If this is HealthWise, you're about to read the story of a man fighting bone cancer. But if this is a Power of Prayer segment, then the story is a much bigger one to tell. Read for yourself how one man's struggle becomes a blessing through the Power of Prayer.
The bone cancer, you can't see it on an x-ray, but it would be on the inside. The core of this bone, which would be the bone marrow, in the case of David Ritter, was a challenge. Chemotherapy didn't kill the cancer. Neither did a bone marrow transplant. So, Dr. Cobos prescribed a second bone marrow transplant. But perhaps, the medicine that finally took hold was in a little box on his waist.
A pager that buzzed him at least 30 times a day, on the days he needed it most. "To let me know that there were a lot of people out there praying for me. And with all that support, there's no way you can give up," says David Ritter.
"I think that played a big role in his recovery. Both times with both transplants, he recovered faster than 99% of the people with transplants in this institution in the past 12 years," says Dr. Cobos.
Since July, David has been at UMC for weeks at a time, with pager in hand, and support team nearby, a wife and two daughters. "I would ask lots of questions. What's happening to my daddy?" says Rashael Gainey.
It was his oldest daughter, Rashael, who turned the cancer beast into a blessing with what is soon to be published as the Ritter Report a collection of daily e-mails updating and uplifting friends and family on her father's cancer battle, and always encouraging the pager prayers. "I was up and really sick, and the pager started going off," says David Ritter.
"At 2:00 in the morning?" I asked him. "What did that tell you?" "That I wasn't by myself," he says.
Ritter received pages from people he didn't know, and places he'd never been, as far away as Seattle and Vienna, Austria, but it wasn't just the power of the pager, Ritter received well wishes from hundreds of kids who dubbed themselves the Ritter Critters.
You see, David Ritter is the Vice Principal at Ed Irons Junior High. So, being the campus disciplinarian, he was visibly taken back when he returned to work Monday morning, 30 minutes before the bell, to find dozens of Ritter Critters and teacher friends waiting to welcome him on his first day back at school.
He is back at work. It is amazing. His interaction with people is what gives him strength.
"So good to see you back!"
"Good to be here," he says.
"I'm sure Mr. Ritter doesn't realize how much he touched all of us."
"It's made me even more sensitive to what the Lord wants me to do. He's shown me I have an influence on a lot of kids, and that he's not through with me. We still got some more work to do," says David.
David Ritter, it just makes you feel good to know him. The Ritter Report is being made into a book now, so that others can share from this story of cancer, recovery, and prayer. For more information on the Ritter Report (click here ).