One of the reasons I chose to go into the medical field was the strong desire to help others. Throughout my various clinicals, mission work, and jobs, this has always been the most rewarding parts of my career. One of my favorite experiences, which warrants a post dedicated to itself, was when I went to the Dominican Republic. There we collected assessment data on children in all sorts of communities to be utilized to direct resources and money to the areas with the most need. In theory, we thought we were going there to help them. In actuality, they were the ones who changed our lives. I have always been drawn to helping children, and hope to someday be able to help and love on them daily.
So when Make A Wish reached out, I was more than happy to help! This organization helps grant the wishes of children all across the nation with life threatening illnesses. The goal of this is to provide hope, strength, and joy to children and their families as they work through the unimaginable.
This evening was filled with all sorts of fun and stories of hope. Not only was it so much fun to dress up, but I also got to spend the evening with my future cousin-in-law. Don't worry it's a thing. lol
They had all sorts of awesome items available at their silent auction! I was five minutes shy of winning that wine barrel in the bottom corner!
I also tried to win this bourbon basket for Aaron. He said I didn't try hard enough :D
They even had this tiny pup up for auction, which is seriously genius. You were able to hold him and love on him. In what world would you not want to take him home, especially when you could justify purchasing him because you were helping children at the same time? I'm smitten, it's fine.
It was classy, to say the least.
The most amazing part of the evening though, was hearing Gabe's story. Right before Gabe was eligible for his license, he and his dad had been restoring an old El Camino. They spent countless hours, together with his brother, restoring the car. Just one month shy of his 16th birthday, the car was stolen, and later found, only to be wrapped around a tree. While dealing with this, and a long list of other tragedies, Gabe is also suffering from Medulloblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer.
When Make a Wish heard about Gabe, they knew exactly what they were going to do. They began working with Gabe and his dad on searching for the perfect car to restore. When they found it, Gabe helped every step of the way with the redesign. He believed they had a couple more months of work left on the car. In actuality, he was to receive his "new" restored car Friday night! He shed tears of joy and was literally overcome with emotion at the compassion that had been extended towards him and his family. He is currently battling a reoccurrence of his cancer and this gift could not have come at a better time.
These gifts offer so many things to kids during one of the most trying times in their lives. It provides distraction, joy, fun, strength, community, and most importantly HOPE.
This was an evening filled with people's stories.
Those of sadness and of heartache.
Those of hope and of joy.
Blogging is a way to share stories. It's a way of putting yourself out there and finding yourself surrounded by support from a community of strangers. Its a wonderfully unique way to bring people together. It is both my privilege and honor to be able to share a little bit of Gabe's story with you.
It was so refreshing and restoring to be a part of this event. It has reminded me of all that I have to be thankful for and all that I have to give.