Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011: I better get my sunscreen...


...because tomorrow night, I head to Egypt.

Yeah, I know, where the heaven did THAT come from?

I guess this is how these things sometimes work.  God says, "JUMP!" and I say, "[groan] How far?"

He says, "TO EGYPT!"

I say, "Uh, wow.  Okay."

Now, you may be wondering what a nice boy like me is doing heading to Egypt tomorrow seemingly out of nowhere.  Good question!  I'll tell ya...

I am accompanying a good friend at his request.

So, I guess you could say, "Let it be said that I will travel the ends of this earth to fund this cure."

Mind you, I was planning on staying off the continent of Africa this lifetime.  Seriously.  Not even the World Cup could get me there.  However, to have the opportunity to vacation with this crew for a week and really connect with them and their spouses, well, you just can't plan such good fortune.

God has a plan.

I leave the Egypt tour early before their 4 day boat cruise down the Nile to be back in time to turn around and head back to Minnesota for a wonderful 5 day reunion with all our friends to witness the wedding of one of Bella's main nurses, Renee.  We will also be in meetings with Dr. Wagner and Tolar, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, PUCK, and Children's Cancer Research Center - essentially the adoptive parents of PUCK (we use their tax ID number and they help us with SO MUCH to get going). Ali, Ang and I leave for Minnesota next Thursday.  I return from Egypt next Tuesday.  Don't call on Wednesday, I'll be doing laundry and working in the office!

I want to take this opportunity to not only thank my friend Joe for this once in a lifetime opportunity, but I also want to say to you all how lucky I am to be married to Angelique.  Her power is only matched by her flexibility.  She is willing to see other people's vision, even if it isn't her own, as valuable.  If it wasn't for her support, this trip wouldn't happen.  Thank you, honey.  You are beyond amazing, and I am beyond blessed to be your hubby.

Now, do I have fear?


Am I nervous?

Overwhelmed is more like it.


Yes.  I.  am.

I'm going anyway.

How are any of us ever going to get anywhere new if we're not willing to try something new?  Do you really think that I would be able to manifest $3 million by using the same thinking and action that got me this far in life financially?  (Hint - I haven't made or raised a tenth of this number before)  Are there others out there that have already done this?  Yup.  Shouldn't I go learn it from THEM?  Yup.

I know better than to reinvent the wheel.  People raise millions upon millions a year for medical research.  I am not special or different or better than anyone else.  I am just REALLY, REALLY CLEAR about the result I will produce and why.  Think about it.  The best results you've achieved in any area of your life were a sum of the same traits.  Clarity and purpose.  Then, you ACTED.  Without action, we're all just sitting around a coffee shop pontificating.

I don't even think I am nearly the key piece of the chain to have this cure become real.  To me, it is the docs.  There are thousands of people who can provide the funding, but only a handful that can do the research.  Without the research, we have nothing.  More of us can contribute to the funding than to the research.  That's why it's up to us to do our part, and them to do their part.

I'm going to Egypt and I am coming back with a plan.  My plan, however, is just a plan.  It is just a piece of the pie.  The skin cells are growing in these kids, but that is only a piece of the pie.  There is much more to learn.  I'm just the one with the megaphone at this brief moment at the world party to cure EB.  There are so many more who have already done so much more, and will continue to do so.  I just know that when I die, and I appear before Bella, I'll be able to say with a clear conscience, "Hi honey, I did everything I could to make it better."

Know what the BEST part will be?

When she says, "Yeah, daddy,  I know you did.  I love you.  Now come here and give me that hug you've been waiting to give me!"

Wish me luck, and send love and strength and support to Ang while I'm gone.  If you are local and wanna cook a mild casserole, email Ang at and ask her what she'd like.  That would be most appreciated!  Ang and Ali have been going back and forth with "that stomach thing" that is out there.

Thank you for your support of us all.

God night.


  1. WOW! You are gonna love love Egypt!!! I have been there before, and loved it! My uncle, (who married my aunt *mom's sister*) is Egyptian...soooo we, as a family, have an apartment in Alexandria. Get ready to see some wild street curtosy @ all....they do not obide by the set street lanes...LOL
    I'll email Ang to see what I can bring and what day works best :)

    ps...I've been meaning to ask....are there any new children in the study? Do they have blogs?

    Safe travels- God be with you!

  2. What is it that you have against Africa? Just curious. Africa is a beautiful country!! Just saying. enjoy and safe travels:)

  3. Very exciting...have a blessed trip!

    Will keep you and Ange & Ali in my prayers...wish I could send food from NJ!


  4. WOW - SUPER EXCITING! I am pretty darn envious! I have always wanted to go to Egypt! Go enjoy and plan, plan, plan!

    You are right about Ang too - she is the best!

    Safe trip and praying for much to be accomplished!

    Tina in NJ

  5. WOW, what an opportunity! I have to say I know what you mean about being aprehensive though, my husband is Egyptian, and as a child I always wanted to travel there. Recent politics have made me hesitate to go, but I will tell you: for Bella...I would go in a heartbeat!

    Blessings to you and Joe and the rest of your travel goup...may you travel safely, and create a crystal clear, mighty vision!

    Blessings to Angi and Ali as well, that they finally overcome the yucky stomach thing...and are healthy when you return :) Can't wait to hear all about your adventure...all the best to you!

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  7. I hope you have a wonderful and safe trip! Our prayers will be with you, Ang, and Ali during the week ahead.

