In Loving Memory of Rocket3015

sns8778

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Rocket3015, real name Richard Merrick, passed away on November 6th, 2023.

Richard went to be with the lord while surrounded by his much loved family after a long and hard battle with cancer, a battle in which he fought with strength, character, and positivity.

I say that he went to be with the lord because I know that’s how he would want me to say it, as he was a man of faith. I also say that because I firmly believe it. We talked about faith privately quite a bit, and I remember several times him telling me that he didn’t often talk about his faith to people he didn’t know, that instead of talking about it, he tried to live a life that exemplified it.

Rocket joined Anabolic Minds on July 24th, 2014, and quickly became one of the most active, respected, and beloved members on this forum. This community will forever be better because of his presence.

He was in many ways a leading force here and an inspiration to so many both in terms of his physique, commitment, and dedication to fitness, and in just exemplifying what it meant to be a good man.

Rocket lived a life of trying to help others.

Please help continue that legacy and help make this fundraiser set up by his daughter a success.


Please give what you can and also help spread the word so that others can as well.

Rocket was, and his memory will continue to be, in many ways the heart and soul of this forum.
 
sns8778

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On a personal note:

Richard (Rocket) was a very good friend of mine outside the forums. He is someone that I am truly blessed to have had the privilege to get to know over the years.

A very special memory to me, and one that in hindsight seems way too much like a preemptive good bye, is one evening during his battle with cancer I received a text from him saying that he considered me a close friend even though we had never met.

On the forum we talked supplements, but outside the forums most of our conversation was on our other interests, family, and faith. He was a family man, a proud husband, father, and grandfather.

We often talked about my daughter and his kids and grandkids, as we had some things in common on a personal level. My daughter has high functioning Autism and Richard was the very proud grandfather of an Autistic grandson that he referred to as his best friend and would send me pictures of. We often talked about how we viewed it as a blessing and shared stories about how things that bothered some people were actually very special and dear to us.

He was one of my best friends and in some ways like a father figure to me. He was someone that I respect, someone that inspires me, someone that I look up to.

He is someone that I truly admire and hope to be able to live a life that he would be proud of.

Richard was a good man, a humble man, and I want to end this post by saying something I feel he would want to be said – love your family and be accepting, understanding of, and helpful to those that have special needs, and make it a point to help someone every day, even if it’s a simple compliment or a smile; try to live your life in a way that encourages others and lifts them up.
 
sns8778

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Toward the end, Rocket was receiving blood and platelets daily or almost daily.

That was one of the reasons that when he passed, his family had said that in lieu of flowers, for people to please donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to give blood to their local blood bank.

Please help continue Rocket's legacy of giving and helping through donating blood, if you are able to.

The most important thing is just to donate, but something I think would be nice is that most blood banks have a spot on their forms that allow you to make the donation in memory of someone - so if you want, you could put in memory of Richard Merrick, Rocket3015, or Rocket.

I really think it would make him smile.
 
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sns8778

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Blood Donations in Memory of Rocket3015:

I am reserving this post here and will edit it and add names to it of people that donate.

If/when you do, please post in the thread that you donated or if you read but don’t post here or don’t want to post it publicly, please message me privately and let me know and I can add an anonymous to the list.

1) Steven Wood
2) gphagan1
3) Airmaniac
4) Beau
5) sammpedd88
6) kjscatch
 
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sns8778

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We will be doing several other things in the coming months to honor Rocket’s memory, and I will keep this thread updated to keep everyone informed.

Before things took a turn for the worse, I had discussed an idea with Rocket that I wanted to do because it’s a subject matter that is very special and important to him and I both, and he loved it and wanted to be a part of it. I’ve spoken with his family about it, and it will now be in memory and honor of him.

I've also spoken with his family about a couple of other things that we will be doing in honor of him, and all of the proceeds will go to charities of the family's choice in memorial of him.

One thing I will go ahead and say, and there will also be more things, but Rocket collected shaker cups and we will be doing a special shaker cup in his memory with all proceeds being donated in his honor. These take some time to get made, and I will let everyone know when we have a definite eta for them.

