January 10th, 2012
09:29 AM ET

Heisman Trophy winner: Expect life to be tough

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship - they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week, Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL player Danny Wuerffel talks about his battle with Guillain Barre Syndrome, and why he left the NFL to run Desire Street Ministries.

"Life is tough."

I remember hearing those words often growing up, especially from my father when things weren’t going my way. I hated those words as a kid... and I still do.

Something inside me resists any suggestion that life shouldn’t be comfortable.

In early June of last year I was diagnosed with a condition known as Guillian Barre Syndrome, an auto-immune disorder that left me temporarily paralyzed. While the acute and debilitating part of GBS didn’t last too long for me, I’ve been battling with my recovery for over seven months now, and the difficulties in my life related to the illness continue to make life much harder than I want.

Overall, I’m doing better and I’m thankful for the progress (most people tell me I don’t look sick anymore, and some days I can be pretty active). But I regularly feel I don’t have the ability to keep up with even a few activities each day. I feel like I’m in a NASCAR race on a moped.

Life is tough?

Being sick is tough. Raising kids is wonderful but tough. Marriage is beautiful but also tough. Ministry is often tough. And that’s before you throw in hurricanes (we lost our home in Katrina) and GBS. Perhaps those words from my father revealed more truth than I realized.

In Richard Rohr’s book "Adam’s Return" - a book surveying how various cultures initiate their boys into manhood - he says that one of the first tasks is to force the boys to experience the “toughness” of life, often through difficult, painful and sometimes bloody ordeals.

If a boy is forced to accept the fact that life will be tough, then at least he doesn’t have to spend the rest of life getting bent out of shape and surprised every time he encounters the difficulties of life in a broken world.

It’s tough enough to deal with the hardships in life, but to have a false expectation that life will be easy - that we somehow deserve things to be easy - that can turn a tough moment into an unbearable one.

Yet every time I turn on the television or see a magazine cover, I’m barraged with messages to the contrary. You should be happy, and you deserve it. We live in America, for heaven’s sake. Unfortunately, I hear many similar messages from pastors and authors. Contemporary faith in America often mirrors our culture’s obsession with the “good life.”

Life has a lot of seasons, and some of them are filled with joy, gladness and celebration. There are many times to laugh and smile.

But we shouldn’t get swept away by the illusion that life has only one season, and it’s always delightful. Why can’t we be people with the depth, courage and trust to embrace the hard and heavy things of life?

I believe God resides not only in the joy and new life associated with the season of spring, like a reward if we somehow survive winter. We can find him in every season... if we’re willing to look long and hard enough.

I just happen to be in a tough one right now. It’s winter for me.

I trust a new season is on the way. God will bring me spring when He is ready. He just wants to meet me in the winter right now.

I remember my father’s words, “Life is tough, Danny.”

He was right.

soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Bud in NC

    Danny- As a fellow Gator alum. Good message. Keep up the good fight. Fourteen months ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 Colorectal cancer. Life can be a struggle. I have remained positive all the way and the prognosis is good that it may be under control. Your message is good for everyone. Good luck.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Clayton

      Thanks for sharing a little too Bud. Good health to you and I hope everything stays under your control.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • sara

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      January 10, 2012 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  2. Mary Anne

    Life is tough! There is no need to manufacture a "tough" scenario to teach boys to become men or girls to become women- as you have already noted- life is tough. I am sorry you are going though a difficult time. You are still a gator and gave us fellow gators much to cheer about during your time at Florida. You gave us much to laugh about at homecoming when you showed your comic mucsical side- laughing about how nobody remembered you now that Tebow was in town. You do much for you new local community in Decatur, Georgia and your family and friends. While you are experiencing life- the tough parts- don't forget to celebrate to wonderful parts that are not tough. Come on gator- get up and go!

    January 10, 2012 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Steve

    My best friend had GBS a few years ago. He was in the shower one day and he fell over and couldn't get up. He mustered all the strength he had just to crawl to the phone for help.

