Giving back to the community and caring for the disadvantaged are unquestionably stemmed from my past. I have epilepsy and understand the feeling of being disadvantaged. This experience led me into the passion of caring for disabled children. Over the past five years, I volunteered with The Children’s Hospital Sports Program (TCH HSP) each season. TCH HSP gives kids with physical disabilities – cancer, amputations, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, head, and spinal cord injuries – the chance to cross build self-confidence for life. During this time I learned how the care of the mind and spirit are incredibly important.
I had the pleasure to ski with a child with cerebral palsy. The last day of my first season with the kid, Frank (the kid), had a terrible falling accident where it required ten stitches. I was challenged by the program manager and coach (since it was my first season) to spend more time with him during the summer season. We made a point to encourage Frank to come back to the program the next winter. We challenged Frank to press-forward and build self-confidence in order to get back on the skis and experience the mountain.
The next season – Frank got back on his skis with lots of instruction and work. We clearly instilled in his mind the following: 27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.
It was a great season and Frank continued to be part of the program for the next seven years with great success! The children’s hospital has a motto that is modified from Winston Churchill’s saying: “Blood, sweat, and tears.”
Ours is: “Love, sweat, and cheers!”