Election 2012: Ray Eckenrode on values

By Ray Eckenrode
My wife Megan and I have been blessed to grow up in the heart of Collin County. This is home.


We met in Junior High here, graduated High School here, and after returning from Texas Tech and A&M, respectively, we were married and are now raising three beautiful little girls here. This is home and it’s a great place to grow a family, build friendships, start a business, and “do life.” This community has provided us with faith, family, friends, and plenty of opportunities to serve.

Collin County is one of the most vibrant, growing counties in our State. I want to keep it that way. Our citizens deserve leaders who have the ability to understand current issues and the capacity to bring forward fiscally conservative ideas and initiatives. Our citizens deserve leaders who are open, transparent, and available. Quite simply, you deserve leaders who can truly lead.

I know how to get things done and have a strong and lengthy track record of leadership in our County. I value the people here. I value transportation – the ability to get in and around our county safely. I value safety. I value building partnerships to maximize Taxpayer’s dollars. I value a thriving business community that keeps our tax rate low and broadens options for work and free time.

I respectfully ask for your support and vote in the upcoming Republican Primary to allow me the privilege of representing the citizens of Collin County as the Precinct 3 County Commissioner.

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Jeran Akers: How to save a life in 60 seconds





Transplant gives former mayor second chance;
Akers celebrating life by giving back to community

By Brian Bearden
This story begins a few years ago … 


After all the medical tests, the doctor told the former mayor of Plano that at most he would have two to three years to live.

LIFE CAN QUICKLY CHANGE

Jeran Akers owned Akers & Associates and was helping families move into homes by providing mortgages and had a long future planned with wife, Victoria, and kids.

Only problem, he had a medical condition with his lungs. In months, he would not be able to breathe.

“When someone says you are going to die, relative to a certain date, it gets your attention,” Akers said. “I had a condition. Not even a disease.”

After a biopsy of his lungs, doctors were 100 percent certain that he had few choices to live. Akers immediately ruled out a transplant because it would be too painful. Instead he went for medical trials while his doctor asked him not to rule out the transplant.

“My doctor said, ‘Listen, Akers, you need to consider a transplant. With the advances they are making, in three years they will have something even better.”

Meanwhile, Akers found himself able to breathe less and less.

“We took a tour to Santa Fe (N.M.),” Akers told the Collin County Lincoln Society. “It felt like I was suffocating like I was on the bottom of a bunch of kids in a dogpile. I went inside and went over to the fire place. I lifted a log to put in the fireplace, and I had a collapsed lung.”

Akers was treated and put on oxygen. He returned home and decided to wait for a transplant.

“It is a very much alone feeling,” Akers said. “I went through all of my stuff and put things in three different boxes for my children so they wouldn’t have to do it. As morbid as it sounds, I wrote my obituary and my memorial. As time progressed, I could do less and less.”

He sold the major assets of Akers & Associates, a manufacturer’s representative agency the Rotarian had owned since 1979.

“I even went through and cleaned the garage,” he said.

CLIMBING BACK

Victoria and Jeran decided to work in a trip to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

“By now I’m on oxygen, and we had a backup for the backup tank as we drove up there,” said Akers, warning that the high altitude almost did him in because of the oxygen. The elevation of the park averages 8,000 feet, ranging from 5,282 feet in the north to 11,358 feet in the east, at the summit of Eagle Peak in the Absaroka Range.

His oxygen tanks were making noise.

Despite that, Akers reached the top.

“I was sitting there breathing my oxygen, as happy as a lark,” he said. Shortly afterward, his lungs had a relapse.

TRANSPLANT LOCATED

At home resting, Akers received a call from the doctor saying a transplant had been found. He asked, “How fast can you get to the hospital?”

“I said 30 to 45 minutes. He said make it 30 minutes.”

At the hospital, Akers learned the donor was an older guy with tattoos and piercings. Doctors told him, “We are taking a chance in putting these lungs in your body.”

