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Archive for the ‘charitable organizations’ Category

        Dreams are pretty important stuff, did you know that?  Most of us live our lives with a dream tucked away in our hearts.  Every now and again we take it out, polish it up with our tears and a loving swipe with a soft cloth, all the while going over the reasons why now is not the time to make them come true.  Regrets for not achieving our dreams can eat away at a person’s soul.  Why doesn’t everyone who has a dream try to make them come true?   Oh there are many reasons; don’t you know any of them? 

         There is never enough money, too many people are depending on us to keep our heads and not risk too much, health problems, demands on our time, a shortage of support, self doubt, low self esteem, fear, fear of failure, lack of hope, a lack of encouragement from others, a need for security, no experience with stepping out on faith, trust issues & even more amazingly, people are afraid of success, wow !; You get the idea…i could fill up this page with reasons why some people not to enable their dreams into become reality.

         So what is the secret that dream achievers have discovered that allowed them to turn a thought, a wish, a dream into reality?  You would have to ask each person what it was that was the turning point; the part where the light bulb came on and they pushed through and turned a corner from underachiever to dream accomplisher. 

          Each person’s answer would probably surprise you.  Each answer would be correct because the very thing that allowed them to move forward and achieve, I suspect is also the very issue that held them back in the first place. 🙂  Get it…i think that is the key, facing the issue that is holding you back and discovering how to use it as a tool to overcome and succeed!  Ahhh ha…the light bulb comes on, the key is placed in your hand, you now have the ability to turn it in the lock and walk through the door to success.

           But a successful dream has a price, for each successful dream there is a cost…a sacrifice.  Nothing that is worth anything of real lasting  value comes without a personal sacrifice.  When we sacrifice to accomplish the things that mean the most to us…we are showing our dedication, our commitment to it, we are acknowledging how valuable the goal is by how much we sacrifice.  Is it scary?  You bet.  Does it work?  Sometimes…but it is important to note that you have to have 100% commitment to achieving your goal…no wishy washy half hearted attempt will get you where you want to be.   Is your sacrifice worth the price?  Only you know the answer to that.  Know what you are giving up to achieve your dream and understand the consequences; and, be ready to accept them as the cost…otherwise…you might achieve your dream and loose something equally important or more imporant, to you than the dream!!!!  Communicate with your loved ones and make sure that your goals are in alignment with your most important relationships…that you have their support!  How much more powerful will your accomplishments be, when those you cherish most are backing you up?

          So what have you sacrificed to achieve your dream?  Are you satisfied?  Did you trade up your sacrifice, for your dream…or, did you make an error in judgement; and, cost yourself your dream and your sacrifice?  It is important to have your priorities in place to have your dream, and be happy with the purchase price.   Tell us what have you sacrificed to achieve your dream!!!

          Did you know that accomplishing your dreams can have a huge impact on others?  Sometimes, achieving your dreams can help lift up others, who don’t even know you.  Think of Michael Phelps the Olympic swimmer who just won 8 Olympic gold medals…he has inspired many, to reach out and try for their goals and dreams.  Most of us don’t collect medals for our dreams; but still, we accomplish milestones which feel like a nice shiny medal to us!  What motivates a person to achieve their goals, hopes and their dreams?

           I know of a group of people who are stepping out on faith…they are sacrificing much, to do so…they are going to walk in scary places…they don’t know all of the risks…but still…their commitment to helping others achieve their dreams is going full throttle…they are called the Impact Boot Camp Action Team.  They are headed to Philadelphia this weekend to learn important skills and techniques that will enable some very special person or organization to achieve their dream of impacting others in a positive uplifting way.  Read all about it here:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/07/30/impact-action-team-makes-a-difference-in-the-world-through-boot-camp-training/  

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         Today the interview with Christina Applegate aired which told of her diagnosis of breast cancer…she apparently has the breast cancer gene BRCA1.  She seems very upbeat and proactive in her approach.  Her mother is a breast cancer survivor…so, Christina has been getting testing since she was thirty years old…she is 36 now.  So she knew early on that she was to remain vigilant in her testing because of family history.  This is a good thing because she was able to be diagnosed very early.

