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Live a Life Worth Telling a Story About…What’s YOUR Story?

One of the things that brings me the most joy in life is coaching high school football. Today, you are going to hear from one of my best friends that I spend a lot of time with during football season. As a matter of fact, I spend as much time with this guy during the season as I do my own family. My friends, I am fired-up to share the incredible story of Scripps Ranch (San Diego) HS Head Football Coach, Marlon Gardinera. He’s funny, intense, competitive, charismatic…and he truly has a life worth telling a story about.

Marlon was given 1-2 years to live after being diagnosed with Amyloidosis in December 2007. He eventually received a liver transplant in 2009. He has had multiple complications since then as he can’t stave off infections and colds like most people. He’s had too many trips to the ER than you can count. He now lives with Stage 3 chronic kidney disease and his health is paramount to his being.

Thirteen years after his initial diagnosis, Marlon Gardinera is alive and kicking and is as feisty as ever. After the school’s first League championship in 25-years last season, a team GPA of 3.71, we are NOW preparing for another championship-caliber season. 

But before we start our team conditioning and practices again for what we hope will be another championship season, you need to hear the story of Coach Marlon Gardinera. The adversity, challenge and setbacks Marlon has been through have been massive. And the strength, tenacity, resolve, and faith he has shown is truly one of legend. 

Enjoy today’s episode on “Live A Life Worth Telling A Story About…What’s your Story?” It will make you laugh, smile, and think deep. It goes beyond football. It’s about life and family. And I hope it inspires you to live a life worth telling a story about also!

If you find this episode IMPACTFUL, please share it with your community.
Please tag me on your social media: @ToddDurkin
Marlon Gardinera on IG (@mgardinera) and Twitter at @MarlonGardinera.


:16 – Meet Coach Marlon Gardinera
He is one of Todd’s best friends and head football coach at Scripps Ranch High.

3:22 – The making of a QB Coach
Todd takes us back to Pop Warner football and how he became the QB coach.

5:12 – Coach Marlon shares thoughts on the 2019 football season.

  • Dream season
  • If you put the work in you will be rewarded
  • Great fan and community support

6:53 – We practice school!
Amazing Feat – How Marlon got the teams GPA to 3.71. You have to set the mark and it was 3.71 and it was part of the expectation to be on the team. 

9:07 – 5 Rapid fire questions for coach Marlon.

  1. Football or Baseball?
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla?
  3. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Milky Way?
  4. Workout or Nap?
  5. Oklahoma Sooners or Oklahoma State Cowboys?

12:30 – The day that changed his life.
December 2007 I couldn’t feel my feet. At age 34, Marlon was diagnosed with Amyloidosis and given 1-2 years to live.

16:19  – What do you do with only two years left to live?

  • Wrote letters
  • Worked harder than ever to save for my family
  • Cried myself to sleep in fear of never seeing my kids again

17:36 – The 9 most important visits.
8 false alarms – hope and disappointment.

23:53 – 2 Lives were saved – June 2009.
Marlon shares what happened to his liver.

26:06 – Save lives!
The importance of being an organ donor.

28:56 – A near-death experience in January of 2013.
Marlon’s body was shutting down and rejecting the new liver. Code blue and 8 days in a coma.

36:03 – The hardest workout in Marlon’s life.
20 days and 70 pounds shed caused massive muscle loss and Marlon had to learn how to walk again.

37:27 – Marlon shares overcoming adversity when he knows he will get cancer.

  • Faith # 1
  • My wife, children, and great relationships breath life into me
  • Laughter, Love, and Smiling
  • Inspiring the kids on  the team

40:56 – Was there ever a time he questioned faith and God.
Is this really God’s plan for me?  

44:52 – How do you get your mind right knowing you will get cancer?

  • I’m blessed I don’t have cancer today
  • Faith and eternal life
  • Clear motivation to coach my kids

48:14 – What’s next for Marlon?
Focus on staying healthy and sharing the message about donating a life!

49:51 – Thank you Marlon and wrap up. Marlon shares his legacy.

Thank you Coach Marlon Gardinera for being a guest on the IMPACT Show!
Follow Marlon on Twitter at @marlongardinera, IG @mgardinera, and FB @Marlongardinera and become an organ donor today and save a life.


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