My 40th birthday was Saturday, April 12th. Although most weekends I fish a tournament, my wife and I were having friends over to celebrate my transition into old age. So, I decided to forgo the bass tournament scene and take my eleven year old crappie fishing that Saturday morning. Since I am a terrible crappie fisherman, I opted to spend a few hours on the lake Friday afternoon in hopes of finding some places to keep my son’s interest. I wandered around the lake caught a few crappie and was generally enjoying a beautiful spring afternoon when my phone rang. It was my friend, Brent Sain. “Have you talked to anyone yet?” he asked. “Jason’s got a brain tumor.”
My close friend, college roommate, best man in my wedding, and tournament partner, Jason Sain, had been feeling ill for the last three to four weeks with dizziness and trouble focusing. I knew he had a doctor’s appointment today, but had let it slip my mind that it was now 4:30PM and I hadn’t heard anything from him. I hung with Brent in a fog. It didn’t really hit me what was going on. It was like I didn’t really believe it. Shortly thereafter, I got another call from another close friend who had heard the news. I put the boat on the trailer and headed to the hospital.
We didn’t know the extent of his situation at the time. They definitely knew that it wasn’t good. They let Jason go home on Saturday morning and scheduled him to come back on Tuesday, April 15 for a biopsy. I celebrated my 40th birthday in a state of shock, fear and uncertainty. Ironically, Jason is two days younger than me so he got to celebrate his 40th preparing to go back to the hospital for more tests.
I spent the day Tuesday praying and trying to work, much more prayer than work. At 4:00PM I got a text from Jason sister. Malignant. Really bad stuff.
I headed for the hospital, not sure of what I could possibly do or say, but knowing I needed to be there. Unfortunately, there were complications from the biopsy- bleeding on the brain. Jason had to be rushed in for emergency brain surgery to stop the bleeding. In the social media, wireless world we live in, it didn’t take long for the waiting room to be filled with friends and family. We prayed, hoped, cried, and prayed some more.
With some physical therapy and stubborn strength, Jason recovered from the surgery. He and his wife Heidi began exploring options for treatment. They ended up at MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston where he is now, receiving intense and aggressive treatment for his condition. The doctors told them that what he has is very bad, but that they would do everything they could to treat and help him.
Jason and I have spent 100s of days in a bass boat together. We have spent 100s of days in a duck blind, standing in flooded timber, or deer hunting together. I hope and pray that we will get to spend some more of those days, together.
David Gnewikow and Jason Sain at weigh in, 2013"
On August 9, 2014, we will be having a benefit tournament for Jason out of Paris Landing State Park Marina on Kentucky Lake. Lord willing, Jason and his family will be there. I know August is a terrible time to have a big tournament like this, but I will not rest until we have 200 boats signed up for this event. All of the proceeds will go to help Jason with his medical, travel, and living expenses. If you fish tournaments, come out and help us support my friend. He is the toughest person I have ever met, and he is in the toughest battle of his life.
“In the blink of an eye everything can change. So forgive often and love with all your heart!
You never know when you may not have that chance again.” –author unknown
Until next time,
BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff