I have to thank Angie Tate for nominating "Deputy David" as a 'Mo's Hero'! Such an inspiring story…hard not to fight tears as I learned what makes David Griffin, his wife and kids, so remarkable.
I'll start by telling you this, David is in a fight for his life right now at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem. He's been fighting cancer since 2010. But in talking with his wife Chrissy today, all I heard was gratitude and faith in every sentence she uttered…even talking about the disease that keeps taking swings at the love of her life.
"Even though he walks through this road of cancer again and again…people are so blessed by his fight! He is a soldier, a deputy, a man of God, and will gladly bear his cross and follow Jesus. I couldn't ask for a better husband!," she told me.
I'll take you back a few years to how Chrissy and David ended up in Lincolnton, North Carolina from Riverside County, California. David had completed a tour of duty in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. He then became a sheriff's deputy. He was diagnosed with leukemia in January of 2010. He fought the disease for three years but decided to leave the sheriff's department when cancer had taken the sight from one eye and took away the use of his left arm.
Chrissy told me, "Kind of hard to shoot if you can't see or handcuff someone without the use of two hands!" Her sense of humor is how she's always dealt with the tough blows. God, she says, has allowed her that because otherwise she'd cry.
In 2013 they decided to follow their lifelong dreams of having a farm. While searching for land in the southeast they found what looked like the perfect farm in Lincolnton. Chrissy believes, "God used his illness to move us out here. People ask 'How did you get to Lincolnton'? Well, a pastor's wife posted about her house for sale online and we saw it three hours after she posted it. God provided six acres of land with a barn already built. Honestly you know when God has you here!" They are farming. Chrissy says they give out eggs at church to people who need them and sell a few.
The Griffin's pastor at Covenant Bible Church in Lincolnton says, "God knew you needed us, and we needed you!" David, Chrissy and the kids really have needed their church family.
David, at 30-years-old, is fighting a recurrence of his cancer that has left him unable to walk. The church family and Chrissy always make sure someone is with David 24/7. He's been at the hospital since March 21st, probably has three more months in the hospital, according to Chrissy. She told me, "Doctors have no hope of him surviving or walking again." She points out, "But they said that in 2010, again in 2011, and when he relapsed in 2012 he was almost in a coma. They said he wouldn't make it in 2013 when he lost his eye and use of his left arm. And now it's 2015 and he's lost his ability to walk but he's still fighting!"
When I ask her how the kids keep up their spirits, "They've never known their daddy when he wasn't sick. God gives us emotions for a reason! When you ask the kids, 'How are you doing?' they reply, 'I'm fine, but would you pray for my Daddy?'"
Their church family wants David back home soon. He dances during services and serves as an inspiration, Chrissy says. "He is blind in one eye and only has use of one arm and every Sunday he is in church he's waving a 12' flag! Because he truly loves the Lord."
David and Chrissy, I'm so happy Angie shared your story of faith and fight! For those of us asking, "Why me?" when we face life's challenges, perhaps we'll remember your family. It's clear you believe that your fight has a purpose, to inspire others to a life of faith. Thanks for allowing us to share you as one of Mo's Heroes!