Please subscribe to this thread or check back from time to time for updates.
 
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sns8778

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If you have a fond memory of Rocket, any pictures of him, or if you wish to share any thoughts or feelings that you have, or share any way that he touched your life, please do.
 
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sns8778

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Very sorry to hear this. Next time I'm eligible to donate blood, it will be in your friends memory.
Thank you. I really appreciate that.

Rocket was a long time poster here and touched a lot of people.

He was always a voice of happiness, encouragement, and positivity.

I've always known the importance of donating blood, but with what he went through and how much he received, it really just made the significance of it more real. To me, it made it go from something that I knew was a good thing, to really seeing it in a different light of it possibly giving someone the chance to live, to fight, or have even that one extra day or moment with their family.
 
gphagan1

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On a personal note:

Richard (Rocket) was a very good friend of mine outside the forums. He is someone that I am truly blessed to have had the privilege to get to know over the years.

A very special memory to me, and one that in hindsight seems way too much like a preemptive good bye, is one evening during his battle with cancer I received a text from him saying that he considered me a close friend even though we had never met.

On the forum we talked supplements, but outside the forums most of our conversation was on our other interests, family, and faith. He was a family man, a proud husband, father, and grandfather.

We often talked about my daughter and his kids and grandkids, as we had some things in common on a personal level. My daughter has high functioning Autism and Richard was the very proud grandfather of an Autistic grandson that he referred to as his best friend and would send me pictures of. We often talked about how we viewed it as a blessing and shared stories about how things that bothered some people were actually very special and dear to us.

He was one of my best friends and in some ways like a father figure to me. He was someone that I respect, someone that inspires me, someone that I look up to.

He is someone that I truly admire and hope to be able to live a life that he would be proud of.

Richard was a good man, a humble man, and I want to end this post by saying something I feel he would want to be said – love your family and be accepting, understanding of, and helpful to those that have special needs, and make it a point to help someone every day, even if it’s a simple compliment or a smile; try to live your life in a way that encourages others and lifts them up.
Very well said…. I gave blood earlier this month in honor of Rocket and it took on a whole new meaning. I was 52 when I joined the forum almost 7 years ago, and really appreciated the way members truly tried to help each other, and Rocket stood out among many as not only a man trying to reach his goals, but was always an encourager, friend, and supporter of so many in their training and health goals. I don’t think I ever saw him say anything negative or discouraging in those 7 years. We communicated with each other and shared about our families and especially our Grandchildren. When I started following his log I was so impressed with his dedication and drive to keep going. Whenever he had a challenge he did everything in his power to not let it keep him from his goals, even in his battle with cancer, all the way up to within the last couple of months he found a way to try to exercise even if it was just a walk, he kept pushing and continuing to share a positive message. His friendship and life that he brought to this forum will be deeply missed, and may we all strive to be kind, encouraging, and truly love our family, friends, and strangers the way Richard (Rocket) did. We miss you brother.
And as he always said…..
Life is Good 👍
 
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Beau

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Thank you Steve. How wonderful it is to read the many nice things you've written about Richard.

My next blood donation is on January 7th. I will ask if there is a way to designate that it is done as a tribute to another person.
 
delsolrob

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Thanks for the text about this Steve! This is really sad news and we lost another great member of the community.
 
sns8778

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He always reminded me of myself, with the home gym, the early AM training, the supplement junkie, the age-group, etc...
A good man, gone but not forgotten...
His level of dedication to training was off the charts.

You mentioned his early AM training and that made me think of a story I'd like to share.

I have the companies, but I also do raw material sourcing for a lot of companies so I work half the night a lot of nights due to dealing with companies on the other side of the world. It's pretty common for me to either train super late or to take a break from work to train and then to work some more.