    He ended up in the hospital for six weeks. His recovery took almost two years to get back to full strength.

    Its an absolutely debilitating disease that I wouldn't wish on anyone. To watch him go through it was painful and scary.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Madero

      Steve, I feel as though your story was partially told. How did everything work out? A positive end I hope for your friend and Danny W?

      January 10, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Yes, he's doing fine now. His cheek sags a bit when he smiles, but other than that, he's back to normal

      To see him in the hospital, though, with supports on his feet to keep them straight up so his leg bones didn't warp and being weak to the point he could barely talk, was frightening.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |

    Quit your bellyaching, people get sick all the time and dont have near the resources or support you have. Your one of the blessed 1%'ers yet you still belly ache like a Seminol.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ann

      he doesn't sound like his is bellyaching to me. Just trying to teach people what he has learned.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • David


      January 10, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • CA

      ...and learn how to spell Seminole if you're going to talk crap.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • NB

      I don't get a sense that the writer is complaining about his lot in life, rather trying to inspire others to deal with theirs. This article is positive in every way.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • HaHa

      There's an organization called the Communist Party that loves whiners like you. Anyone doing better financially than you must be a hated "1%'er". I started out as about a 80%er, now I'm a 3%er, and hope to be a 1%er soon. Not everyone's brain is big enough to become a 1%er, obviously that includes you.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:45 | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      You, Sir or Madam, are clearly an imbecile.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:57 | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      Troll. Gatorsuk

      January 10, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse |
    • Satirev

      @HaHa, You're a real genius all right. If getting to the 1% requirs a high IQ as you claim, then you did nothing to earn it as IQ is 100% genetic. You just proved people like Marx and Engels to be correct.

      Oh, and the biggest whiners by far are those who costantly complain about the whiners.

      January 10, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • carlysimone

      I have less then you, so should give me what you have.
      I h@te successful people, and people who work multiple jobs to survive. Just let government take care of you and raise the55% rate on the "rich" to 100% to pay for it.
      What's yours is mine.
      I'm B@ rr0ck 0B@m@ and I approve of this message.

      January 10, 2012 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • Seminole

      Seriously?!?! He's not bellyaching... he's teaching others not to do so as well. He's a great example.

      Maybe reading slower will help your comprehension...oh, and learn to spell Seminole. 🙂

      January 10, 2012 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
    • Troll_sweeper

      Excellent trolling with amazing results.
      Congratulations – you hooked a bunch of suckers.

      January 10, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • Dino

      Good one Gator!

      January 10, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • Corn

      You're the 99%, right? Because so am I. And the best place for you is under a bus. Idiot.

      January 10, 2012 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  5. Reason & Logic

    While I sympathize with him, Wuerffel had a six-year career in the NFL so should be eligible for a pension. In some cases that's much more than what the regular Joe has to deal with. How about the disabled vet who can't find a job after serving his country, or the single mother trying to work and raise her kids at the same time, or the homeless person on the street who is just trying to survive through the next night. I don't think Wuerffel would get much sympathy from these people.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • coffeepot

      The NFL healthcare only lasted 5 years after their retirement. After all the discussion about it during the recent CBA negotiations, I was left with the impression that up until 2011, NFL players' health insurance expired after 5 years, meaning he has no health insurance through the NFL.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • Dwayne

      I think your missing the point. He wasn't looking for sympathy he was sharing a message that life IS tough and not to get caught up feeling sorry for yourself.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • NB

      I think you're missing the point of the article and being way too cynical. He's not asking for sympathy, he's trying to be encouraging by saying expect some difficulty in life and that it can be overcome. Why attack a message like that? Are you saying just because a person has benefits, pensions, or used to make a high salary, they can't address the hardships of life? Cancer, for example, kills rich and poor everyday. Should we ignore the fortunate for having an unfortunate disease?

