In this Whitworth Today I've written an article about a vibrant, happy, beautiful wife and mother of two, a member of the Whitworth Class of '93, a churchgoer and Bible-reader and home-schooler who has for years invested every bit of herself in God, in family, in home -- and who, one day, fell to the floor, shaking uncontrollably, when a blood clot invaded her head and cut off the blood flow to the part of her brain that controls movement on her left side.
Joanne Heim was in the hospital for months. She now does physical therapy, acupuncture, and everything else she and her family can think of to get her back to normal -- and, if that's not possible, to get her as close as possible to where she was pre-stroke. She is just as beautiful, just as loved, just as faithful to God and her family as she was before the stroke -- but she may be forever hindered by this seemingly random event; this tiny speck of time when her world changed irrevocably from a healthy, happy place to one where a stroke victim must wonder if she'll ever again feel good, sleep well, walk comfortably, be carelessly happy.
Whitworth Today is about the lives of Whitworthians. About people whose lives change in a second. About alums whose bios populate our class notes; about grads from the 1940s to the 2010s who still consider this place to be the center of their friendships and the place where they learned to be adults. It's about people like the Heims, who thrived during their days at Whitworth and who are now learning to love one another and to love God in a new way. It's about debaters who bring home national championships; about athletes who keep Whitworth on top of the NWC every year; about a young executive V.P. (and '89 alum) who's off to Michigan to be president of Calvin College; about what can be done to keep a Whitworth education affordable and academically rigorous for current and future students; about an alumna who had to examine her longtime faith deeply and painfully to discover that the church is the safe place from which one asks the hard questions that stymie so many believers. It's about all of us and about our connection to one another -- connections that really may be strongest in the once-broken places. We hope you enjoy this issue of Whitworth Today.