It’s not too often that you read a headline like this one and find yourself smiling and inspired, but that’s exactly what happened to me and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Longtime San Francisco Giants broadcaster, and former Giants pitcher, Mike Krukow has revealed he has a degenerative muscle disease known as inclusion-body myositis (IBM), according to C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle. Krukow, and his doctors, refer to it as a life-altering, but non-life threatening disease. Krukow has lived with the diagnosis for 8 years and has just began publicly talking about it, as it’s becoming more noticeable to those around him.
In the past year, Krukow has begun to wear braces on his legs for support. He carries a walking stick for balance. That’s telling, longtime teammate and broadcast partner Duane Kuiper says, because the last thing Krukow wants is to call attention to the disease and become the object of public sympathy.
“You are talking about a guy who used to run the steps at every major-league ballpark,” Kuiper said. “Now he can’t even go up steps. Guys would ask what’s going on, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s my back. Or it’s my knees. I’m just an old pitcher.’ “
The part that made me smile though was the attitude that Krukow and his wife Jennifer have about it. They talked about how they felt fortunate it wasn’t something worse. How, despite the struggles Krukow sometimes has keeping up and dealing with being on the road all the time, he has no plans to stop broadcasting and enjoying his family and his life.
He seems to come at it with the same Krukow grit that you’d expect from the former pitcher, saying how it still pisses him off. But he’s turned that grit into motivation. As his condition as worsened to the point that people have noticed him having to use a golf cart to get out of the (so he doesn’t fall down easily in the crowds), or his trouble doing down stairs or inclines, he’s began to talk more freely about it…while still not expecting any special or different treatment.
The only exception appears to be this.
On the road, Kuiper has quietly taken up duties as personal Sherpa, toting Krukow’s bags – not that anyone is making a big thing of it.
“Well look, I sat next to him on the plane for 25 years,” Kuiper said. “If I’m not going to carry his bag, who is?”
“Kuip says he wants to do this until he is 80,” Krukow said. “So do I.”
The full article is a good read, and better written than I have put down here. Head over to the Chronicle and give the full article a read.