3 GUARANTEED WAYS OF IDENTIFYING YOUR FRIENDS
1. They will pay $95. for a ticket to a dinner you are serving. 2. They will drive through a snow storm to get there. And 3. They will dig deep into their pockets to share their resources to support a cause that you believe in.
WOW! Do we have a lot of friends! Last Saturday night was the 2nd annual Evening For Miracles Gala in support of Jesse Arrigo. Aproximately 130 people blazed their way through the storm over the greasy, snowy streets of Mississauga, Toronto, Brampton, Oakville, and Midland (yes I said Midland! You know...the Snow Belt!) to join us in what was planned to be a night of good food, music, dancing, comedy, education, and inspiration. And as our smiling, hugging and complimenting guests left at the end of the evening we checked off each bullet point on our goals list for the event as successfully completed.
What was mostly left a secret to our guests was our agenda for the evening. Walking the red carpet entrance to receive their complimentary framed photos against our media wall they began to learn that this night was not a night dedicated to Jesse alone. It was the official, unofficial launch of "Baby Jesse's NEVERGIVEUP Club". The NEVERGIVEUP Club is and outgrowth of our experience with Jesse since his non fatal drowning in May of 2012. Saturday night, with our friends gathered gave us the opportunity to outline our family's goals for the new year and beyond. A dream and a vision to help families such as ours in their struggle for understanding, direction and hope as they discover that their child has been left with an acquired brain injury due to near drowning, suffocation, choking, poisoning, heart attack and other accidents that have temporarily but tragically starved their brains of oxygen. Acquired brain injury of this type is a grossly understudied condition so very little (if any) hope for recovery is given to families through the medical community.
But these hundred plus friends and many hundreds, if not thousands more who have connected to Jesse's story and followed it through all these months are beginning to see a different outcome. The future for the child with an acquired brain injury is not a future with no quality of life as it is too often believed, but one of an immense quality of life. I say, who among us who is not developing, growing and learning, let him cast the first stone! These kids are developing, growing and learning and without question many of them are working much harder at improving themselves than some of us are.
Jesse and children like him are among us. They are dotted through our populace everywhere and like love magnets they are drawing out the good in others. Look into the face of a child or a toddler who maybe just a few months ago was thrilled at discovering life and the world and every little thing his body and his mind could do. Now he sits in a special chair working on the basics of learning to think again.
Somehow it often draws compassion to the surface of what might have been previously complacent hearts and suddenly love finds it's way out. Our family has discovered a select few amazing individuals who have stepped forward and expressed their interest in working with us. The passion to create something of incredible blessing to children who are innocent victims of tragic accidents is coming alive within them. We know that these precious people will see joy replace the tear stained faces of moms and dads. This year we will see the look of comfort and hope sweep across the eyes of those who open our brochures, or find Jesse's web site resources or receive our 'Parent's Hospital Comfort Kits.'
We cannot predict our future successes. We know we will have our failures. But we can set up a target and take our best shot at it. If my family could turn the clock back to any date before May 17th, 2012, we would. But we cannot. We do however have two options. We can wear long faces, harbor bitter regret, and take a melancholy walk through our days with a loser's limp, or we can stand up, look ahead and move forward. Our future is a mystery. So is yours. If we knew what tomorrow held for us Jesse would not have left our arms for a second. But reality is children wander, teens wander and adults wander.
The challenge of life it seems is to not wander aimlessly, but chart a course, a course that is achievable, a course with a purpose and a destination.
Once again we want to sincerely thank all of you who attended our Gala even as we look forward to Gala 2015, and for all of you following this blog and for taking an interest in Jesse's story. We pray that your interest will grow exponentially as we discover other children such as Jesse and tell their stories of hope heroism as well.
THE NEXT BIG NEWS TO COME...
is the launching of the new jessearrigo.com web site. The launch date is set for Feb. 15th as we begin to flesh out the beginnings of "Baby Jesse's NEVERGIVEUP Club". Join us won't you to pray, encourage and share the strength we all have, to give what we have to give to those little ones, the little ones among us who have fallen.