In a little less than 2 weeks, 91 people have contributed to help Mitch Simmons and his family raise over $9,300 to help with the expenses from his of his brain surgery (along with the medical expense balances that have accumulated from trips to the ER, hospital stays, seeing specialists, prescriptions, tests, etc.)...or over a 1/3 of the way to our goal!
Per the video posted on Mitch's GoFundMe page, there is a "Group of 6" who have been friends since Junior High. After heading up this campaign for two weeks (and instead of you only getting my perspective/stories on Mitch during this fundraising), beginning today another member of our group, Kenny Wheeler, will be leading this charge...and after his 25+ years of military service...you'd better be ready!
But, before I hand the reins to Kenny, I just wanted to share a thought on what I have seen and learned over this last two weeks.
"There's no unselfish good deeds" - Joey Tribbiani, Friends (TV Episode)
What I realized over the last couple weeks is that everyone has their own story
In the donors to Mitch and his family are people who have:
- Suffered a stroke
- Lost a spouse
- Changed careers
- Lost a child
- Gotten divorced
- Lost a parent
- Declared bankruptcy
- Gotten Cancer
- Lost a brother or sister
and like Mitch...
- Had a major surgery and health issues
So what Mitch is going through, Mitch's story, this story, is about all of us. Because out of these hardships all of us have learned how to:
- Survive a stroke
- Survive the loss of a spouse
- Survive changing careers
- Survive the loss of a child
- Survive a divorce
- Survive losing a parent
- Survive bankruptcy
- Survive Cancer
- Survive the loss of a brother or sister
and like Mitch...
- Survive a major surgery and health issues
For me, one of those came in 2011:
On June 10, 4 years ago, I got a call to "get into the hospital right away" from Dr. Paul Gotlieb - Internal Medicine at Fairview (Edina, MN), as he found I had Bacterial Endocarditis (a bacterial infection in my heart...that had been there for months!)
Thankfully, there was no damage done to the valves in my heart and with the help of the great Doctors and Nurses at Fairview, the support of family and friends, and 6 weeks of daily I.V. antibiotic treatments via a PICC line, I made a full recovery!
Fast forward 4 years to today (June 13) and on a beautiful day in Seattle I will cross over 500 miles run for the year...and am now two weeks away from running my first 50 mile ultra-marathon.
When I talked/texted with Mitch at the end of last year and started figuring out how to help him and raise awareness for Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (ATN), it motivated me. That motivation pushed me to begin running (I had run a TOTAL of 26.7 miles the year before), that running motivated me to begin training for a race, that training pushed me to register for the 50 Miler of the Black Hills 100 and use that outlet to raise money for Mitch and his family and raise awareness for Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (ATN).
So I urge you, be selfish. I promise you if you donate to Mitch Simmons and his family today, you'll feel better. Donate today and you'll feel better. Today, be selfish.
And with that thought, I turn fundraising over to my friend of 30+ years, Kenny Wheeler