“Love from one being to another can only be that two solitudes come nearer, recognize and protect and comfort each other.” – Han Suyin [Elizabeth Comber]

Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel / Source: Boston Globe

I have been an ardent fan of 60 Minutes for over 25 years; and there has never been a time when I’m watching that I don’t find any of their segments life changing, informative (Halliburton), and just excellent news reporting.

Last Sunday, Sonia Vallbh and her husband Eric Minikel were featured in a story that left me in tears–but not tears of sadness, tears of joy. Sonia earned her B.A. in English literature from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School; while Eric holds a B.S. in Chinese from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in transportation and city planning from MIT. Currently, they are both doctoral students in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences program at Harvard Medical School.

This amazing couple has joined forces to combat a brain disease, called Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), that also took the life of her mom. Sonia learned in 2011, that she carries the genetic mutation that caused her mom to die of the prion disease the year before.  Because FFI falls within that family of brain diseases, Sonia and Eric are focusing their studies on Prion diseases, which are “fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by the spread of misfolded proteins across the brain.”

After watching this interview, it is clear that true Love never ends, and never stops in the face of overwhelming obstacles–just ask Eric and Sonia. While the cameras were on them both, the love in his eyes spoke volumes; along with the adoration, love, and respect that Eric clearly has for his wife. Sonia’s spirit is unmatched, encouraging, and heroic. She is not depressed and does not appear to be agitated or feeling like a victim. Instead, she’s definitely a victor because of her relentless pursuit to find a cure. And, we all know that it will not just be for her family, but for the world. AMAZING!!

So, in the face of that kind of determination, the question we need to ask ourselves is: why quit or give up? What do you have to lose by trying and giving it your all for the betterment of SELF?  It often seems like it would be easier to just make excuses for life’s dilemmas, or an “unhappy” childhood, or the fact that life hasn’t turned out in your favor, but are those excuses going to help us take ownership or accountability for life’s unexpected events? Likely not. Why not apply the energy it takes to make excuses to face your Goliath? When we have the strength to face our obstacles and tackle them, even a small step at a time, it is a better use of our energy than merely pointing fingers and playing the blame game.

Like Sonia and Eric, grab your life by the horns and take charge–knowing in the back of your mind that you can succeed and overcome anything that you put all of your heart, mind, and passion behind. It builds hope and reminds us of life’s exciting, joyful, and limitless possibilities.

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