    Love from Tennessee

  8. Awesome! Enjoy Egypt and look forward to hearing your plan :D

  9. I have to echo the "WOW" that others have said. What an amazing opportunity. Wishing you safe travels and success in hatching your plan. Your commitment to the cause is truly inspiring.

    Blessings to you, Angelique, and Ali...

    A friend in NC

  10. Dearest Tim

    It's looking a bit volatile particularly in Cairo at present - protests against President Mubarak seem to be heating up. But I know you'll be cautious and careful while there - and, despite sometimes troubled chapters in its recent history, it is simply splendid - chaotic, beautiful, original, with its breathtakingly ancient ruins and monuments everywhere you look.

    Travel well, Tim. Enjoy and reenergise.


  11. AAWESOMME!!! Sending thoughts of a safe adventure full of learning.

  12. I step away for a bit (we have that same bug Ang and Ali are sharing) and look what I come back to! Wow...Tim...what an opportunity.

    I did some catching up on old posts. I love the last few pictures of Bella. Simply beautiful. She has been on my mind frequently have all of you.

    I hope Ang and Ali start feeling better soon. I cant believe how that little "bug" is holding on here.

    Sending my love to all and the sweetest of kisses to Ali.

    Denise WI

  13. WOW Tim, I am so excited for you!!! What an adventure!! I've never been to Egypt but, I've always wanted to go there and see the wonderful sights. And learn all of the GREAT history there. Not only are you going to have a wonderful trip filled with great scenery and history but, you are going to be able to knock around ideas with some great people and help make this $3 Million goal a reality!! How AWESOME!! I hope you will be able to blog from there but if not, please take LOTS of pictures and get ready to tell us all about it!!!

    I'll keep Ang and Ali in my prayers. I hope they get to feeling better soon and that you have a safe trip.

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie, and Liam
    The McLaughlin Family, CA

  14. Wow! We will be praying for you on your trip and praying for your girls while you are gone! So excited to see you guys when you are in mn!

    God bless! Much love!
    Amanda Schauer

  15. WOW!! I was excited when I got to take a trip to NY yesterday - Egypt is definitely an upgrade!! Please be safe over there and hope it's a productive time. Praying for all of you, and for Ang and Ali while you're gone. (Would offer to cook something but it won't travel well from here!)

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for Team A)

  16. This is fantastic news for you and all of your efforts in finding a cure for EB. You know Bella is telling all the EB angels "that's my Dad and watch him go to work for us".

    God keep you safe, strong in heart and watch over Ang and Ali while you are gone.

  17. You are amazing! I love it!!! Have a safe trip and best of luck to Ang holding down the fort, I know she will do fine. The Ringgold family sure doesn't mess around!!! Woooohoooo!
    Prayers and love to you all,

  18. Seriously?? You're going to Egypt?
    This is shocking news!
    I had *NO* idea ;)
    (Ken says to take lots of photos, as he teaches a unit on Egypt!!).
    Its so exciting...the masterminding and the new places to see and witness. Will you be blogging from there? Awesome! I'm going to email Ang and see what she needs....
    Have a wonderful time, safe travels.
    Can you bring me something cool??
    Love from home...

  19. God does have a plan. Not being a world traveler myself, when my job unexpectedly took me to the Middle East, I had some questions myself - yes I admit to questions. I have now been a number of times and can't tell you the blessings that I found in that land.

    I thank God every day for having a plan that took me out of my comfort zone and continues to show me what he needs me to do.

    Be open to Him.

  20. Tim,

    I think I had my 'practical traveller's hat' firmly on my head when I added my comment. Having travelled across many allegedly dangerous parts of the world when I was young and then not so young, I have to say that the world has only ever offered me riches. Riches in abundance. I have no clearly defined God who watches over me, but I do know that I have been blessed to see the best of places and the best of people during history's not so good times - and that includes Egypt.

    These days, I travel less widely (or perhaps less outrageously - my young children keep me grounded in the best way). However, I have to say that I have been on some big adventures recently - none wilder, none sadder, none more inspiring and none more uplifiting in recent days than that of Bella and her family.

    Whatever Egypt brings to you, Tim, I know you will reap the profoundest rewards.

    Journey well. I know these travels will enrich you and your path towards a cure...

    Fondly, twice in one day (!),


  21. O, Egypt is an interesting place for a restless mind like yours. :) I think you will like the change. And your companions seem very interesting too. Good luck and have a nice time! A friend of mine spent 2 weeks in Cairo in November and said it was nice, they only asked him if he will sell his blonde girlfriend for a pack of camels. :) Enjoy the food in Egypt, you don't have it in USA.

    Good luck to Ang with her everyday activities while you were gone!

    And - I believe your imaginary dialog with Bella will come true one day. I am looking to a dialog of that kind myself.

    Best wishes,


  22. I love this picture of Bella.

    I hope your trip to Egypt is thoroughly enjoyable and productive. By the way, Africa isn't that bad. Yes, there is unfortunately lots of crime and violence in parts, but it is incredibly beautiful and there are a lot of amazing people as well. I hope that one day you might have the opportunity to also experience the southern parts of Africa as well.

    Greetings from South Africa!

  23. Wow! God indeed works through mysterious WAYS! Have a nice and profitable trip.

    Very best,
    Carla from Portugal

  24. These photos of Bella are precious. I love that you share them. It's like you are really sharing your little girl with us and very private moments to keep her ALIVE in our hearts!

    Stay safe in Africa. Be open to blessings!