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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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