        Christina chose to be very proactive and had a double mastectomy.  It sounds as though people with BRCA1 are at more of a risk of developing cancer in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or the prostrate.  It is thought that with the BRCA1 gene (there are over 600 mutations that researchers have discovered) that it some how develops a protein that doesn’t work properly to suppress tumor development. 

           In reading some of the comments left on ABC’s website in regards to the interview Robin Roberts did with Christina…some of the people were skeptical of her declaring herself 100% cancer free.  Many of the commenters are cancer survivors who also thought themselves free of cancer and they have been through multiple levels of treatment and surgeries.  If it is an encouragement to herself then, so what?  Encouragement and discouragement are seperated by just a breadth of a hair width! I think the consensus is that after only a month; some of them felt it was irresponsible of her to say that she is cancer free.  While i understand that it is a milestone for her to say that and feel it…it is important to also remind people…that being cancer free after a bout with cancer is about remaining vigilant; about testing, and, about follow up with proper medical advice and guidance.  Christina is not an ignorant person…she is just choosing to focus on the positives of the moment.  What cancer patient doesn’t try to do that?  It is a survival skill to be thankful for the positive things in a negative situation!

          Some of the commentors were just a little shy of hostility…some, i think were hinting that she is in denial…there were also, well wishers.  What i liked when i heard the interview, was that Christina is pledging to work towards raising funds to go towards funding genetic testing and MRI’s, for those who can’t afford it, which is extremely helpful in early detection.  She is also going to be involved in a televised special called “Stand Up To Cancer” which will include many “stars”.  Raising awareness and funds, i believe will be the goal. 

            One thing to remind ourselves of, is that cancer doesn’t discriminate between people of wealth and those who have none.  It is an equal opportunity destroyer.  However, finances can make all of the difference in diagnosis, treatment; and, the ability to eat right to heal; as well as, having enough money to afford insurance and transportation to and from medical appointments.   This is all real life issues for people around the world. 

        Let’s remember for Christina, this is all new…she just had the surgery 3 weeks ago.  If she is choosing to be hopeful and positive that is a good thing.  Yes, to be fair…not everyone has the money to get the diagnostic testing available to her…nor, are most people able to get surgery scheduled so quickly and have “experts” on treatment available for immediate consultation.  Let’s not begrudge her, or anyone, that blessing.  

          Christina is saying that she will have reconstructive surgery and have “cute boobs when she is 90”.  Many people don’t have the funds for that either…Christina is blessed and i think she is aware of that.  It is unfortunate that we all don’t have that financial blessing as well.   In an ideal world, any person afflicted with the disease would be able to choose treatment and reconstruction without regard for cost; unfortunately, it is sad that it is not so! 

           It is hard enough going through diagnosis, treatment and the physical and emotional ups and downs without being able to have reconstruction surgery if you want it.  Grieving the loss of your breasts is very natural but, if you want the reconstructive surgery and can’t afford it; it only adds to the pain and loss.  Healing is more than body; it is mind and spirit as well.  Christina will understand that in giving interviews, sensitivity directed towards other patients who aren’t as blessed financially is important too.  Of course, none of us knows what was edited out of the interview, by others, because of time constraints…all i am saying is, give benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.    Here is a link to a foundation that Christina is behind:  http://www.rightactionforwomen.org/

        What Christina has going for her is her youth, early diagnosis, family support, and a platform to educate young women that they are at risk even though they are young.  I say, don’t bring doom and gloom on her for how she handles her health.  Yes, she can educate in a variety of ways…and as long as she has a platform; she needs to do her best to pass accurate information on to others if she is going to address the issue.  It is wise to point out, that she says she was not ready to go public with the information about her battle with breast cancer…but as always…rogue media was breaking the news and they were also publishing random rumors, many without truth.  She felt the need to correct those. 