Rocket went to bed early - so there were a lot of nights where I'd reply to a text and he wouldn't reply and I'd figure he was already asleep. And a quite a few times, it would make me smile to get a text back when he was getting ready to train, which was middle of the night for a lot of people - sometimes it would a simple reply and other times it would be telling me to go do sleep, which always made me smile.
 
sns8778

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Thank you @sns8778 for taking your time to create this for us. @Rocket3015 an Anabolic Minds legend!!! 🇺🇲🙏🇺🇲
He definitely is - he touched a lot of people.

I know this community is nowhere near as active as it once was, but I hope that some of those that don't participate anymore will at least see this at some point and write a kind word or fond memory, say a prayer for his family, share the link to the fundraiser his daughter created in his memory, or give to the fundraiser, even if its just a dollar or something.

That's one thing about Rocket - he would have never wanted anyone to give anything that they didn't have, but I know he would appreciate any amount no matter how small.

I know that sometimes people look at a fundraiser and when its to a big organization, it may make them less likely to give bc they figure that organizations like that already have good donations, BUT it's not about that, its about honoring his memory.

And anyone that knew Rocket would confirm that there's nothing he would rather anyone to in remembrance of him than to help others.
 
sns8778

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Thank you Steve. How wonderful it is to read the many nice things you've written about Richard.

My next blood donation is on January 7th. I will ask if there is a way to designate that it is done as a tribute to another person.
Thank you so much. Please post in the thread or message me to add you to the list when you do.

Normally, the blood banks that have a form have a section on them you can write in remembrance or tribute to someone, and the ones that do it all by computer now, they normally can if you tell them.

Even if they don't though, still let me know and I'll add it to the list.

In my mind, I have a goal I want to see that list get to this coming year, because I can just imagine him smiling down on us all seeing it.
 
subweevil

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I haven't donated in a while but am now inclined to do so. Prayers and kind thoughts go out to his family, guy was an ace in my book. Thanks Steve for putting this up, you're a good egg!
 
sns8778

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I haven't donated in a while but am now inclined to do so. Prayers and kind thoughts go out to his family, guy was an ace in my book. Thanks Steve for putting this up, you're a good egg!
Thank you so much. If you do donate blood, please post in the thread or let me know so I can add you to the list.
 
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jh1

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I never had the opportunity to get to know Rocket very well, but his presence here on AM was undeniable. He was a good dude, had a great attitude amd work ethic, and was always willing to help on the forum in any way he could. This board definitely isn't the same without him. My heart goes out to his friends and family for their loss. They will all be in my prayers.

Thanks for a great tribute, Steve
 
SHORSE

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I really appreciate you starting this tread @sns8778

Don't even know where to start. Richard was as solid of a person that I will ever know. We use to DM about, Family, Our lord and savior, a little about work and cars. We were both life long as we use to call lift lifers. Our DM's were rarely about training or supplements. We did enough of that on AM.
We use to send each other supplements that we didn't care for or usually had too many of. He sent me a lot more than I sent him.

As far as I'm concerned. Rocket and Big T are in the AM Hall of Fame!

I'm still bitter that the Dr's didn't look deeper into his back pain. I'm not convinced that the leukemia is what killed him!
 
sns8778

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I really appreciate you starting this tread @sns8778

Don't even know where to start. Richard was as solid of a person that I will ever know. We use to DM about, Family, Our lord and savior, a little about work and cars. We were both life long as we use to call lift lifers. Our DM's were rarely about training or supplements. We did enough of that on AM.
We use to send each other supplements that we didn't care for or usually had too many of. He sent me a lot more than I sent him.

As far as I'm concerned. Rocket and Big T are in the AM Hall of Fame!

I'm still bitter that the Dr's didn't look deeper into his back pain. I'm not convinced that the leukemia is what killed him!
I'm glad to do it. Rocket was a dear friend and a wonderful man.

I had been planning it for awhile and had spoke with his family about it, and they just needed some time to grieve and be there for one another before starting a fundraiser or anything in his memory. We spoke again the other night and decided that now that the holidays were behind everyone, it would be a good time.

I do want to clarify something for anyone reading. What @SHORSE is referring to about Rocket's back pain was that he had an infection from where there had been so many procedures and it was causing him a great amount of pain. I too wish that the doctors had caught that earlier too, but I don't want any confusion as to what caused his passing - which was his cancer.

