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After News Of Tumor, Man Makes A Request Of Others

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The sun sets over Lake Michigan on Aug. 8, 2014 on the day the author learned he had a tumor behind his eye for the second time. (CBS)

The sun sets over Lake Michigan on Aug. 8, 2014 on the day the author learned he had a tumor behind his eye for the second time. (CBS)

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Editor’s note: There is an important message at the end of this story that requires your attention. Thank you for reading.

By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) – You have a mass behind your eye.

The news was delivered by one of the doctors who saved his eye the first time.

The first tumor, found eight years ago, was much larger.

Now it’s back, or maybe it’s a different one.

Several more visits to specialists will provide those answers.

Now there are just questions.

Did the mass grow back in the same place?

Is it benign, like the first one?

Or …

Don’t think about that.

His mind wanders back to that day in July, 2006.

When he woke from surgery, he saw a clock on the wall.

It said 5 p.m.

A planned one-hour procedure had lasted nearly six hours.

It was complicated and messy. Additional surgeons were called in.

At one point, six hands were working in a tiny space between his eye and his brain.

Each time the surgeons tugged at the mass, which was stuck to the muscle, the doctors feared they would blind him.

Because of the tumor’s bizarre color, it was hard to determine the mass and from the fatty tissue found in a normal eye.

The surgeons, somehow, managed to save his eyesight and get the whole tumor.

Or they were pretty confident they did. These types of tumors are extremely rare, they said.

Two more surgeries to repair the damage were needed.

Every doctor who has read the reports or heard the story say the same thing.

“You were very, very lucky.”

That is true. Many, many people, some of his friends, haven’t been as fortunate.

This time, the news was delivered while he was preparing to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife.

Don’t worry. Watch the sunset, instead. Let’s just talk about nothing.

The children were told.

The nine-year-old daughter, shrugged and asked: “Well, what can I do about that?”

He liked that answer.

At first, he thought, there really is nothing.

Prayers and thoughts, one hears those words all the time.

Prayers and thoughts are nice.

But, maybe there is something.

As Boy Scouts are moving through the ranks, they are reminded of the group’s slogan: “Do A Good Turn Daily.”

It means to always look for opportunity to help others, without the expectation of a reward. Simple acts of kindness.

In the faith of his children and his wife, it is called a mitzvah.

Literally, mitzvah is a Jewish commandment.

Like a “good turn,” it also means acts of human kindness.

So rather than a prayer or a thought, how about an action.

An act of kindness.

Here is where you come in:

Please share this story with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and mention your acts of kindness. How about a hashtag, too: #goodturn

Let’s spread the word.

Let’s make our world a slightly better place.

Can you do that for him?

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