Grace and a glider kit

| July 03, 2014

David Adkins considers himself a lucky man, which is strange considering he was diagnosed with terminal cancer less than a month ago.

“It just happened so fast,” he says. “I got swallowing problems about two months ago and [by the time it was diagnosed] it had already spread into my bones and lungs.”

This story's author, Wendy Parker, writes the George & Wendy Show blog, appearing several times a week on, dispatched from her ridealong position in the truck (though not this particular one) with her owner-operator husband, George.

This story’s author, Wendy Parker, writes the George & Wendy Show blog, appearing several times a week on, dispatched from her ridealong position in the truck (though not this particular one) with her owner-operator husband, George.

This would be a horrible and sad story if it weren’t for David’s general disposition.

“I have a never-quit attitude and will get out of bed as long as possible. I’m still doing OK and and don’t take anything but over-the-counter [pain] meds, so every day is great to be alive.” 

David and his wife Shena worked for Landstar running teams until the recent diagnosis. He approached us through our Facebook page to see if we would help him get the word out to get his 2013 Fitzgerald Glider sold. He also wanted to generate awareness for people who don’t have life insurance and encourage them to get it.

The Adkins' 2013 Coronado Glider -- catch a few more views in the gallery below.

The Adkins’ 2013 Coronado Glider — catch a few more views in the gallery below.

“I would like to get everyone’s attention to get term life insurance as most people just don’t think it is important,” he says. “I’m am so grateful [I got it] and I’m not going to leave my wife homeless and penniless.” 

As tragic as this story sounds, David’s grace and acceptance of the situation has made the news much easier for he and his family to get used to.

“I don’t want any sympathy, I’m a lucky man,” he says. “I’ve never really been sick or in pain in my life. I’ve had everything I ever wanted, a family, the job I love and my dream truck. Some people spend their whole lives in pain and sickness, I figure I better be thankful I had 49 years of good and just try to have the best attitude I can have about the situation.”

He goes on to say that sometimes you can do as many things right as you have control over, and still get sick: “We were good about eating real food. My wife cooked in the cab and we stayed away from the truck stop food as much as possible. I never smoked — the only health problem I ever had was a little high blood pressure, but for the most part, we’ve lived pretty healthy.”


W900L glider rolls in log-hauling fleet

Last year, Dan Pardovich and his brother, Ryan, took the engine and transmission from a donor truck and built a W900L glider.

When he talked about his truck, I could hear the pride in his voice. It would be hard not to be proud of a fully custom Glider with a Coronado body style, Detroit 63 and the glowing green paint job the Fitzgeralds have made trademark. The interior is modeled after the Volvo 780, with the work station area and adaptive bunk. It’s a beautiful truck, and you can tell from the way he talks about it he took exceptional care of it.

“If anyone would like to buy a 2013 Fitzgerald glider with a lot of extras still set up for Landstar just like the Fitzgerald show truck in the signal green, I will sell it at no profit,” David says. “There’s about $86,000 owed and payments are current, but the bank will be coming for it soon and I hope to see someone get it instead of the bank.”


Fitzgerald raising money for St. Jude’s with glider kit sale

Fitzgerald Glider Kits will be selling a specially built Peterbilt 389 with the full sales price of the truck going to benefit St. Jude's Children's ...

Most importantly, though, he wants to reiterate the importance of having a life insurance policy that’s worth the money you pay for it. He suggests taking some time and really investigating what the policy pays and how it’s given back in the end., and to make sure to get a large enough policy to take care of the needs of your family. He thinks term life insurance is the best value. “Some of these policies are a rip-off,” he says. “Be careful what you buy. If I didn’t have the piece of mind that I have, knowing Shena will be taken care of, I couldn’t bear this. Having that security for her makes it easier for me to carry on and just take it as it comes.”

As easy as it would be for him to be angry and depressed, David has opted to make the last few months of his life just as productive and happy as it’s been all along. He intends to stay active and spend as much time with his wife and their children and grandchildren as he can. He says he will miss driving, but has other things to keep him occupied.

“Like I said, I’ve got a never quit attitude,” he says. “I’m going to get up and go every day I can.”

Find more specs on the truck via this link.


    GOD BLESS YOU DAVID ! I pray that GOD will do what’s best for you & your family ! 10-4 DRIVER 1

  • Jim Logan

    I told my boss about it he has a soft spot about helping cancer related problems it run in the family that is why he promotes a tractor pull every Oct to help raise money for Koen foundation will talk more about it tue. or wed when I get in if it was red be almost sure deal all his stuff is red even his pull tractor good luck god bless

  • Jim Logan

    How many miles is on it what Trans in it gear ratio

  • Tosha

    Thank you for writing such an amazing article about my dad. He is definitely an amazing man and a wonderful father!

  • Amy Harshbarger Price

    This is a wonderful story. David and Shena are my neighbors. they are wonderful people. They both are very proud of their truck. When you see David he always has a smile on his face.

  • David Adkins

    Thanks to everyone, you all make it possible for me to carry on

  • Arthur Cohan

    I am interested in finding out more about the truck, you can email me at: strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.