I first met Mikey Malone about 9 years ago right after I had blindly moved to Nashville after college graduation. He attended the same church my future wife did, so I was introduced to him one Sunday morning after the service. Aside from my future in-laws, I had nobody. Mikey welcomed me, as he does everyone, and I am now proud to count him among my friends. Since that day 9 years ago, Mikey has helped me lay a stone patio, he installed kitchen lights to surprise my wife for her birthday, we ran a half marathon together, we have played countless games of basketball, won chili cookoffs, lost chili cookoffs, supported me when I lost my Mom, counseled me when I lost my faith. He was at the hospital the day my first son was born, he has been at every birthday party we've thrown, we've shared our lives in small group, and shared a room at kids camp. I don't have a brother, and I know Mikey has three, but if I did have one, Mikey is exactly the kind I would want.
The funny thing is, my relationship with Mikey is not unique. A lot of people have stories like this about Mikey. I've never met someone who had something negative to say about him. When I describe Mikey to people, I tell them that he is the nicest guy you would ever want to meet, the type of person who would literally do anything for you, but Mikey is also one of the toughest people I've ever met.
Now he's facing a tough battle with cancer and I hope that all the people whose lives Mikey has touched through the years can help to touch his by supporting his family through this tough time.