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Praying for Coach Trimble

In response to ALS diagnosis, Allan Trimble's minister is praying for a miracle

Tuesday July 12, 2016 7:15 pm

When he prays while at home or while driving or while addressing a Park Plaza Church of Christ congregation of 1,600 on Sunday morning, Mitch Wilburn is swinging for the fences.

“I’m praying for Allan Trimble to be healed,” says Wilburn, the preaching minister at Park Plaza — Trimble’s church since the early 1990s. “I’m praying for a miracle. I’m not holding anything back.”

On Thursday night, during a series of phone calls to the Tulsa World and other media outlets, and in emails delivered to his Jenks High School football players and boosters, Trimble acknowledged that he has been diagnosed as having Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Trimble says he will continue to coach the Trojans.

“With the survival rate on this deal,” Wilburn said, “it’s going to take a miracle. I’m no medical professional, but that’s what they tell me.”

The Center for Disease Control describes ALS as being “a progressive disease that attacks the nerve cells that control voluntary movement.”

From the ALS Association website: “Although the life expectancy of a person with ALS averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable, and many people can live with the disease for five years and more. More than half of all people with ALS live more than three years after diagnosis.”

In 20 seasons as the Jenks head man, the 52-year-old Trimble has driven the Trojans to 13 state championships.

Considering that hundreds of athletes have cycled through the Jenks program since 1996, and that Trimble is a popular man and possibly the most accomplished figure in the 112-year history of the Jenks community, the news of his health issue rocks a lot of people.

Trimble is a church elder who was instrumental in the recent development of a Park Plaza satellite church in Jenks.

Expect a packed house for Sunday’s 8 p.m. prayer event at Jenks’ Frank Herald Fieldhouse, located immediately east of Hunter-Dwelley Stadium.