      January 10, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Madeline

      I agree with NB. Pain does not discriminate. Illness does not discriminate. It doesn't matter if we're rich or poor. Some of us look to God for comfort and relief (as I would); others to family, science, etc. Do not judge lest you be judged is my motto.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      One cannot compare life's difficulties with others..GBS is a debilitating disease..which stays with one forever. I know. I was diagnoses with it in November of '91. There is always someone worse off than our particular difficulty! So, as a community we empathize, help and encourage!

      January 10, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • ZysPsyk

      I wouldn't call it a career..he was there though for six years...

      January 10, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • Sonshine

      @ reason and logic
      Clearly you know nothing about DW. He left the NFL and moved to New Orleans to work for Desire Street Ministries. They work with the poorest of the poor in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. He moved in with them. He raised his family with those homeless poor you mention. The ones who wouldnt respect him were his neighbors, and it all washed away with Katrina. His wife carries food gift cards in her purse so she can feed homeless she encounters. He gave up a ton for those with nothing, all because of a love of Jesus and a heart for the marginalized and outcast. We should all learn from that.

      January 11, 2012 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
  6. FormerNYer

    This does nothing to help my high anxiety disorder!

    January 10, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Scott

    Nice written article. "Life is tough" was a favorite line my father use to use as well. After a while, when he said that, I use to reply "yeah it is dad, especially when your stupid". He hated that more than I hated "Life is tough". But the truth is, it is tough. And now that I am an adult about to turn 50, I am thankful he taught me that. Becuase I don't know if I would have survived this long if I thought life should be so great. Thank's dad. Love you.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary Anne

      The Road Less Travel opens with "Life is Diffilcult"- once you accept this everything becomes easier. Sooo true.

      January 10, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Jaanu

      and future nurse maengars, this is how you cut back on staff and expenses, by increasing your patient to nurse ration. Scrubs caption contest winners – 2011Posted: January 17th, 2011GD Star Ratingloading...

      April 8, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  8. Jason

    I really don't get why everyone thinks 'life' is so difficult and that we need to raise our children to think life is not fair. Life is what YOU make of it. If you live a life of faith, raise your children to be good, upstanding people, they know already that they will encounter challenges in life and view them as such. I have been married to my wife for 20 years and I have never found our marriage to be difficult. Raising our three children is not difficult. We have faced challenges in our lives but met them head on and with an unwavering faith in that we can overcome any obstacles thrown our way. It's sad when I read articles like this. This man sat at the top of the world and when faced with a challenge he reverted to being cynical. I wonder how his view of the world would have been if he had not fallen ill?

    January 10, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Weed Smokin Freak

      Considering how gay your post is...I seriously doubt you have children.

      January 10, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • kittycat

      Acknowledging that "life is tough" is not being cynical. Cynicism is seeing ONLY the tough side of life.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Great words Jason, your message was a lot more inspiring than "Life is tough." Keep posting buddy.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
    • Fran

      There is a big difference between cynicism and reality. The reality here, and what I think Danny is getting at, is that pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Acknowledging that pain happens to everyone is hardly cynical, but denying it on whatever pretext is just that – denial. Faith need not be blind.

      January 10, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
  9. Hoodee

    Just to set the record straight....Danny Wuerffel left the NFL because he wasn't good!! Period! Let's not get that twisted, CNN!

    January 10, 2012 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas

      ... why did you leave the NFL?

      January 10, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
  10. Kyle Koestner

    Love the message...from the struggle, to the triumph, to the relationship with God. In America we say we are blessed...what we usually mean is our loved ones, our job, our car, our prestige, our wealth. What we come to find out is the biggest blessings...those challenges that transform us into the kind of being we are at the end of of our journey...are "bad" things. The kind of things that drive us to our knees in search of our maker. For me it is fourth stage incurable cancer...given 2.5 years to live...now in my 8th year. I started a business that postively affects my community and my awareness of how precious my time left is...is my gift. Keep sending those messages out brother...the world needs you.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Angela

      Cool....you are living that song by Tim McGraw...."Someday I hope that you get the chance to live like you were dying."

