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.i 4-B THE 1AYTOWN SUN Sunday, Augutt M, VMttl Sales surpassing expectations MI44 klly Imktat Ml In* Spews ImfItaniv kMi Hit Clement's book helps handicapped By LOUISE IHAW Sales of Mike Clement's book, "Rise to the Challenge," are surpassing all expectations, the young author says. A victim of multiple sclerosis, Clement Is youth minister of Central Baptist Church. The book resulted from his desire to help people through BA YTOWN EYE CENTER Dr. James G* McKinnon andsta// will continue to deliver quality eye care at the same location in Gulf Coast Hospital 2800 Garth Rd., Suite A that we have occupied for the past 16 years. * Routine eye exams /or glasses * Cataract surgery at "NO COST" /or medicare patients (including limousine service to & from hospital. % Contact lenses. •Radial Keratotomy. •Laser surgery * Emergency care (day or night). Please call /or appointment. 420-2440 emotional and physical handicap*. It describe! his struggle with multiple sclerosis and how, through an Inner strength, he Is coping with the condition. "1 had a message to help and encourage people," Clement said. Clement, 25, had symptoms of MS since the age of 15. His disease wasn't diagnosed, however, until January 1964. "Within hours following the diagnosis, I learned that MS is a disease of the central nervous system affecting a person's entire body, "he says. "Total debilitation, as frightening as it sounds, is also a distinct possibility in MS." Although he had many questions about his future — first as a college student and later as a minister — he decided to trust the Lord to help him reach his goals. "I rationalized my sickness with the belief that God had great plans for my life, plans which could only be possible if my health were to improve dramatically,'' Clement said. With UMM thought* In mind, Clement returned to cltiMt tt Sam Houston Stait University In Huntsville. With medication,Clement's health did Improve drastically. faith in the Lord and physical Improvement. tittle did Clement know at the time that the true test of his faith was about to begin. The effect of the medication "God hats a reason and plan for everything," Karl Scantlen, former Gander coach, wrote in a letter. "Mike, I consider you to be maybe the finest young man I nave ever know pick one individual that I thought could handle a situation like this, I would pick you." He was able to graduate from college and work that following summer as youth director at Central Baptist Church. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth became his next destination. He said friends were amazed at his positive mental attitude, MIKE CLEMENT, youth minister at Central Baptist Church, reads a passage from his book "Rise to the Challenge," which deecrlbc* hit battle with multiple sclerosis. The book is available at Keepaake Gift Shop, the Gingerbread Cottage, Anchor Bookstore and Gray Pharmacy. To schedule the author for a lecture, call Central Baptist Church office, 422-8381. (Sun itaff photo by Carrie Pryor) CRAIGS GREEN TAG SALE when you take an ALL GREEN TAGGED ITEMS ' EXTRA DISCOUNT WILL BE TAKEN OFF LOWEST TICKETED PRICE . ALREADY REDUCED AT LEAST 40% USE YOUR CRAIG'S CARD OR MAJOR CREDIT CARDS was beginning to wear off in late August and his physical condition declined drastically. He made the move to Fort Worth but was only able to stay five days. The 105-degree temperature sapped his strength. His fatigue was so bad that he couldn't stay awake during a one-hour orientation session. He was losing fueling In his feet and had a cons- .tant headache. The decision to return home was not made easily, Clement said. The former athlete was known in his hometown as a fighter. "I had never quit anything in my life, and now, this crummy disease left me no choice." His depression continued to grow as his life became an ex- litence of doctor's visits, bed- rest and reading. "In desperation," he said, "I continually searched for a way out of my situation, but no escape could be found. Always cheerful, talkative and optimistic before, 1 became depressed, quiet and negative, "For days at a time the only people I laid eyes on were my parents. "Now my sickness became more serious in that my legs became much weaker, most of my physical symptoms worsened and my fatigue became overwhelming." Following ndvlce of friends, ho read faith-healing books, went to several well-known faith healers and prayed for a miraculous- cure, Meanwhile, his condition worsened. "I lay in bed. imprisoned in a body which could no longer work as it should. With only a very limited life to which to look forward, self-pity set in. 1 honestly believed that the meaning and purpose which once filled lineup of my life had been drained," he said. One day in late November he held a "personal pity party" — a day when all of his negative thoughts came together and he dropped to the bottom of the pit. emotionally. "I can only thank God now. that on this very day, He began to pull me from the pits of despair. "He impressed upon my heart that day that my self-pity would never accomplish anything and that He could still use me in a powerful way despite my affliction. "That evening I asked God for forgiveness for my sin of self- pity." The next day a letter arrived from a former Gander football coach, Karl Scantlen. Scantlen told Clement to put his situation In God's hands and not to be afraid to ask his friends for help. "God has a reason and plan for everything," Scantlen wrote. "Mike, I consider you to be maybe the finest young man I have ever known. If 1 hod to pick one Individual that I thought could handle a situation like this. 1 would pick you. If 1 had a son of my own I would want him to turn out just like you." Clement said he began to realize that a person may not have control over a disease but can have control over his reaction to the sickness. In the next few months, Clements used positive thinking. proper diet and exercise to pull himself up emotionally and physically. And now, by watching his diet, getting exercise and plenty of real, Clement Is back into the ministry full-time. In addition to his duties as youth minister at Central, he preaches occasionally, visits or telephones the sick, actively work* with the MS support group and lectures regularly.