Bonjour! (a rather cute way of saying hello, I must say) ?
I am beyond tickled that you are here right now in these words with me. Oh what a journey it has been. This year I turned a thriving 28 years old. My mom’s business partner (who shares the same birthday with my mother) always notes, it’s not the years… It’s the miles! I can’t tell you who is older 😉
My mom is all of a sudden saying “but did you die” at the weirdest times .. lol! I’m like mom, you don’t say that after someone just says ANYTHING for crying out loud! It has to flow. But nonetheless, she is picking up on some lingo I just don’t have the energy to explain sometimes, haha! You may or may not know how much I love my family. They have given up everything for me. To say I have been blessed with 28 years of love, is an understatement. And it has nothing to do with anything tangible. It has simply been a shift of perspective for me. Expecting nothing, yet surprised by everything.
Even you, cheering me on from wherever that may be. I am a good kind of overwhelmed. Because of your continuous support, I have had the ability to start up the Hope, Love, and Me Foundation.
Since the onset of the 501(c)(3) status and getting our feet wet, the mission and ways of empowering others has been developing as it goes. Right now I’m working on something really cool that I can’t wait to share with you in the near future. As of now we have supported a quadriplegic in activity-based restorative therapy for the first time since the onset of his injury, now nearly 11 years ago. We have also been able to make donations for different equipment that individuals with spinal cord injuries have needed. But again, this is just how we have gotten our feet wet. Sometimes you have to wander around a little bit until you know where your heart is. I must say, with the team beside me, we are well on our way.
While assisting those in need with cervical level spinal cord injuries like myself, that is not our only primary goal. My heart is also in preventing these injuries, or any tragedy for that matter. The devastating realities behind how frequent someone becomes a quadriplegic has in many ways become a major part of my mission. I have a passion for something so much greater than myself, and that is people. Any resource, any opportunity that has assisted myself or somebody else is worth sharing. I’m not the kind of quadriplegic that briefly shows you how far I have come. My depth of knowledge is freely yours. I absolutely believe we are here to help each other in multiple ways.
Just this week I had a unique opportunity of speaking four times. One time to a group of people that have made the same decision I did (drinking and driving). I try to bring courage to these classrooms as I not only disseminate what could have also happened to them, but also the available hope of starting over wherever they are at.
I am grateful for these classes. My passion is also in prevention. I was able to speak to TWO separate senior and junior classes this week as well. These kids are excited for prom this weekend. I know that the homecoming and prom seasons are not the only times teenagers choose to drink and drive. If we are being honest here, that is probably the one time I didn’t drive. For me, it was more prominent throughout the random weekends of the school year. Nevertheless, I gratefully take every opportunity as a chance to plant a seed in the lives of growing minds.
2018 is a year of much comparison. Just this week someone in the audience mentioned to me an alarming statistic. She said that nearly 7 out of 10 people do not believe they have a purpose. And to no irony, many people were not shocked. I saw the faces of so many others fall. But I also gave them everything I have. I poured out my heart in the hopes that they, too, see the purpose left behind their pulse.
This is also a year of much change. Many minds are becoming more and more stimulated, and that my friend is raising up a strong generation. Excitement doesn’t even begin to describe our future. Thank you for loving me, and joining me on this mission. What is coming next? Something that is going to absolutely blow our minds. It is worth sticking around for 🙂