I am happy to officially present the organization, "Anything For A Friend"! While I was in the hospital still, some friends and family suggested that we apply for this magnificent fundraiser. I am happy to say that I was approved for the fundraiser, and couldn't be more grateful... Anything For A Friend has changed lives and communities because of an amazing purpose geared towards uniting communities and individuals in love. The AFAF homepage says it best:
"Anything For A Friend is a simple concept about human beings and our interconnection. We believe that humans have an innate desire to connect and help each other when someone is in need. However, most are unsure as to how to provide such help. Anything For A Friend seeks to provide an avenue through which family, friends and the community of someone dealing with personal tragedy can band together to show support. We believe that through the organization of a community fundraiser, both the friends and the benefactor are able to minimize much of the fear and anxiety related to personal tragedy and find satisfaction through such an event, ultimately benefiting the entire community."
Becky Anderson is the founder of Anything For A Friend, and benefitted from the love and support of her own community and loved ones during her bout with cancer. Now, she generously shares the love and pays it forward through this organization. My mom wrote a letter of thanks to Becky and the organization. It echoes my own gratitude and that of my family. I wanted to share it.
We feel incredibly blessed that Carson has been chosen to be a recipient of "Anything For A Friend". Having not heard of this organization before, I was in tears looking at the website for the first time. I know from what we have already experienced, that this is what Carson is going to need to help him get through. It was the outpouring of love and support from extended family, friends, neighbors and even strangers that got us through the initial traumatic stages of this ordeal. Now that Carson is home, we are facing the realities of this life-changing experience. The strain on our family has come in emotional, emotional, and financial levels that we could not have anticipated. We have wondered, "How can we do this?" We can't... at least, not alone. I have learned through all of this, that the kind service we receive comes from the goodness of those who are instruments in God's hands, answering prayers we haven't even asked for! The mission of "Anything for a Friend" is incredible. I felt great hope as I read about communities coming together to serve those in need. What was even more remarkable to me was to see past recipients "pay it forward" to others in need, through their kind acts of service. It increased my awareness of the many different ways we can serve each other. It was a new picture I had not imagined. There are lessons to be learned and I am first in line to be taught. Thank you!"
Every recipient of this fundraiser is asked to come up with a unique motto, so in the beginning stages of the organzing, the committee asked me to propose one that would symbolize my journey. This was a difficult task for me, but I finally came up with one. I chose the following motto and logo:
This motto and logo is so meaningful to me for many reasons. It is significant to me because the odds of recovery are not so highly in my favor. For anyone with a spinal cord injury, recovery is serious business, and takes years with little progress at times. I speak not only of physical recovery, but emotional and spiritual recovery as well. To me, it has always seemed like the road to recovery was a daunting one, with the odds of recovery seeming overwhelmingly small. The person who designed this logo explained why she chose to present the motto this way. She depicted the word "odds" as being smaller then the word "defy", for symbolic reasons. It is symbolic in that the odds of our success over certain challenges are small at times (especially in my case), but our ability to overcome them can be greater. The word "defy" seems to overshadow and even crush the odds. Through miracles, hard work, prayers of family and friends, and the support of an incredible community, I hope to defy the odds in every positive way. I plan to maximize my recovery in every aspect and live a full life of happiness. I still do not know how that will happen, and at times I doubt I can do it. I am very far from achieving this goal still, but I know that it must be possible. I have to do it...
One thing that I have learned about a spinal cord injury and other great difficulties, is that the ripple effect is enormous. In fact, I wouldn't call them ripples, I would call them tidal waves, washing over the family and, at times, even the community of the loved one, affecting all who exist in his or her surroundings. This has been a difficult but necessary lesson for me to learn. If I could suffer alone, I would. If I could be the only one to suffer emotionally, physically, spiritually or otherwise, that would be my choice. Watching my family and especially my parents suffer with me has been overwhelming, and an aspect of my injury that has been as hard to bear as any. It destroys me to see their strugglings and know that they are born from my injury. I I don't want them to hurt like I do...but no matter how I wish this wouldn't affect others, it does, and I simply cannot do this by myself. No matter my willpower, no matter my strivings for independence, I have to rely on the constant support and help of others. Before, there were very few things that I felt I could not do. I was able and capable in every way, and felt that I could overcome and find solutions to my challenges by myself. Now, I humbly implore the help of all who surround me.
So, I humbly and happily invite all of you to this magnificent community event, Anything For A Friend. Hope to see you there.
Here's the info: Mark your calendars! As you can see, some events you can preregister for, which I suggest doing.
Date: May 31, 2014 (10:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
Location: Layton Commons Park Bowery
403 N. Wasatch Dr.
Layton, UT 84041
- 5K/Fun Run (PRE-REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE)
- Early Dinner, donated by BELLA'S Fresh Mexican Grill (PRE-REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE)
- Silent/Live Auction
- Kid's Corner
- Bake Sale
- Balloon Launch
I am indebted forever to all of you who have already helped, supported, and loved me... I could never repay you for what you've already done for me and my family. Thank you for helping me defy the odds of my injury.
My sincerest love and gratitude,