Akers went into surgery, woke up with a morphine drip and two IV lines.

“I looked down at my chest, and it looked like a redneck switchboard,” Akers said.

He said the next two or three days were the “absolute hardest days of my life” because of the pain. At one point, he said he asked “Lord, am I going to be OK?” With the morphine working on his pain, Akers said he saw four pieces of rope that spelled out “I X O U” which he accepted. Another time, Akers said he saw a small man at the bottom left of his vision. “It winked at me. Let me tell you, you have to have a belief in a supreme being – a higher power when you go through something like that. It is what pulled you through.”

Akers, the 64-year-old Alabama grad who became a captain in the Air Force, meets with the Lincoln Society once a month on the second Wednesday of each month in Allen. He was one of the 5,000 in attendance in Dallas at the Republican Party of Texas annual convention.

TODAY … GOING STRONG

Now, a couple of healthy years later, Jeran Akers is a candidate in 2012 for State Representative in House District 67.

Akers, the current CEO and President of the Celina Chamber of Commerce, has run for office before and served as mayor of Plano from 2000-2002 (after John Longstreet and before Pat Evans) and ran for the Republican nomination for Collin County Commissioner in 2006.

Akers was elected mayor on May 6, 2000, with 64.17 percent of the Plano vote. Akers also served on the Plano City Council from 1993-1999. He was Deputy Mayor Pro Tem from 1997-1998 and Mayor Pro Tem from 1998-1999.

Akers said what’s important is becoming an organ donor.

“The most valuable asset you have is your body,” Akers said. “Most organs will be buried or cremated. What a waste? You can literally save a life, save nine people and have an affect on so many lives and people by just deciding to donate your organs.

“Because of having this transplant and these new lungs, I got to see my daughter get married and see a son become an officer in the Air Force. Believe me, you will make a difference in someone’s life when you take a minute to sign up to donate.”

Akers says everyone can save a life by spending about 60 seconds to sign up today at Donate Life Texas at donatelifetexas.org.

Thanks for joining more than 74,000 in reading, sharing and advertising on CollinCountyHeadlines.com. … Your source for news in Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and across Collin County. … Advertising starts at only $250 per month. … E-mail collincountyheadlines@gmail.com. Click for today’s TRAVEL DEALS – Ends Daily at 9 p.m.Click for Today’s GROUPON Deal. ***

Sen. Santorum in McKinney, Allen, Plano on Wednesday





From Mark Davis of WBAP radio …

MORNING EVENT:

Senator Rick Santorum, fresh off primary wins Tuesday night, will address local pastors and members of clergy in a private, invitation-only event — however, there will be a rally outside the chapel for supporters to attend. Senator Santorum’s address will be broadcast outside, and after he speaks to the clergy, he will come out to speak to the public. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear his personal testimony!

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. at Bella Donna Chapel in McKinney, Texas

LUNCHEON:

WBAP’s Mark Davis will emcee a luncheon featuring Senator Santorum and hosted by Tait and Joy Cruse. For those wishing to attend, the suggested donation is $250 per person.

11:30 a.m. at Northwood Country Club off Hillcrest north of LBJ 635 in Dallas, Texas.

EVENING RALLIES:

Sen. Santorum will meet with local tea party activists at the Courtyard by Marriott in Allen at 5 p.m. at 210 East Stacy Road at U.S. 75.

Mark Davis will also emcee this rally featuring Senator Santorum — free and open to the public. Please make plans to bring your families and attend!

7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at Fairview Farms in Plano, Texas, at U.S. 75 and Parker Road (Corral Barn
 3314 North Central Expressway #100).

Thanks for joining more than 60,000 in reading, sharing and advertising on CollinCountyHeadlines.com. … Your source for news in Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and across Collin County. … Advertising starts at only $250 per month. … E-mail collincountyheadlines@gmail.com. Click for today’s TRAVEL DEALS – Ends Daily at 9 p.m.Click for Today’s GROUPON Deal. ***

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