      Deep meaning in that verse. We are all in a sense "dying", it's just some of us are being told pretty much HOW we are going to die and given certain timeline...and that makes life and all it's ups and downs easier to navigate, I guess.... you know, that "how will it all end" mystery is taken care of and that can be somewhat of a load offi the ol' mind.

      January 10, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
  11. Weed Smokin Freak

    You want tough!!! I was raised in a crossfire hurricane....by a toothless, bearded hag. That is tough!

    January 10, 2012 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kendo23

      Yep........Your screenname pretty much sums it up 😉

      January 10, 2012 at 13:19 | Report abuse |
  12. humtake

    As long as there are Democrats in this country, there will always be people who think that the government owes you everything and you have the right to not work for anything in your life. Unfortunately, as long as there are Republicans in this country there will always be people who take everything away from those who aren't Democrats but still work hard to make a living.

    January 10, 2012 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Uncle Pico

      Oh, Jesus H. on a popsicle stick, leave the trite partisan horsecrap out of it. Life presents challenges to real people, not imaginary categories of people.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  13. elperro

    God helps those who help themselves Danny! Which is another way of saying he doesn't help anyone...

    January 10, 2012 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ScottRob10s

      No, He doesn't. Nowhere in the Bible is that stated. It's a common misconception that it is,but in reality it is a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin. However, However, Proverbs 11:25 says that those who help others will be helped. I do believe that Mr. Wuerrfel's message will serve as a help to others, and he will be repaid in kind.

      January 10, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
  14. tsl

    Life is tough. Life is not fair. Rich or poor. Suck it up and play the cards you're dealt in life!!

    January 10, 2012 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Madeline

    I am baffled at the lack of compassion and sympathy from many people responding to this post. Mr. Wuerffel is sharing his experience dealing with his illness and you're judging him? So maybe he wrote this article when he was having an especially hard time battling the illmess. His message is on point. Life is neither fair nor always filled with successes and joy. My best wishes to him for better days ahead.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. SimpleSteve

    From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Wuerffel made in base salary $1,384,710. I highly doubt that he is "hurting" for money.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      because money is the only thing that can cause pain.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
  17. Happy Jack

    Only one thing to add. Don't put any of your eggs in the "God" portion of his article. Life is tough and there probably is no God either. This is your one life so make the best of it.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ann

      I will never understand why anyone would not support free will to believe or not believe. What's the point in mocking someone who doesn't share your opinion?

      January 10, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
    • Happy Jack

      Who's mocking anyone? Read my post again. I'm talking about the idea that god exists in everythingt. Not the person.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:44 | Report abuse |
    • ann

      The tone of your message was like you were lecturing people who don't agree with you and trying to change people's minds.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Happy Jack

      Lecturing people, no. Trying to change their minds, yes.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • peick

      If you want to change people's minds, you need to offer relevant information. Why is there probably no God? Also, please define your terms. What do you mean by "god," because people have different definitions.

      January 10, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse |
  18. Mike

    Great message. I am thankful that there are people like Danny Wuerffel who can serve as a positive role model for young people. Even many of the "good" times in Danny's past did not come easily. It takes an incredible amount of hard work to be successful in big time college football. Danny paid his dues. I don't believe that he is looking for sympathy and I don't believe that he is "bellyaching". He is trying to encourage people to recognize that life IS difficult for everyone but that doesn't mean that we cannot have hope for a brighter future. Faith in God helps sustain many people during the depths of winter seasons. BTW, it is interesting to note that Tim Tebow isn't the only Christian who played quarterback at Florida! BTW2, I am a Seminole fan who has a great deal of respect for these two Gators.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. David


    I have an autistic son. His life has one season and it's not pretty. It will never change; he's autistic. But there will forever be those who think we or he simply don't try hard enough or pray hard enough or "look at the bright side!"

