Achilles International Houston, Brittle Bone Disease, handcycle, Jeff Chaffin, Memorial Park, mobility assistance dog, MS, multiple sclerosis, recumbent trike, service dog, Team RWB
The 1st step is really simple. All you have to do is pay attention. As in, look outside of yourself. As in, listen to your heart.
The 2nd step isn’t too tough. You make a decision. Commit yourself to an idea, a cause that matters to you – a person whose circumstances, whose life, you want to be a part of changing for the better.
3rd step, a little trickier. You make a plan. You may need input from others; you may want to brainstorm. You might get advice from others who’ve traveled similar roads.
The 4th step is where action becomes crucial. You invite others to help you. When & where needed, you beg folks to lend a hand. You ask for people’s time, talent – and, yes – more likely than not, their money.
The final step is following through. Which means action on top of action, followed by more action. Doing whatever it takes to complete your goal. Going all-in to realize your dream of making a difference. Because action is what makes or breaks any campaign for change. It’s just not possible to make a difference without taking action.
In my previous post, 200 Miles of Mayhem, you can read the story of my cycling buddy USMC Jeff Chaffin and his desire to make a difference in the life of young Ethan, a boy with Brittle Bone Disease. Jeff saw a boy, one whose body has challenges similar to Jeff’s (& mine), and that boy needed a way to play safely. That boy wanted a way to ride. Jeff understood the needs, he knew very well that desire. Jeff knew the answer: a handcycle.
So he made a
wild & crazy plan. He invited anybody & everybody he could think of – which is to say, he asked for help, so that he might better be of help. And people responded. All sorts of folks, young & old, able-bodied & not so able-bodied, showed up.
Even a dog showed up!
Dogs make everything – every group, every adventure, every moment-to-moment – better :0)
There were bikes & trikes & handcycles.
There were even some bike wrench experts on hand.
And, together, everybody made a difference.
Because Jeff paid attention. He made a vow & made a plan, and then he gathered up his best resources – all of the good folks he knows, and good folks that his good folks know – and he kept going, and going, and going.
A brand-spankin’-new handcycle is on its way to Ethan. One boy’s life will forever be changed. And all because one person, Jeff, decided to go out of his way, to make an effort.
And that, lovely readers, is how to go out in the world & make a difference.
Okay, now it’s your turn! What will you do? Whose life will you transform? How will you see yourself when you look in the mirror & find a bonafide change-maker looking back at you?
I’d really love it if you shared your stories with me.
Here’s what I recommend you fuel your adventures with! These were my contribution to the potluck of food/snacks/essential nutrition for the 200 Miles of Mayhem ride in Memorial park the other night (and night) (and more night) (and morning).
Did I mention I’m too old & broken to pull 30+ hours of staying wake to ride & cheer & ride some more? Well, I am. Trust me on this!
Here’s the goal/dream/wild-n’crazy adventure that I’m currently taking action to manifest. I’d love any/all help you might be able to lend. Which is to say, I need YOU :0)
I still need somebody to do the swim and/or run portion of the triathlon on my relay team!
And I still need a sponsor – any business or organization – who’ll make a donation and/or help with travel expenses in exchange for my wearing a jersey & flying a flag with your name/brand/logo.
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I’m training for the SanDiego Tri Challenge! Can you believe it? This will be my first triathlon since MS came-a-vistin’ to my life. I’m raising funds & awareness for Challenged Athletes Foundation, an organization devoted to making a difference in the lives of folks with illness & disability who need our help to enjoy a more active, independent, wild-&-wonderful life. Like this guy, JJ.
Wanna make a difference? You could pass on my story & donation page: email, Tweet, Facebook post – anything you can think of to spread the word would be an enormous to help to me. And, more importantly, to CAF :0)
Here’s where you can donate to my San Diego Tri Challenge adventure. And you may read more about my motivation for this ride & the marvelous Challenged Athletes Foundation in my previous blog post.
Tracie Garacochea said:
hey denise, great story! i’ve been hanging out with some amazing people at ucla adaptive program. through them i’ve learned there are many grants available through various organizations, one being CAF. (challenged athletes foundation). check them out for future use! hugs, will miss you in ventura! hugs to luke!
Lisa Adcox said:
For as long as I have known Denise she had pushed the limit even though she has that disease knocking saying hey you can not do that. While Denise says well just watch me.
We love CAF! I’m happy to make a donation. Great post! I’ll share it on my page.