If you are a female and over 55… watch this!!!

If you are a female and over 55…Play this video NOW!

Even if you have female grandparents in that age group, this video will be pertinent to suffering a stroke.  What do I get from this video?   I didn’t think of her as needing someone..but after seeing this video, I will pay more attention my wife.  I couldn’t image losing someone I love. As we get on in years, this really hits home; I will cherish each day I wake up and see my beautiful bride.

Another milestone appeared at my bible study…

Are you ready for this?

I don’t raise my RIGHT hand when I yawn!

I will back up for a minute.  When I first hand my stroke, the doctors said it was “normal” to raise my right arm every time I yawned. After 7 years, I sort of gotten used to it.  Even in church last Sunday, I raised my right hand after yawning (please don’t tell Paster Dave). Jill and I both laughed…and one of the congregants saw it and mentioned my hand raising.

Then last Thursday, when I was at my bible study (believe me, it is a coincidence), I yawned and I did NOT raise my right arm!  I don’t know about you, but this a MAJOR deal for me.  I practiced yawning the rest of the evening (when I returned home), and I didn’t raise my hand …ever!  I couldn’t wait to tell Jill about this.  She wanted to wait for the following week to see it was just a fluke.

So I agreed. If it is a fluke, I will edit my email before sending.  If not, you will get this one.

OK, I will say it again:  You don’t know how HAPPY I am; it will be almost 12 years since my stroke and I am STILL improving!!!!!

Side Note:  Did you click on the article that explained why my arm went up when I yawned?  I kept reading it, but got lost in the second sentence. I guess I know why I wasn’t a doctor!

…what will come next?

I can’t believe it is the new year.  I don’t know about you, but 2019 seemed to drag on!  Given that, I am excited for 2020. Some say it’s a new decade,… some say it isn’t.  Who cares!

I have a lot in the works regarding my speaking and I can’t wait to see where it leads. As of now, I have only 2 gigs…and it may lead to 12…we will see!  I can’t believe I have 10 projects in the works!  All I can do is my job and that’s it.  I wouldn’t complain, what good would that do.  I can’t worry.  Again…what good would THAT do.

I have to do my job…and that is what I like most!  Isn’t life great? I get to spend one more day with my family and can see what THEY are accomplishing.

Happy New Year!

We were driving down the road, listening to the radio when an old Boston song came on. I don’t know the singer’s name but I know he killed himself a few years ago. It caused us to ponder the paradoxes of life. By all appearances, the singer had everything and yet…

Here we are, not with a lot but we have all we need. More importantly, we have the knowledge and assurance that this life is short and temporary. But our eternity is assured. Heaven that awaits us is the prize worth waiting for. Did the singer know that? Did he have that hope and assurance?

It is hard to see a person with all the fame, fortune, success, and talent that others dream of, yet be overwhelmed with darkness and emptiness. It is a tragedy. Let’s not let darkness get a foothold. Let’s do what we can to spread light and fill it with joy and the peace that passes understanding. Let’s make it a great New Year.

Don’t I sound really smart writing this?  My wife wrote it!

A Special Keynote speech….

I delivered a “special keynote” speech at OHSU for a group of Thailand professionals who were at OHSU for a week.

I was unsure if they were hearing my speech, so I decided to test it on my own.  In the beginning, when I say “In March of 2008, I suffered a massive stroke,” I put smile on my face; at least 50% of the audience smiled. At that point, I had to slow it down, so maybe they could get a feel for what I was to say.

It was challenging giving my talk, but fulfilling that they were there to learn.  Not once did I see the attendees look at their phone…and I appreciated that.  We gave them a copy of the book, Painful Blessing. That is me, the tall one in red in the center.  That felt really good to say that.  And who said I didn’t have the Christmas spirit!

That is Connie Amos next to me.  We think the world of Connie and will do anything she asks.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!  I will be talking the next
two weeks off.

30 Years of Marriage Celebrated last week….

Commitment is everything!

This was my 30 year wedding anniversary; we spent it at The Nine’s Hotel in Portland! What a great time we had; unfortunately, we both got sick!

We came home the next day and we both felt a little off.  We spent the next 2 days  sleeping/napping.

Not quite what you want 30 years a marriage to bring, but we slogged through it. I wanted to go on a cruise for this miraculous 30 years, but that didn’t come to be.  We settled on the Nine’s and it was great to be there.

