Real Heroes wear headsets.
Imagine a lifetime spent doing what you love. What does that even look like? We all basically have a love/hate relationship with our job. Not Jon Pawelkop. No sir. This is a man that has been doing what he loves for the past 39 years. This is a man that always keeps his head up. This is man that won’t let anything get him down.
Chances are, if you flew into the Tampa Bay area over the last 30 plus years, you talked to Jon. He worked in that God forsaken building almost as long as I’ve been alive. Anyone that worked with him (as this author did for 4 years) loved him. He is, and always will be the kind of person people gravitate towards. Always willing to take a point out, always willing to lend a hand when someone needed help, always the “go to guy” when there were a bunch of pussies too scared to work the final. This guy was a controller’s controller. This will always be so.
Recently Jon was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Now, as many of you may know, Parkinson’s affects the central nervous system. What many of you don’t know is, that many people that get diagnosed, don’t really get a lot of help with “How to Live” with Parkinsons. Sure, we live in the information age. As the Cable Guy said; “The future is now”. Unfortunately, you can spend hours, even days searching the internet for help, advice, or even stories. Most aren’t that helpful. Here’s a excerpt of my most recent text message with Jon”
“So…..a while back a go I noticed I had a slight tremor in my right hand when I was eating dinner…..it was hardly noticeable so I did not think much about it. Then it got a little worse and finally I went to the doctor, and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Since I have always been a very active person and stayed in shape I believe it prevented my condition from getting much worse. The last little while we have been doing research to figure out what to do to live my life as best I can, and we discovered Rock Steady Boxing! It has really helped my life for sure. I have seen so many other people with Parkinson’s, and the struggles they have with it. Everyone is different with their condition, no two people are a like they say. I am blessed to be in the position that I am and doing well despite the fact…..and at times I really struggle with knowing and also seeing others who have some real problems with their life. So I made it my goal to help as many people as I can, because I am able to…..I help others learn how to box and exercise to help benefit themselves. My wife and I went to Indy, where the program started and attended a class to become Rock Steady Boxing Coaches. Now we are working on getting our personal training degree so we can hopefully some day do a lot more instructing and coaching to help people in a Rock Steady Boxing class. I hope this helps explain everything…..if you have any questions please let me know……thanks so much for doing this, its a great organization.”
There you have it, a great person, doing something extraordinary. We, at Atcmemes, want to help Jon. From now until March 31st, One Dollar from each sticker, magnet, and patch sold, will be donated in Jon’s name, to Rock Steady Boxing. We’re not asking for anything extra from you, our fans. Just think about where the money is going when you purchase these items. Let’s try to make a better future for someone…for anyone. Thanks for your time, listening to my friend’s story.