I just wanted to make that part clear because it was very important to Rocket himself, that even when he thought he was gong to beat it, that he wanted to increase awareness of and raise money to help others in their battles with it.

I totally understand where you're coming from with wishing the doctors realized about the infection related to his back sooner, but it was the cancer that ultimately led to his passing.

And that's why his family started this fundraiser to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and also why they asked people to donate blood in memory of him, because of how much blood and platelets he was receiving.

 
SHORSE

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I'm glad to do it. Rocket was a dear friend and a wonderful man.

I had been planning it for awhile and had spoke with his family about it, and they just needed some time to grieve and be there for one another before starting a fundraiser or anything in his memory. We spoke again the other night and decided that now that the holidays were behind everyone, it would be a good time.

I do want to clarify something for anyone reading. What @SHORSE is referring to about Rocket's back pain was that he had an infection from where there had been so many procedures and it was causing him a great amount of pain. I too wish that the doctors had caught that earlier too, but I don't want any confusion as to what caused his passing - which was his cancer.

I just wanted to make that part clear because it was very important to Rocket himself, that even when he thought he was gong to beat it, that he wanted to increase awareness of and raise money to help others in their battles with it.

I totally understand where you're coming from with wishing the doctors realized about the infection related to his back sooner, but it was the cancer that ultimately led to his passing.

And that's why his family started this fundraiser to help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and also why they asked people to donate blood in memory of him, because of how much blood and platelets he was receiving.

I knew the family want to keep it on the down low.

I'm not a Dr. nor do I play one on TV. I don't know jack about leukemia. It was my understanding that he was in remission back in July? I'm not doubting the leukemia killed him, the infection part just hit close to home:
My Dad had Colon cancer and had some of his colon and the large lobe of his liver removed.
He started to have horrible pain that turned out to be an infection that they couldn't get under control and ultimately killed him.
 
big_jewels

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Really sorry to hear about his passing, my condolences. I always saw his posts while lurking on here over the years and they always made me smile.
 
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It’s truly amazing that someone you only know online can have such an impact in your life. Rocket was the greatest of guys. We spoke a few times and he was always positive, always willing to offer advice. Rest in peace.
 
sns8778

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I knew the family want to keep it on the down low.

I'm not a Dr. nor do I play one on TV. I don't know jack about leukemia. It was my understanding that he was in remission back in July? I'm not doubting the leukemia killed him, the infection part just hit close to home:
My Dad had Colon cancer and had some of his colon and the large lobe of his liver removed.
He started to have horrible pain that turned out to be an infection that they couldn't get under control and ultimately killed him.
I'm sorry to hear that. I can definitely understand it being a subject that hits close to home.

In his case, and I'm paraphrasing, the news of thinking he was in remission and that his platelets and bloodwork had gotten better was unfortunately followed by bad news of his platelets dropping again, and that led to a long term hospitalization in which he was getting blood and platelets almost daily at times.

I don't know all the details, as I'm very respectful of his family's privacy. I know what Rocket had told me when he was in the hospital and I know what the family has told me, but I also know they want to keep a lot of it private and I haven't asked them any questions about it, only listened.

The back pain issue certainly sucked and I wish they had found the cause sooner, as if nothing else it would have helped him be more comfortable and not been in as much pain.

I just didn't want anyone to read and misunderstand and think it was bc of the back issue and not the cancer, as that could take away from the significance of the fundraiser they are doing in his memory. I hope that makes sense.
 
kjscatch

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Toward the end, Rocket was receiving blood and platelets daily or almost daily.

That was one of the reasons that when he passed, his family had said that in lieu of flowers, for people to please donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to give blood to their local blood bank.

Please help continue Rocket's legacy of giving and helping through donating blood, if you are able to.

The most important thing is just to donate, but something I think would be nice is that most blood banks have a spot on their forms that allow you to make the donation in memory of someone - so if you want, you could put in memory of Richard Merrick, Rocket3015, or Rocket.

