I am Jim Walsh

A family man, veteran and problem solver. I have devoted my life to my family. In service to my country, I found something I am good at: solving problems. I then learned how to apply that skill to helping people in fighting cancer,

Family man

I am eternally grateful to share my life with my wife, Debbie, and our two children. They are a constant source of inspiration to me, and they are my reason for being. We have navigated the transition from the military to civilian life. That journey took us from Texas through school in Indiana to our home here in Illinois. Through all that wandering, it was my hope and plan to give my kids a home school to grow in. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards. Our school district had to close a school due to lack of finances.This led to my children having to switch schools. So, we came together as a family and decided to make the best of it. In the process, we made great friends and found excellent teachers to partner with. We are truly home.

I served in the U.S. Air Force for 12 years. For seven of those years, I was an aircraft electrician. I was responsible for nearly every system that could cause the aircraft to crash. I was the one who was called when others failed to find solutions. As an electrician, it was my job to succeed when others failed or missions weren’t done.

In that pressure cooker I learned two things. First, preparation is a must. You must prepare for as many contingencies as possible before the problems happen. Learn from those who came before. They have lived nearly everything you are living now. Learn from any valid source of knowledge you can. Don’t just read. Interact with the information. Practice solving problems you know you will face. Second, when those problems happen, every last person is essential to the solution. From the lowliest airman to the highest ranking officer, everyone has a purpose to making the mission succeed. So, collegiality and respect for each other is a must if we are to succeed.

Comprehensive preparation and collaborating with others are the skills I have learned and the experiences I have lived that both prepared me for being a medical physicist and started to prepare me for service as your state representative.

Much of my adult life has been about solving problems.

In the military, I was trained to analyze any problem with any aircraft, find the root cause and repair it. From there, I went to school.

At school, I was trained in medical physics or how cancer cells attack the body and how radiation can be used to kill them. I learned techniques for gathering and analyzing information and for sharing the analysis with others so that we may come together to attempt to solve the problem that is cancer.

In being a medical physicist and working with physicians, dosimetrists, therapists and nurses, I was reminded of my lessons fixing aircraft: that preparation and collaboration are key to solving problem. I have been able to hone those skills and combine them with skills cultivated at school to work with my team to successfully hold cancer at bay for many patients who have come to Cancer Treatment Centers of America for help.

I have indeed spent my adult life fixing problems. More than that, I have learned how to fix problems. In each career, I have been given the opportunity to learn skills needed to solve certain problem. I found that I could use those skills in other careers in conjunction with new skills to solve different and more complex problems. I found I had a gift for it. I found I find joy in it. I found it also gives me purpose. Along with my family and my service, I am grateful to God for it.