Tyler Today April/May 2017 : Page 23

Authors Among Us Bionic Preacher Rising Above Muscular Dystrophy by Douglas Mehling Editor’s note: Douglas Mehling passed away in May 2016 from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He was the second oldest child in a blended family. His parents were Patti and Doug Mehling and Rita and Dennis Earhart. His stepmom and dad, Patti and Doug, are also the parents to Claire Cozad, Alex, Carlyle, Dan and Madeline Mehling of Tyler. During the last five years of Douglas Mehling’s life, he spent his time writing his life story. The result is the book, Bionic Preacher: Rising Above Muscular Dystrophy. It was his dream to share his book with others. The story he wrote is one of hope and encouragement. It embodies the values that Douglas lived as he sought to find enlightenment and spiritual guidance through his study of the Bible and his personal walk with Christ. He submitted the final draft of his book to the publisher the week before he died. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. It is the most common of the nine forms of muscular dystrophy. It is diagnosed in one in 5,000 boys at birth. The disease primarily affects boys, but in rare cases can strike girls. Symptoms begin in early childhood, typically ages three to five. It begins by attacking muscles. By the child’s early teens, it attacks the heart and respiratory muscles. Douglas was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of four years. He lived his life in a wheelchair from the age of nine. With the help of great caregivers and a wonderfully conscientious family, Douglas lived a longer life than the original seventeen years doctors predicted at the time of his diagnosis. Throughout his life, he craved knowledge and was an exemplary student, eventually earning a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Adventist University in 2013. The MDA Walk of Tyler will take place at Robert E. Lee High School on May 6th at 8 AM. To register or donate, contact Tiffany Bratcher at tbratcher@mdausa.org. For more information, call 903-574-1045. Bionic Preacher can be purchased online at Amazon (paperback copy) or Smashword (ebook version). Douglas Mehling a n d r i ta earhart tylertoday authors n o thing Coul D Keep h i M w D own B ionic P reacher Mehling and earha rt hen Douglas Mehling ca M e into the worl in 1982, his mother D Rita joined every other proud mother who holds high hopes and aspir ations for their childr en. Would he grow cure cancer or be up to president some day? It wasn’t until he was four that she learned how his life would be over shadowed by Duchene Muscular Dystrophy. What follo wed was a lifetime filled with medical emergencies, innumerable challenges , humor, and countless victories. Douglas adopted the life of an inquisitiv e, tenacious Christian young man who never up on his dreams gave even with the relentless , progressive onslaught crippling disease. of this Follow him through high school, college , the ministry and graduate school as he accomplishes what many thought impossible. His prevailing faith in God was the anchor holding him secur e through each difficult moment of his thirty-three years of life. Rising Above Muscular Dystr ophy Douglas Mehling graduated as senior class president, honors from southw with estern adventist university texas in 2006. he , Keene completed a Master of Divinity degree in 2014 while confin ed to a wheelchair and being ventilator dependant. he was able to preach on a regular basis for several years. his last accomplishment before his death in May, 2016 was the completion of this book, his share with others how god has used his challenges goal to glory to him. to bring F oreword Dr. Bill Kilgore by APRIL / MAY 2017 23

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