Time has been flying lately with our mission to get to St. Louis for SDR. If you’ve been wondering why it’s been quiet here on the blog - here’s a recap of what we’ve been working on terms of fundraising these last 6 weeks:
At the start of February, we unveiled the mini-documentary video for my SDR journey. What’s come from that has been really special. I am reserving a separate blog post for this at the end of the month! You can check out the video here.
We’ve been busy collecting raffle and silent auction prizes for our upcoming fundraising events.
We’ve recently secured a vendor space at the Bala Cranberry Festival this October, selling handcrafted items in support of my SDR journey. This is a phenomenal opportunity for us and we are very excited to be involved as this event has the distinction of being one of the top 100 festivals in Canada! Special thanks to the Board for helping us navigate this process!
The first sets of planning meetings were held to map out our fundraising activities for 2018. There are several events in the works across Muskoka and southern Ontario. As soon as we finalize details, it’ll be time to get them rolling so stay tuned!
I was fortunate to work with a design company that kindly donated their time and resources to create promotional materials for our “Walk with Wish” campaign.
Friends have begun hosting activities in their own communities, to support my trip to St. Louis. So far, these include selling handmade crafts for a donation, running a Euchre night, donating the proceeds from local yoga classes, a Paint Night, a community bake sale, Younique cosmetic sales, as well as hosting a bowling tournament.
We continue to work on securing corporate donations and support.
And in all, $33,012 of our target has been raised to-date. Wow!
Confession: It’s a crazy amount of work to pull this all together and keep things rolling!
Most days, I will admit that I feel pulled in a million different directions and emotions, since there is no clear road map to the finish line. There’s no instruction manual for how to balance fundraising demands with the every day life responsibilities that still exist. There’s definitely no master plan that shows me how to tackle this stuff, while also factoring in the physical grind of CP that adults rarely talk about, but just get on with daily.
Trickiest of all I’ve discovered, is that there’s no set path to show me how to navigate this maze, while also staying true to myself in the process. All combined, there's a lot of pressure to grapple with each day.
Of course, it’s also never far from my mind that this MUST work out or I am soon going to have to give up ability to walk - and at that point, adult SDR is off the table for good. The stakes are so high. It’s hard not to get caught up in the fear of that. (And at several points in the last month, I have - let’s be real!) But, at the end of the day, I welcome the work that comes along with this journey. The outcome of being spasticity and pain-free so that I can live my best life and help others along the way will be infinitely worth it!
I'm so grateful for the small army of people around me who are stepping up to do what they can to make this happen because they understand the reality of what I’m up against. They have put themselves in my shoes for a moment. They've thought about what the loss of mobility at a young age would mean to their quality of life, their livelihood and their ability to be independent - and that realization has moved them to act in some really inspiring ways!
I’m so appreciative too, of the people who check in directly with a quick call, encouraging word or hug to give - no matter how busy their own lives are - just because they care. That matters to me just as much as the donations we receive. I’m in awe of the kindness of friends from way back who have reconnected to be part of my journey. And I’m often left speechless by the generosity of strangers who are making anonymous donations because they feel led to make a difference, yet seek no thanks or recognition in return. To EVERYONE who has lent a helping hand or offered love and support so far - thank you!!! It will continue to be such a huge joy of mine to pay your kindness forward not only on this road to St. Louis, but also in the years to come!
Yes, we still have a long way to go to raise the funds that remain. Yes, I’m still not sure how to do that and I know I'll need more help. Yes, the pressure of that is overwhelming at times. And yes, I do truly worry about the future 'what-ifs' of CP. But, there is so much more to look ahead to and I need to focus on that, rather than the fear of it all.
So, this morning, I just want to pause and appreciate where we’re at. Take a deep breath. Release the anxieties I have been feeling. Get some words down on this blog because the writers block has been real lately and it’s time to kick that to the curb! I just want to remind myself that somehow, we’ve got this...because we are doing it!... and one step at a time I will go to St. Louis. I may not know how this is all going to work out. But I believe that it will. And whenever I start to doubt that, I just need to remember what this journey has already been teaching me all along:
“Be not afraid, but let your world be gently lit by miracles. They’re all around.”
- A Course in Miracles (2008)