Scanxiety will be in full swing today. Tomorrow is mom's first follow up scan. Projecting and anticipating? Trying not to go there. I'm still basking in the glow of a wonderful day and a beautiful party. And in the theme of warm and fuzzy, I turn to Jennie Grimes and the support network that surrounds her. Jennie is a young Stage IV patient who recently began working for the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
In December, there was an issue with her car. Jennie is constantly sending ripples of good karma into the universe. Within moments of posting her frustration over the car on her Facebook page, friends jumped into action. They set up a fundly page to see if they might get enough contributions to put the keys to a reliable replacement in her hands. The page exploded with donations within hours of being posted. Jennie needs the car to transport her for her medical treatment. It's not a luxury. It's a lifeline.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that Jennie was too quiet. I spotted a picture on Facebook. Clearly, she was in the hospital with that smile that lights up the universe surrounded by loved ones, all in hospital gear. Not the full hazmat gear, but just gowned up. I had no clue what was happening.
Obviously, it was not planned treatment protocol which was pretty easy to figure out when I saw her friend post this on Facebook:
"My friend Jennie's recent unexpected week-long hospital stay cost several thousand of dollars. These costs rack up shockingly quick! To help her pay off this debt, her friends are raising money on her behalf. We want her strong and that includes not losing precious sleep over mountains of medical bills. So please make a donation if you're of a mind. No donation is too small (or too large)!"
That was on March 5th. The following day, the same friend, Joanna posted the following note to Jennie:
"An extraordinarily sweet and generous friend of mine would like to pay the cost of your meds for the month of April. This year he has committed to do one thing for someone in need each month, and do without one or more things for himself in an equivalent amount that month. Can you tell us all what it costs you out of pocket each month for the meds that keep you alive? And maybe some kind donor would like to take the month of May (and so on)? It is utterly ridiculous that life-saving, necessary drugs are unaffordable for so many in this country. For those who can afford it, what a great, tangible way to pay it forward."
I asked Jennie if she would let me share this story on this blog. There is nothing more heartwarming than people touching other people. The extraordinarily sweet and generous friend has not been named. He just stepped in, because he could. With little fanfare. No expectation of accolades.
I was so taken back when I saw this message, I was damn near tears. Here's the thing. We all do what we can. Whether you are able to reach into your pocket or lend a helping hand or just offer the gift of a smile to someone who seems like they need it, know it makes a difference.
Make a difference today. I promise, there is no better feeling on the planet. Make an authentic connection.
Words to live by...... painted on the wall of a trendy Restoration Hardware store in lower Manhattan... They fit and of course, seeing the word "fearlessly" forced me to stop and read the whole quote:
“When we fearlessly fight for what we believe in and remain hopelessly optimistic about life, love and the future, we create an authentic connection with all in our path. Most importantly with ourself.”