    For many lives, there is no bright side.

    So you're in a "bad season" Danny. Consider yourself lucky.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ann

      My nephew has autism and I can kind of see where you are coming from. His life is tough and will probably continue to be tough for his life. However, I don't think the author was trying to trivialize things in that way.

      I think he was trying to mostly speak to people who were like him prior to his illness. I doubt he had met with much reality of life up to that point. He probably wants to reach out to people and let them learn from his experiences.

      I'm pretty sure his intention wasn't to be a big insensitive lout.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
  20. Lynn

    Danny, thank you for this inspiring message. My husband had the pleasure of meeting you while you were a Gator and he thinks very highly of you, so I shared this article with him. He, too, is going through a winter season of life with an as yet undiagnosed disease, and I am praying that your words will remind him that God is always with us through good and bad. Thank you, too, for all you meant and mean to Gator Nation (class of '86) and more importantly for the work you do for God. May He meet you where you are and give you the needs and desires of your heart.

    In Him,


    January 10, 2012 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Andrew

    Thanks Danny,
    What a great perspective! This is the best thing I have read in a long time. Your post made my day. I pray that in the midst of your winter you will continue to encounter God and know his presence with you. Thanks again.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mort

      And Danny, while you're at it, ask your god why he allowed you to get sick in the first place.

      January 10, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
  22. Stephen

    I think the reason life is tough is because there is no God. No offense to anyone who is religious, but not every good thing that happens in this world is the result of praying to some all-powerful deity. That's right Tebow fans. It's not God who's helping Tebow and Co. win. It's talent, and a bit of luck, which is what gets most people by in this world. When another team with more talent plays them, Tebow will lose. When he does, I'm sure it will be this weekend, I hope he blames God for losing, seeing as he gives all credit to "Him" when winning. It's only fair.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LARRYG

      The Beauty of the Gift of Faith is that you don't have to defend your God...and His Comfort is truly Great....I have stopped, just now, and Prayed that you will this day ALSO hear his call and receive this great gift of faith...because it will indeed give your great comfort during good times and bad. I do appreciate your candor and I am confident that "you have what it takes" to be a passionate follower and loyal servant to God....Good Luck & May God's Blessings be abundant for you.

      January 10, 2012 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      To quote Bill Maher, "Faith makes a virtue out of not thinking. It's nothing to brag about."

      January 11, 2012 at 04:31 | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      What did I tell you? Did I not tell you the Broncos would lose to the Patriots? Still waiting for Tebow and his fans to come out and say, "We would have won that game had Jesus not screwed us over."

      January 15, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
  23. flashtrum

    The Occupy Movement people should read this guy's story......

    January 10, 2012 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Angel

      Please make this available for dwoolnad.I'm new to AS and Flex and have been looking for weeks to create this very app for my work. I will also be using a bar code scanner to get our data string, plus entry from the keyboard.I also need to the text editor to have options on the top menu bar some ascii character buttons = / () @ . ; : Please zip and send me the code so I can follow along with your video.Joe

      April 14, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse |
  24. agianettino

    Everyone deals with challenges in life, not just those who are terminally ill. And when a new trial arises, we have two options. We can complain in a tunnel of self pity while losing sight of all the blessings we take for granted. Or we can look beyond our current struggle and be thankful that the whole of life is good. Trusting that God has a bigger purpose for the up and down battles of life will help us maintain the right perspective. "...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3,4. Thanks for the heartfelt article, Danny.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. AJ

    There's lots of atheists doing charity work, I think CNN should cover them too.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      as a Christian, I agree. Nobody said we hold a monopoly on the 'good works' platform.

