason for everything. =-)