This is the inspirational story from Bob Harthcock. From 1952 to 1982, Bob worked at the ARMCO Steel Plant in Houston, the largest steel plant west of the Mississippi.
Bob Harthcock had no earthly idea that the asbestos fibers he breathed in daily as part of his job, were in fact a ticking time bomb, that would one day cause the deadly cancer mesothelioma. He had no earthly idea that the white powdery substance that he brought home on his work clothes would endanger his family. He had no clue that when Jean shook out his clothes before doing laundry, this would one day cause her to suffer from asbestosis and lose 40% of her lung’s diffusing capacity.
Bob and Jean,his wife are people that anyone would be proud to have as neighbors. They are totally devoted to each other, to their fellow man and to their faith. They have made the best of their situation.
For the last 10 years they have been full time volunteers, not earning a penny and even paying their own expenses. They have traveled all over Texas and Mexico helping build homes for the homeless and churches for the poor. They have volunteered in hospitals and in ambulances as paramedics. They have taught English and Bible classes, and helped prepare food for the poor in Mexico and Central America, and for theApache Indians in New Mexico.
Like Bob, many people with this disease are told they will survive 6 to 8 months after diagnosis. Bob has been breaking records with a seven year survival as of 1999. His doctors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston are perplexed. Bob, who is a religious man has told them “try prescribing prayer”.
Bob Harthcock lost his valiant battle with mesothelioma on May 28, 2000, after helping many others deal with this disease. Bob’s great-grandson was born on the day of his death.