      January 10, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
  26. MotoJB

    Thanks for sharing...well said and great points...I truly wish you well.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Everyman

    Why can't we aspire to a happy life? It seems that the author has a problem with that. Life is often hard but that's why we try and make it better.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Madero

    My favorite part of the story is - "Life is tough. Yet every time I turn on the television or see a magazine cover, I’m barraged with messages to the contrary. You should be happy, and you deserve it."

    I believe this message was directed at Liberals. Don't expect a life of free handouts, if you don't like your life make the appropiate changes to be happier. Don't be envious of others when you only HOPE and don't CHANGE.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ScottRob10s

      I think you're interjecting a political message where a social message was intended. Myopic.

      January 10, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
    • Everyman

      You mean conservatives don't believe in happy lives?

      January 10, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
  29. Matt

    He left the NFL because he sucked ballz as a QB.

    January 10, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. mort

    I'm glad he is doing well and wish him well. but faith had nothing to do with his getting better. did he ever wonder why he got sick in the first place. did he ever question that?

    January 10, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LARRYG

      That's the Great thing about having FAITH....You don't have to ask those kinds of questions...and that my friend ALSO PROVIDES GREAT COMFORT & JOY !
      I hope someday you will likewise be blessed with this great gift....It is obvious you already have the gift of honesty in your expressions...can Faith in the Almighty be far behind...Hopefully ....Soon !

      January 10, 2012 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
  31. Tooty

    Go Gators, Go Gators ...

    January 10, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Victor Raison

    It's a great life if you don't weaken.

    January 10, 2012 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Eric

    Yes, life is tough. Reminds me of when I was a kid and we all were punished for something one of my siblings did. I complained that how could this happen when we all know it isn't fair to everyone. My dad just said "Yes, life ISN'T fair," and I think it was then that I realized that there will always be injustices, you just have to accept it and deal with the hand you're given. Up until then I remember hearing how we all need to treat everyone fairly, to share, be honest, etc. but I think it was important to also realize that stuff happens and you just need to accept it.

    January 10, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Everyman

      Sounds like your dad was an idiot and didn't know how to punish the right people.

      January 10, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
  34. Karen

    To all who have been stating that Danny is complaining..I completely disagree. I feel he is encouraging! We ALL have "wintertimes" in our life. That is when we depend on friends, family, health care givers...etc..to get us through these times. I too have GBS..I was first diagnoses in November of 1991. I still have challenges..but I am so thankful that I am where I am now! If we allow God to be with us in the wintertimes of our life..He will see us through all seasons! Thank you for this article!

    January 10, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. manhandler

    Life is tough, allright. Unfortunately, no "God" is going to make it any easier or any harder. It is what it is and it's the same for the eligious and the non-religious. It may raise your spirits a little to THINK that, but in the end it's the REALITY that's tough.

    January 10, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. steevo77

    I wonder if people will ever come to understand that there is no "puppet master" in the sky with strings that control everything that happens to us. Illnesses are biologic in nature. Good things and bad things happen because they happen. No one is making things happen for or against us. No one is going to be there to bail us out when things are tough. Yes, life is tough. Most of us have known that for a long time. Life is also good, neutral, indifferent, wasted, enjoyed, screwed up and every other adjective you can think of, but not because someone other than you is controlling it.

    January 10, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. chris

    you know why you hate that phrase "life is tough"? because it's a meaningless, stupid cliche.

    January 10, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Susan Chaplin

    Right on!! Why can’t we be people with the depth, courage and trust to embrace the hard and heavy things of life?

    January 10, 2012 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Tony

    Are things so bad that we cannot appreciate a positive or an encouraging article such as this? Should we always poke holes into everyrthing that comes our way? Or must everything be negative to be appreciated...

    January 10, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Richard Fore is a troll

    Go to hell you troll

    January 10, 2012 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Bill

    Life is tough. Inborn fears are there to protect us from burning, drowning, and falling from great heights. Fear of pain is there to protect us from injury. Somewhere along the way it became sporting to slam your head and body into another's head and body. It may be macho; it may be entertaining, but it sure isn't smart. Same for boxing. I would love to see serious review of ex players and boxers, and see what has happened to their brains, ankles, knees, shoulders, hearts, etc. AND, have those same veterans tell us whether it was worth it to trade fame and money at an early age for infirmity, dementia and years of suffering later in life.

