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Over a year ago I was contacted by a former classmate who wanted me to help work on our 15 year high school reunion. I didn’t want to help, I had planned the 10 year and was burnt from all the people who could never be satisfied even if you dropped $1million in their laps. But she told me about another classmate of ours who battled Thyroid cancer and is a survivor and whose husband has stage 4 lymphoma. The reunion was to be a fundraiser for the family. It was hugely successful with a silent auction and donations from classmates. The money went to help Mike with treatments that were not covered by health insurance.

The family was also on Oprah’s big give and on the program the contestants paid off their mortgage and gave Mike a new truck and their three daughters got some small scholarships. Nothing was way too over the top a la Extreme Makeover Home Edition. In essence the family was given piece of mind because Mike is dying. He has terminal cancer. His latest Pet scan is showing that his tumors have grown.

I had thought that after I helped with the reunion my part to play was pretty much over but it was not. I was contacted by a woman who had met the family and she told me about how their town was now treating the family after The Big Give episode aired. They turned on the family and have been utterly small minded and horrible. The one thing that has been keeping Mike going has been hope and good wishes from people. The family had an online journal chronicling everything that was going on with Mike’s health. Then very negative comments started appearing on the journal and so they closed it and made it password protected.

The woman who contacted me runs a campground and she asked me if I could help make their stay over Memorial day weekend extra special. I sent an e-mail to many of my contacts who I thought would be receptive to sending a message of hope to the family. I got a fair response. Not a great response a fair response. But I was able to give the family a decent amount of messages of hope.

I am working on a second project. It was inspired by a blogger who said that something I should do should be photography related. So what I am looking for is to get as many photos of people from all over the world who are holding messages of hope. Think Good Morning America’s "Three Words". I am going to compile those photos into a video set to music to give to the family. Hope is what is keeping this family going and hope is what I want to give them.

Will you help me?

Please send a photo of yourself holding a message of hope to hopephotos@benspark.com. If you want to just send a photo that you already have and tell me the message of hope you want to have on the photo then I will add the text to the photo and to the video. The message must be of hope, no negativity, hope is what is keeping this family going.

I will also be creating a thank you message and post the video to my blog with links to every blogger who chooses to participate. I created a spark on Social Spark for this as well but have only gotten 2 takers.

You can read about the family here http://www.benspark.com/help-the-machinski-family.html

The spark is here http://socialspark.com/advertisers/benspark/sparks/274

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16 Responses to “Hold on to Hope”

  1. ciara says:

    i think it’s pretty sad that people would turn on the family after the show. it shows you how jealous, small-minded and selfish people really can be. i’ll try to get a photo in soon.

    ciara’s last blog post..The Disney Trip….

  2. Drew says:

    Thanks very much, I need it by tomorrow if you can. Thanks.

  3. Chica says:

    Tell me your not needing this by tomorrow?! sounds like it from your above comment there. Oy! I can’t participate with holding the sign, But I could send an image with the words for you to add. I will post about this on PP. When is the deadline? So I can add that to my post.

  4. Drew says:

    Chica,
    I’ll be working on the project tomorrow because it is for Father’s day and I won’t be able to do anything on Friday or Saturday. So the short answer is yes, I need this by tomorrow. But didn’t you send me something already. A photo with words added through photoshop is fine. Thanks.

  5. Chica says:

    Well shoot then me blogging about this won’t do any good, lol. you could take it to the blog catalog discussion boards, may get some response there..

    I did send something already, had totally forgot about that! No need to send something else I suppose. But yeah take that to BC’s Discussion area, or let me know if you want me to do it.

    Chica’s last blog post..10 best places to get Blogspot templates

  6. Drew says:

    Chica,
    I’m not as well known there and I’d love it if you wanted to talk it up. Maybe we can get some response. Thanks.

  7. Hi Ben, yeah sure. I need to look for a photo and words to encourage this family! This is really nice of you. Why are those people so mean to them? They didn’t do anything wrong.

    Steven and Aisha’s last blog post..Thankful Thursday

  8. Drew says:

    Hi Steve and Aisha,
    Glad to see you came by to this blog. Why are people so mean, if I knew the answer maybe we could stop all the meanness in the world. Thanks very much for participating, I hope you find a photo for the project.

  9. dale says:

    G’Day Drew,
    I say Chica’s post regarding this issue. I have created the following to add to your project if not too late:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3161/2572247753_6c2059505f_o.jpg

    Best wishes on the project.

    cheers
    dale

    dale’s last blog post..Big Mountain on Little Red Planet

  10. Drew says:

    Dale,
    That is fantastic!, just what I am looking for. Thanks so much.

  11. […] created this out of a request that came from Drew at Benspark.com. Drew posted “what I am looking for is to get as many photos of people from all over the […]

  12. fracas says:

    Hi Drew,

    With my daughter sick I didn’t have a chance to check to make sure you got my email with the photo links. Were you able to get the photos? I know they weren’t all holding a sign, but there was one in the batch that was, so I do hope you got it!

    Please do let them know that they are in my thoughts more than they might think for the fact that I’ve never met them.

    A hearty round of blessings to you for being such a good friend to them. The world needs more Drews.

  13. Drew says:

    Fracas,
    I put all the pictures that you sent into the video. Thanks so much for the idea and the contribution. I hope that your daughter gets well soon too.

  14. Connie says:

    Do you have a link to the video yet? I’d love to see it!

    Connie’s last blog post..June is Myasthenia Gravis Awareness Month

  15. Drew says:

    Hi Connie,

    For some reason the video did not automatically upload from utterz to youtube. I will do that soon, but in the meantime you can see it at this link. Hold on to hope

  16. […] a Spark on SocialSpark to get people to help. What I wanted was positive energy only. The theme was Hold on to Hope. I wanted the family to have the most positive experience possible while watching the video during […]