Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"I had the pleasure of getting to know Jim over the past year. Within a short time of meeting him, it was easily apparent how amazing he was. I realized early on that he was someone I truly wanted to emulate -- though I always knew it was something I would never achieve. When talking about the "well-rounded" person, Jim was seemingly the poster-child. I was in awe at how he had not only excelled professionally & academically, but that he also managed to be a decorated athlete, a good friend, a loving family member, an inspirational mentor.... And then when I read the tributes today, I learned that was just a small portion of what Jim embodied.

Perhaps what exemplies Jim best, however, is my conversation with Gary today. I was telling Gary that Jim was the kind of person I had wished I could emulate, and Gary responded to me: "well, then, you better start working on your squat thrusts and sushi eating capacity- those are big shoes to fill!" Even in times like this, Jim's memory managed to bring out the humor in Gary.

While I am truly saddened by this tragedy, I am comforted by the knowledge that he had a such significant impact on many people's lives. Even those of us who only knew him for a short while have been touched quite profoundly by Jim."

Marla S. Kaufman, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
UW Medicine Sports and Spine Physicians at UWMCSeattle, WA

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