    January 10, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply

    I just wanted to say that in 1991 I took a flu shot and a few days later, I started to experience paralysis from my feet alll the way up to my fingers. GBS was the diagnosis. The treatment I was given was called a Plasma Pheresis. After about 9-12 treatments and about 6 months, I started to feel semi normal. I was never told directly that the flu shot caused this but I was told to not take flu shots again by my doctor. What the doctors told me was that I probably contracted the virus elsewhere and it stayed dormant in my body and when I took the flu shot, it triggered my medical event.

    January 10, 2012 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. LARRYG

    Thanks to Danny Wuerffel for such a wonderful & inspiring message.
    I also came down with Guillain Barre Syndrome 9 years ago and was completely paralyzed similar to what Danny experienced.
    I had been fortunate to be very Healthy and was also a college athlete (No Heisman trophy...actually a bench warmer), but no prior overnight hospital stays in my 50+ years before in was hit by this unexpected illness.
    I had always believed in "pulling one's self up by your bootstraps" and then this Crazy syndrome gave me a wake up call that said to me: Good Luck with those Bootstraps....because I couldn't even hold a small paper cup of water for about 4 weeks.
    But,like Danny, I do not feel sorry for myself, but do clearly understand his analogy of Winter vs. Spring.
    More important so many of my hospital roommates were stroke victims who were NOT getting better, and while I spent 4 months in the hospital and 2 months in Home care with full rehab schedule, I learned to appreciate (like Danny) that we can often be lulled to sleep by our successes and good health, but we all (Yes all of us) will experience tough times...and sharing this with others is indeed helpful.
    I do still have long term issues (such as neuropathy that causes pain in my hands & feet), and it takes a while to return to the higher levels of energy, but I now enjoy being able to play a little golf now & then and playing with my 2 grandsons, while still working full time, so Danny...You are correct Sir, this "GBS Winter" will indeed pass...and hopefully your "Spring" (thru the Grace of God) will soon return and allow you to return to the work you do in His name. THANKS AGAIN & GOD BLESS !

    January 10, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • genie

      My husband came down with GBS almost four years ago at age 59. He is STILL improving!!!! Be positive (as you are) and keep working at the physical improvements. Anyone who didn't know what happened to Zack wouldn't think now that he had been paralyzed for months from the neck down, in hospitals for six months, had to learn how to walk and MOVE all over again. He is enjoying life each day. GBS needs huge patience. For anyone out there dealing with this devastating illness, be hopeful! Most victims do make wonderful recoveries. But it can take a lot of time. http://www.rusticramblings.wordpress.com is my blog and has pictures and stories of Zack's GBS odyssey! Happy ending (and recovery still ongoing!) Good luck to Danny and anyone hit by GBS!

      January 11, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • Nadira

      Robitussin Abuse Dot Net welcomes you to share your nnioiops on the topic of Robitussin Abuse and other similar drug abuse topics. We look forward to hearing your nnioiops

      April 8, 2012 at 14:17 | Report abuse |
  44. Durl

    William "the refridgerator" Perry has this horrible conditon as well. God Bless you Danny and The Fridge!!

    January 10, 2012 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Jon

    Lots of ignorant people here with poor reading comprehension. Danny was not complaining. He was being transparent about his struggles and trying to encourage people who have their own, specific struggles. He never said his were worse than anyone's. Your kid has autism? Someone has it worse. You have some form of cancer? Someone probably has it worse. See the point? It's not about comparing yourselves to other people. It's about taking your own struggles – and we ALL have them – and making the best out of them.
    All of you misinterpreting what he said and judging him are showing how ignorant and full of yourselves you are.

