Thursday, September 17, 2015

20,000 Thank You's

      I woke up Monday feeling like the Sahara Desert was in my throat and a waterfall of snot was dripping from my right nostril. The miserable cold that all the students have had latched onto me and wouldn't let me go. Sneezing isn't the same with ALS. I can't bring both my hands to my face to hold a Kleenex the same and blow a massive blow to dry up the waterfall which makes things even worse. Smash-cut to the end of the day. Brendan and I had just pulled into my driveway and I was driving down the ramp as I always do when, SKEHFIBRCH, crash, my entire wheelchair is on its side, my head is on the concrete and I've got 300lbs on top of me. Brendan with Hulk strength and Flash speed was able to pull me from the wreckage and flip my chair back upright. I sat there in my driveway, bleeding from my eyebrow thinking, "what the fuck just happened?!?"
      Brendan, my hero, was able to get me back in the chair and cleaned up, where we discussed how the heck a backpack strap could cause so much trouble, before he went home. My day started horribly and ended like a train wreck. But then, however, my spirits were lifted. I had and have been checking on the Gronk's Grace Team page religiously as the Walk approaches. And I saw names on my team that I couldn't believe were there. Friends I haven't seen since Boy Scouts, elementary school friends, ex-girlfriends, distant family members, all signing up and donating exuberant amounts of money for me. I took out a fork to eat my humble pie.
      The GoFundMe support was tremendous and I thank God I have those funds to tap into whenever I need it, but the Walk money feels different. Being a part of this Team makes me proud. So many people kicked so much ass to raise this money. Kids did community service and smashed their piggy banks for these donations. Friends from all across the country even on different continents helped spread awareness for ALS and  got their peers to donate. 500+ people did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I opened up about my insecurities to total strangers on TV, at bars, the grocery store, to anyone that would listen. Gronk's Grace has spread like wildfire and the support we've all raised will help many in the community with ALS. I've called us a team, squad, gang, clique, but I think at this point we should be called an army. An army that I know won't quit and won't back down or retreat until a CURE is found. I've never felt so proud to be a part of something. To victory!

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