I really think it would make him smile.
Thank you for doing this. I haven’t given blood in probably almost 8 years but I will next opportunity. You kind of forget how important it is for people until it hits home a little bit.

Rocket was always kind and supportive both in and out of the forums. He didn’t know me outside of some DM,s but he loved how I am Special Education teacher and worked with kids with disabilities on a daily basis and would always thank me for it. I will always remember Rocket and Big T from here.
 
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Thank you for doing this. I haven’t given blood in probably almost 8 years but I will next opportunity. You kind of forget how important it is for people until it hits home a little bit.

Rocket was always kind and supportive both in and out of the forums. He didn’t know me outside of some DM,s but he loved how I am Special Education teacher and worked with kids with disabilities on a daily basis and would always thank me for it. I will always remember Rocket and Big T from here.
Much respect to you. Sincerely.
 
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@sns8778 thanks for creating this thread. Rocket was a hell of a man and was dedicated to God, his family and his health. He always gave words of encouragement to others. He also loved your supplements. I shows how special of a friend he was to you Steve. I’ll be donating blood soon and will let you know when I do. May God continue to comfort his family.
 
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Rocket3015, real name Richard Merrick, passed away on November 6th, 2023.

Richard went to be with the lord while surrounded by his much loved family after a long and hard battle with cancer, a battle in which he fought with strength, character, and positivity.

I say that he went to be with the lord because I know that’s how he would want me to say it, as he was a man of faith. I also say that because I firmly believe it. We talked about faith privately quite a bit, and I remember several times him telling me that he didn’t often talk about his faith to people he didn’t know, that instead of talking about it, he tried to live a life that exemplified it.

Rocket joined Anabolic Minds on July 24th, 2014, and quickly became one of the most active, respected, and beloved members on this forum. This community will forever be better because of his presence.

He was in many ways a leading force here and an inspiration to so many both in terms of his physique, commitment, and dedication to fitness, and in just exemplifying what it meant to be a good man.

Rocket lived a life of trying to help others.

Please help continue that legacy and help make this fundraiser set up by his daughter a success.


Please give what you can and also help spread the word so that others can as well.

Rocket was, and his memory will continue to be, in many ways the heart and soul of this forum.
Wow does this hit hard. Just a forum but there are real people with real lives. Terrible loss, thank you for making this thread. Sounds like a really good man.
 
LeanEngineer

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Definitely one of the top saddest stories of 2023 for me is Rocket's passing :(
 
Hyde

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In recent years, Rocket had become someone I considered a real friend, despite us never meeting in person. He was always eager to hear about me & my wife’s competing, how my son & family were doing, going out of his way to be supportive - he was a real lifter who simply loved all things muscle & strength, & a true family man who loved being a grandpa. The way he had his awesome home gym he built over the years, that he used every day before dawn for love of lifting - but also loved his family time that he wouldn’t encroach on - that is something I admired so much.

When he passed, it struck a nerve. I had done well at a recent competition, but I did not ever bench the 405lbs I really expected to finally accomplish this year. I had since been losing weight & resigned myself to “trying again next year”. Losing Rocket made me consider that you aren’t guaranteed a next year. Even if you have your life, situations & events out of your control may take opportunities away you will never get back the same.

On Thanksgiving this year, I decided that I was going to give my very best effort to pursue that benchpress, right now. Every day, when I ate when I wasn’t hungry, continued to train hard when I was exhausted, did my therapy, mobility & tissue work that bored me - I thought of Rocket reminding me that Life is Good. It would make me smile and be thankful for the opportunity to pursue this arbitrary goal of passion.

Last Saturday, December 30th, I thought of him again in those final moments before my attempt as I wrapped my wrists. I felt like he was smiling down on me, cheering me on inside, and I knew I couldn’t miss. 405 moved slowly, grinding through the top, but there was no quit until finally it locked out beautifully. I was truly proud of that, and I felt like I would have made Rocket proud.

