Health column: Cancer survivor inspires reporter

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

Oct. 9, 2011 at 5:09 a.m.

One look into Patrick Kutchka's pastel green-blue eyes is enough to send a shot of inspiration through your body.

I was lucky enough to sit down with Kutchka last week and listen to a journey nearly three years in the making.

From beating cancer to preparing for a half marathon, Kutchka is nothing short of amazing.

Oh, did I forget to mention he's lost a whopping 140-something pounds?

But really, Patrick showed me that his story of inspirational proportions isn't about surviving a rare cancer or about his dramatic weight loss, but about one common theme: You can do anything you set your mind to.

For Kutchka, it's about the constants in his life: his loving wife, Misty, his four kids and God.

All these come together and offer a wonderful cushion of support.

This got me thinking about how healthy my own wellness is. And to be honest, I'm not that healthy.

Many times, I prove myself flaky.

New Year's resolutions? Yeah, those do not exist for me. The idea of accomplishing something wonderful or exposing some untapped talent exists, but it usually falls through somehow.

But what Kutchka has managed to do is remain victorious in the face of a deteriorating situation.

I couldn't break contact with Kutchka's eyes. I saw the change in his eyes. But I had never met the man before, so how could I see this change?

It was this glimmer; something you don't see often. What I really think I saw was drive in its truest form.

It is so much more than just jogging several miles a day for Kutchka. He's managed to turn his whole life around.

His eating habits have changed as has his outlook on life.

Kutchka was telling me about this one bad run he had.

He walked.

He couldn't do his 9-mile jog, so he walked a mile.

He explained to me in detail how defeated he felt over the situation. Personally, when I hit roadblocks like this, not only with something physical like exercise, but with life in general, I stay blocked, trying hard to find a way around this roadblock.

But Kutchka just walked right around the roadblock and was back on the trail yet again, going even further than before.

So, whenever you're feeling unaccomplished or like you're facing overwhelming odds, consider what is a constant in your life.

Kutchka is just another man in Victoria - living, breathing and sleeping just like the rest of us. The only difference is that he's learned to grab life by the reins and go forward with no stop in sight.

Truth is, Kutchka really did deserve that mile walk.



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