I invite you to play a brief game of "pretend" with me. Let's pretend for a moment that tomorrow, you wake up and are no longer able to walk. How drastically will your life change? What routines might you rethink? You probably won't be able to dress yourself, or rely on your typical mode of transportation to get to work. You may have to rethink your job and entire livelihood. That favorite, tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurant might not be the best option for your dinner plans. And forget finishing out your day with a workout at the gym.
Luckily, for you and I, this is just a figment of our imaginations. An unpleasant thought that we can let go in the blink of an eye.
However, as many of you may know, this is the reality my sister faces every day. She cannot choose to put her circumstances out of her mind.
My sister lives with muscular dystrophy, which means she can no longer walk and must use an electric scooter. She needs assistance with everything that you and I take for granted--things like picking up groceries, getting ready in the morning, and taking the dog for a walk.
However, the purpose of this email isn't to generate pity or sadness. I only illustrate the struggles that Shandy faces day to day so that I can illuminate her positive outlook on life.
Shandy is, without a doubt, my biggest inspiration.
I get upset if I can't make it to a particular spin class, but Shandy never wavers in her ability to smile and stay optimistic no matter how difficult her life is. And that is just it, Shandy would never say that her life is difficult. In fact, she considers herself blessed because she is able to appreciate the small things in life.
Recently, Shandy's son, my ten-year-old nephew, was diagnosed with the disease. For Xander, the battle will be even more arduous. Because of Xander's diagnosis, Shandy has decided to get involved with the annual fundraising efforts for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which in part replaces the Jerry Lewis Telethon. The money she raises will be used to send kids with muscular dystrophy to a special summer camp, which costs $800 per child. This camp will give kids with MD the opportunity to spend one week during the summer surrounded by other kids who share their struggles. They'll be able to enjoy fun summer activities with the appropriate medical and support staff. They'll have the opportunity to feel like normal kids without a care in the world, even if just for a week.
All of you know that I am not the type of person who asks for help and actually I am quite the opposite. I feel compelled to reach out in this instance because I am helping my sister and nephew help others. To give them the satisfaction of knowing they have given others happiness is such a wonderful mission and I'm thrilled to be on board.
I am asking you to please assist me in my fundraising efforts. My goal is to raise $20,000 and send 25 kids to summer camp. I am highly competitive, as most of you know and am striving to raise more money than my dad! He has raised $14,000 thus far so please consider helping me reach my goal by going to http://www2.mda.org/goto/codylee to make a donation.
Shandy, Xander, 25 wonderful children and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
All my best,
Make a Muscle. Make a Difference.®
Allee and Tom Ward
Bonnee & Michael Waldstein
Carlos Giannini - Go Cody!
Diane Fraser, Fraser Yachts
Miss Willy Lee
Mr. Cody Lee
The Goldfield Family
The Octavia Foundation
Wigen / Mast Family