The weight lifted (or even the task I chose) isn’t important at all, but the beauty of OPPORTUNITY that life gives us - the choices we get to make each & every day, days we are never guaranteed - that’s what Rocket tried to remind us of, all the time. I’m sharing this with you all because I hope you can take something positive from Rocket’s death the way I have. You have choices every day you get to live.

Life is Good!!!
 
Wimsicle

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God got a good one this year. Rest in Peace brother, you Will me missed.

I will get out and donate ASAP. Thanks Steve for this and sharing.

I don't have any specific memories, but when I was new to AM there were a few people that I looked up to and made me feel comfortable to post despite not being nearly as smart or as far in my fitness journey. Driven2lift, Booneman, bigt, and of course rocket. I've fallen in and out of AM over the years and haven't kept touch with anyone, but always keep an eye on it and am sad to see his battle come to an end.

I will continue prayers for his family and loved ones. Thanks again Steve.
 
sns8778

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God got a good one this year. Rest in Peace brother, you Will me missed.

I will get out and donate ASAP. Thanks Steve for this and sharing.

I don't have any specific memories, but when I was new to AM there were a few people that I looked up to and made me feel comfortable to post despite not being nearly as smart or as far in my fitness journey. Driven2lift, Booneman, bigt, and of course rocket. I've fallen in and out of AM over the years and haven't kept touch with anyone, but always keep an eye on it and am sad to see his battle come to an end.

I will continue prayers for his family and loved ones. Thanks again Steve.
Thank you of the kind words.

And thank you - whenever you do get to donate, please post in the thread or pm me and let me know and I'll add you to the list. of people who have given in his memory.
 
Afi140

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thanks for sharing and doing this. rocket really was one of a kind. still can’t believe it but he is with the Lord now and he had shared his faith with me privately as well which gives me assurance of his salvation.
 
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Very sad to hear this. I’d been worried when I didn’t see him post for a while. Always a good spirit. May he rest in peace
 
SHORSE

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thanks for sharing and doing this. rocket really was one of a kind. still can’t believe it but he is with the Lord now and he had shared his faith with me privately as well which gives me assurance of his salvation.
AMEN!
 
PhantomReaper

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To tell the Truth..I've always had a problem believing in God..
But..since I've been Fighting C for 10 yrs now I can say without a doubt..
I Believe in God..

At times I've had to turn everything over to Him and pray..And,trust in Him..
Just recently I had to turn it over..Yet again..
And He provided..

I'm glad to see the tight Brotherhood here..
I am a long time member of another BB Forum..ASF..
And we too are also a tight community..

I've been working on a better way of Honoring our "Fallen Brothers"..
Just been tied up with Medical stuff..
Z...
 
K

kisaj

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Thank you for posting this, I don't frequent as much as I used to and would have missed it. I wrote and commented a lot with him over the years and he was always a really great soul.

I feel even better about my routine blood donations now, though bittersweet.
 
Ricky10

Ricky10

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I haven’t been around here for a bit, but I was aware of his diagnosis many months ago.

I have since read through his complete journey, and it’s as inspirational as it is tragic. What a tremendous spirit!
 
jim2509

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Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends. The forum will be a lesser place without Rocket.

Have booked to give blood on February 12th, the posts have definitely made me have a think about things and how I can do more for others.
 
Ricky10

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Even throughout his sickness, it was overtly apparent that he absolutely loved lifting. As long as his platelets were high enough, he was right on it. Today, I let my own personal demons hold me back from making efforts to get my ass to the gym. His story inspired me to get over myself and get out there!

Unfortunately, at some point along my drive to the gym, a larger than life acorn decided to wedge itself between my brakes and wheel rims. I haven’t heard a noise like that since the original Jurassic Park movie. I had no choice but to call my girlfriend to bring our toolbox to my gym parking lot so I could set it free. After that mess, I decided it was best to just have a drink.

Rocket was certainly more devoted than myself, but I will continue to draw upon his dedication moving forward as I get older and it inevitably gets easier to find excuses to divert yourself from striving for your physical goals.

Wasn’t meant to be today though 🤷🏼‍♂️
 

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