    January 10, 2012 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Jizell

    I my self had GBS 1 year ago while I was pregnant with my little boy.... Be hopeful recovery is hard but just have faith has for my little boy he's healthy couldn't have asked for anything better 🙂

    January 14, 2012 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ann Fabre

    My sincere CONGRATULATIONS to Danny Wuerffel. Just this morning I wrote on Facebook regarding the GBS of which I too am a survivor that the most import thing for any person is FAITH, mine is the Catholic, but I have the same respect for any other religion or Christian faith, just so long as the person puts their hands in the will of God. I see Danny and can't believe he has improoved so much in such a short time. Seven months after my second kidney transplant and after having being vaccinated just a week before my hospitalization due to the GBS, I still have to thank God I don't remember what happened to me or what I felt, all I know is from what my husband and doctors have said , that I was induced in coma for a period of three months, with ventilation, a tracheotomy performed and all the works as my whole body simply went off, up to a point that even my lungs had been affected. Many doctors told my husband over and over to try to make up his mind that I wouldn't come out of my stage, but he just kept up telling them that they should do their work, because the rest would be done by God. He never lost his faith, I too am very religious and practice as well, but our daughter did give up and life has shown that the only person that can help us is our God, whatever name we give him. After those three months another three were spent in a Rehabilitation Hospital as there was nothing I could do for myself, couldn't move arms, fingers, legs, feet nothing just being in bed or lifted to a wheel chair; but, there has always been something inside of me, thank God and that is the strong will power to achieve whatever He has in stored for me, but, my words have always been, "what you want of me is what I want" just give me the courage and strength to achieve whatever you have in stored for me." I started moving my legs just last Feb. and thank God I already walk although I don't have too much strength with my left feet toes, but do get around at home, in the street and even cook meals at home. I've gained back mostly everything and my only thought now is try to help anyone that thinks they never come out of this. You do need a great deal of will power, must receive exercises, (still do at home), but the most important for me is have faith in that God, and that with faith moves mountains. This is my personal experience, I hope it can be of help to others, don't ever despair and please remember God will never give us more than what we can endure. Once again. Danny, may God bless your Ministry and may we be where God wants us to be. Do have a happy 2012 and be that great husband and father you wish to be. May God bless you always and don't forget a little prayer for me. Ann

    January 14, 2012 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Mike

    Danny, I am a 5 year survivor of GBS. Good news for me I am fully recovered. But every now and then I get that pain or numb filling. I just roll with the punches and don’t look back. This disease is fast, silent, and can be a killer. You have done the main thing; you had a good doctor that was able to diagnose you properly. Rest, Rest, Rest and you will be fine. You have a good heart and have helped so many. You got the right vibe behind you. Somebody has to be watching out for you. It will be a matter of time before you are helping the masses again. Right now you are helping people with GBS. The general public has no clue what GBS is and how painful and live changing this disease can be. I wish you full recovery. PS I am a charter captain and workout side on a daily basis with allot of physical abuse to the body. Full recovery is possible. Keep trying and don't give up.

    Captain Mike


    Thank you

    January 15, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yoorka

      I have learned new thgins through your blog site. One other thing I would like to say is that newer laptop operating systems tend to allow additional memory to use, but they additionally demand more memory simply to run. If a person's computer can not handle a lot more memory plus the newest program requires that memory space increase, it usually is the time to shop for a new Laptop. Thanks

      April 9, 2012 at 06:50 | Report abuse |
  49. Gabriiela

    Judy I wish I could tell you! But frost dates are not organized by zip code. You ellary need to go to the and follow the instructions. I just added a screencast to help walk you through the process.Depending on where you live, your frost dates may not be listed in my chart. I am working on a solution for those who have earlier frost dates.

    April 8, 2012 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Difference between Depression and Anxiety

    Right here is the right blog for anybody who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been discussed for ages. Great stuff, just wonderful!

    April 13, 2012 at 04:50 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.