I think THAT is why we are so happy.  My wife can give you some others, but here are mine:

1. Marriage is 100%/100%, NEVER 50%/50%
2. Simple acts of love keep 2 people knitted together
3. Never go to bed mad
4. Always compliment each other
5. Be happy with what ever you are doing….even if it is going for a walk
6. Wake up and Bless each day you are alive
7. Commitment is everything; be committed to each other

OK, I said that already in the first line, bit I think is is important. Now you know our secret; please reach out and share your secrets.

10 MORE days…

This is me on Day 20… it its starting to be itchy!  Honestly, I don’t know why guys have beards.

Can you believe it has been a year already? Can you tell this is me?  OK, it has only been a day! When I first started this, I thought it would be great not to shave for a month. Then as I went two weeks, I couldn’t wait for the time to end. I hated growing a beard…and that is why I do it!

Is there anything you hate…or dislike greatly? Cancer? Diabetes? Depression? Pain Managment? This is the time for you to do something about it!


This is when guys all across the country drop their razors for an entire month until December 1st rolls around. Some men view it as a competition to see who grows the best beard and others do it truly to support the cause.


At some point in the last couple of years you have probably heard of “no shave November”. The whole purpose of no shave November is not to let your beards grow crazy, but to raise awareness for different kinds of cancer including prostate cancer. The goal is to donate the money you normally would use to get a haircut or groom your facial hair to St. Jude or other cancer research charities.

This is a great tradition but the real no shave November meaning and significance often gets lost among all of the jokes, hashtags and hype created by the media. Many men don’t even realize why they do it. Some use it as an excuse to not shave for a whole month. Although the no shave November cause of cancer is a great cause to support, there are other alternative ways to show your support.


So, how did no shave November start? No Shave November started after a father in Chicago passed away from colon cancer. His 8 sons and daughters started this campaign in 2009 in honor of their father. Over 6 years this became a popular thing to do among many throughout the country.

There are a lot of things that people don’t tell you before you decide to participate in this official month of no shaving. From trends to setbacks and to just straight opinions. Even if you like facial hair on a guy, or as a guy it only goes to a certain point. No one likes beards or mustaches that look unkept. Many girls like a man with a well groomed beard, but if you happen to be one who doesn’t, chances are “No Shave November” is not your month.

10 More Days
OK, I can think of ONE thing: I don’t have to do ANYTHING with my face.  I get up, brush your teeth, and get dressed.  On weekends, my wife and I awake at the same time. I take 5 minutes; she takes a 45 minutes.

True, she looks way better than me, but it still took her 45 minutes.

So I will spend another 10 days with my beard….but it comes off December 1.

My Donation:

Hello Gordon Viggiano,

Thank you for your donation to No-Shave November! Your generous gift helps support programs at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Prevent Cancer Foundation, and Fight Colorectal Cancer. All four of these foundations are making great strides to fight, research, and find a cure for cancer, each in their own unique way.

For tax purposes, please keep this email as your receipt.

Donor: Gordon Viggiano
Organization: No Shave November (Tax ID #473673254)
Date: 11-20-2019
Amount: $100

And one more testimonial this year….

We were very grateful to have Gordon and Jill open our 2019 International DI Society Conference. Their story of overcoming such an unexpected challenge in their lives with determination, teamwork and faith was simply put, inspiring. Gordon infused into his speech humor and a positive attitude that was infectious. His talk reinforced the need for all the 130 advisors, wholesalers and corporate leadership attending our meeting to promote the benefits of a sound income protection plan.

We were especially impressed by the tenacity Gordon and Jill showed to painstakingly build on every day, smaller successes that ultimately led to sustained progress. Their journey is one of triumph from which we can all learn.

Thank you, Gordon and Jill, for joining us in San Diego.

Don Schamay, CFP®
International Disability Insurance Society

Does Anybody Care?

No Shave November.  Remember the first time I wrote about this in 2013?  I showed this link of Al Rocker and Matt Lauer going in for their prostate exams.  That was a good thing!

About one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Not counting skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second most-common cause of cancer-related deaths, according to the US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If anybody over 50 is NOT getting this done, forward him the article.  If he still refuses, make an appointment FOR him and MAKE him go.  1 out of 6 are diagnosed with prostate cancer.  If you catch it NOW, he WILL be saved.

Now, 6 years later, I don’t see anybody doing it!  Did we forget about it?  Is prostate cancer not a problem anymore? Are we safe from prostate cancer?

It is sad.  I care…and my brother cares; Prostate screening every year has saved his life!


It is that time again….

It’s that time again: No Shave November…Day 3 (a few days ago).  I will tell you more about it on future blogs.  Let me ask  you this question: Do I look different now,  then I did 6 years ago???

6 Years AgoNOW

 Maybe I look an even younger now?  You could dream!