One year ago today an oncologist at Methodist Hospital told Mary Pat to get prepared because I had one or maybe two weeks left to live. Today I took Mary Pat to Luckenbach, Texas to listen to the Pickin Circle, to drink Shiner Bock beer, and to celebrate life.

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There are a lot of people to thank for my extra year of life. First there’s Mary Pat who nursed me back to health and kept me from giving up. Then there’s my brother Mark Lagarde who donated the stem cells that have fought off the Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Our friend Kim-Anh Do was instrumental in getting me into M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. I could not have survived without Dr. Hagop Kantarjian, Dr. Richard Champlin, and their assistants and nurses who steered me through two clinical trials and a stem cell transplant. Take it from me, make every day count, hug your loved ones, and never ever give up.

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