HOPE. A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
My HOPE is to touch lives.
Yesterday, my boyfriend, Danny, and I donated art supplies to patients at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, TX (let me just mention how phenomenal and beautiful this hospital is! Danny even subconsciously referred to it as a hotel…that’s how nice it is).
As we were passing the front entrance of the hospital to drive home, Danny looked out the front window and said, “Look Al, that used to be you!” We watched a young girl wheel herself up to the entrance of the hospital, with a white tube taped on her face and thread through her nose. Looking at her, in that moment, felt as though I were watching myself in a mirror, 2 years prior.
After we both acknowledged our observation of the girl, Danny said something that I had never reflected on until yesterday. He looked me in the eyes, with the biggest smile on his face, grabbed my hand and said, “I am so proud of you! Look at all you have done for these kids! The money you’ve raised for these kids, goes to kids just like that girl, it goes to someone like you.” At this point I was already crying, because my heart was overfilled with joy; I had just seen a spitting image of myself, recognized how far I have come since that battle, and it was finally resonating with me that I was indeed, helping someone like me.
Over the past 6 months I have raised over $10,000 in total for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, benefiting pediatric hospitals all over the nation. I’ve met amazing kids with phenomenal stories, been given once in a life time opportunities to attend and speak at events and most of all, I’ve learned the importance of gratitude and appreciation.
Of course I know, in the back of my mind, that the money I raise is going to benefit the health of children all over the nation, just like I know that ‘A Rae of Hope Foundation’ will bring smiles to hospital rooms across the US.
But here’s what I didn’t know, until Danny said this, “Al, $10,000 in 6 months is amazing! Think of all the kids you’re helping! What if one of those kids were someone like you? What if one of those kids needs the experimental treatment like you did, and you helped give it to them? What if one of those kids is someone like you, and you help give them their life back? Your donations Al, can save a child’s life. It can help them get better so they can pursue an education, it can allow them to have the opportunity to get a job, get married and have a family. Al, someone like you, saved your life…and you’re doing the same thing for someone else.”
It is an overwhelming feeling to sit back and reflect on how blessed I am to be sitting at my dream college, pursuing a nursing degree, laughing with my best friend and FaceTiming my family from half way across the country. 2 years ago, none of that was even on the table. It was uncertain I would even make it to 18 years old, and if I did, the plan was for me to stay close to home and not go to college anywhere more than 20 miles away from the house. But, here I am, writing a blog post in the library of TCU sitting next to Danny, waiting for 9 pm to roll around so we can stop studying & go enjoy youth group.
I am a girl with passion. I am a girl with ambition and drive. I am a girl with a HOPE to better the world.
And I am this girl, because someone like me, gave me the chance to live this amazing and rewarding life.
Donate to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals HERE: