If I was walking down a street and saw you I would probably say “Hello”. I always find it interesting to see the different reactions from random strangers. Some are friendly, some are shy, and some completely ignore you.
What kind of person are you? Are you an open book? If you follow my blog you will begin to understand me.I love openness and honesty. However, like many others, I tend to be more reserved at first.
“Life is like a roller coaster: there are a lot of ups and downs, but in the end, it was a good ride.” ― Nate Klich
My life has had many ups and downs; a real life roller-coaster.
I was born on August 16th, 1985 in Orem, Utah. I made my entrance into the world the day my father had his graduating ceremony at Brigham Young University. A couple weeks later we moved to Seattle Washington. When I turned 5, we moved to Orange County, California.
I attended the same elementary, middle, and high school my mother attended. I never got into serious trouble as a teenager but I did tend to be mischievous from time to time. I would often sneak out at night – toilet papering friends or sneaking into the High School pool for a midnight swim. I enjoyed a good thrill. I jumped off beach piers, skateboarded down large hills, and went surfing as much as possible.
My constant search for the next thrill led me to break my collarbone 3 times in the course of 8 months. During this time I also had a hernia surgery. However, this was only the beginning of the roller-coaster that would encompass the next couple years of my life.
At 17 years old I started to have excruciating pain in my abdomen. The pain would keep me up through almost every hour of the night. The pain became so unbearable that I would reach out for any help I could find. My parents took me to the emergency room several times throughout my senior year of high school. Unfortunately, doctors didn’t seem to take me too seriously and the pain continued for about 6 months before being diagnosed.
When I graduated high school in 2003 I went with my family on a trip to Hawaii. I went surfing, flew in a stunt air plane, and met the friendly people in Waikiki. This was the dream vacation, but it seemed to end in a nightmare…
“Whoever said winning isn’t everything, never had to fight cancer.”
At the end of our trip my family boarded the airplane to fly home. Everyone was seated, the pre-flight safety demonstration was complete, and we were ready to take off. Something inside me felt uneasy. Unexpectedly, I whispered to my mom, “I don’t think I can make the flight home.” She tried to re-assure me that everything would be okay, but my body, mind, and heart were telling me it wouldn’t.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ― Albert Einstein
A miracle happened. The pilot announced that the plane was having unexpected engine problems. Everyone had to leave the plane and find the next flight home. As soon as I got off the plane I began to have unimaginable pain. I ran to the restroom and vomited over and over again. I was rushed to the emergency room in Waikiki.
Shortly after my visit to the ER, I was diagnosed with stage III non-seminoma testicular cancer and blood clots. I spent the next 12-18 months fighting and overcoming cancer. I went through intense rounds of chemotherapy and a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND).
A more in-depth look at my fight with cancer will have to wait for another blog post.
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” ― Mother Teresa
After my quarrel with cancer I served a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was called to serve the people in Roseville, California. A missionary has a very disciplined schedule. On my mission I engaged in proselytizing, church service, humanitarian aid, and community service.
I met more people in those 2 years of my life then I will most likely meet in the remainder of my life. Overall, my service was a great opportunity to help others, gain life experience, and learn valuable leadership skills.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ― Dr. Seuss
Shortly after my mission I met my wife Amanda at a church institute class. After 3 short months of dating I proposed to her the day after my brother Jake was born. Amanda and I had our first date on April 17th, 2007 and we were married on February 16th, 2008.
We had a wonderful start to our marriage. We went on 3 honeymoons. First to San Diego, next on a Caribbean cruise, and at the end of the year we went to Egypt. I can honestly say that I am happily married. Marrying Amanda was the best decision of my life.
Marriage took a lot of faith; it wasn’t just a step, marriage was a leap into the dark unknown. My time battling cancer and my mission took a significant toll on my college plans. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to major in. I first wanted to be a Psychologist, then a Psychiatrist, and finally I settled on a major in accounting.
“Sometimes on the way to your dream, you get lost and find a better one.” ― Lisa Hammond
A degree in accounting seemed to be the most realistic to me. My dad and father-in-law are both chief financial officers. I thought that I would always have a job with a background in business and accounting.
While studying and working I slowly found that I had a hidden passion for problem solving and computer science. After a long day of work and school I would stay up late at night studying various programming languages and graphic design.
I started a hobby compiling popular non-Google “aftermarket” distributions of Android (ROMs). My hobby eventually turned into my full time job as I moved from building Android from source to developing apps for a niche market of Android.
My company, JRummy Apps Inc., was founded in October of 2010 and incorporated in April of 2012. JRummy Apps is self-funded, self-motivated, and self-reliant. As of October of 2014, over 19 million people have downloaded one of my apps from the Google Play Store. Two of my apps have reached the top 10 “Paid Apps” section of Google Play.
I view my success with Android as a needed blessing to start a family. One roller-coaster of my life has been a challenge with infertility. My wife and I have always wanted children. With the help of In Vitro Fertilization we added a baby girl to our family on June 23rd, 2014. Writing Android applications that have been used by millions of people is a great feeling but nothing beats the feeling and blessings of fatherhood.