         People should have a right to privacy if they choose it in regards to their personal private health information.  As she adjusts to the changes in her life, she has the ability to be an amazing advocate for cancer patients.  In the meantime, wish her well…help her fund-raise to educate, inform, and enable those who cannot afford genetic testing and MRI’s which both can be very expensive and exclude many patients from taking advantage of them.  

          Life is too short to spread negativity…in your own life as well as the lives of others.  Cancer is a thief and has stolen enough from us all…let’s channel energy into fighting the real enemy…Cancer!  See also:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/18/christina-applegate-robin-roberts-interview/ or topic related to breast cancer:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/triple-negative-breast-cancer/ or https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/05/16/women-are-dying-for-size-of-level-d-when-it-comes-to-breasts/

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        Ben Stiller, the talented and funny actor has a new movie coming out; it is called Tropic Thunder.  It is a movie he was instrumental in producing, by doing the writing and directing, among other things.  There is a boycott brewing by special needs advocacy groups because of a movie within the movie.  The movie is supposed to be a mocking satire of actors who will take any movie no matter how over the top or bizarre to make a name for themselves as an actor, without regard for the subject matter. 

         Is this something that is supposed to be funny?  The lower our standards of conduct go…the funnier it is supposed to be…is that the concept?  Instead of getting kudos by the industry for a financial success…there should be a call to accountability; demanded by the American public for standards of decency.  Controvery about the subject matter should not just be just a tool used by public relations departments to garner curiosity that translates to box office rewards; that is my opinion. 

         One of the movies within the movie called, Simple Jack, allegedly mocks and makes fun of people with disabilities.   Meetings with advocacy group leaders were held with Stacey Snider who is a chief executive at Dreamworks…the company that released the film to try to address the concerns about the movie.  The studio has refused to make changes to the movie.  Shame on them!  Their attempts at humor just aren’t funny when the laughs are at the expense of a population of people born with disabilities.  Where is the respect?  (more…)

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       What if you were convicted of a crime and you knew you were innocent; but, no one else knew or cared once you were convicted?  Worse yet, what if you were wasting away in prison for a crime you didn’t commit; while the real criminal was free to continue doing what you were accused of doing?  Wouldn’t you want someone to dig until they found proof of your innocence?

       Many people think that is the job of the defense attorneys of the accused; but that is unrealistic.  Oh, they do their job in court to protect your rights, best way that they can…but, for the most part…once you are convicted…you are there until your time is served. They have so many people to represent…unless your case sticks in their craw and they believe in you; and, they have powerful, political connections to movers and shakers…you will sit in prison until your time is up!

        What if someone dared to believe in your innocence and was willing to investigate until irrefutible proof was found that proved your innocence?  That would be a gift…a miracle.    That type of commitment costs money and lots of time.  Most people don’t have an unending supply of wealth.  By the time they have gone through the court system and paid to defend themselves…they have nothing left.  Often, even family and friends have moved on with their lives…not ALWAYS…but, by the time that the person has sat in prison a few years…family and friends have been forced to go back to work, finish growing up, getting married, having children, going off to college; you get the idea…life keeps moving on.  (more…)

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       Most people have heard that putting all of your eggs into one basket is generally not a good idea; however, Ken McArthur has set about proving that theory all wrong.  He has been the mastermining voice behind the idea of what I call…”Compact Impact”; putting all of your leading experts, from various fields of influence together, to have a positive impact on an individual or small organization; who is motivated to powerfully change the world they live in.  Gathering all of his eggs (I mean experts :)) in one basket allows Ken to multiply their effectiveness, by keeping them close and harnessing their communication skills, to empower their ability to explode their contagious positive impact on a designated target!!!  Ken McArthur is a brilliant man, don’t ya think?  (more…)

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         I am looking forward to tomorrow on Good Morning America.  Robin Roberts is going to interview the Steven Curtis Chapman family about the loss of their young 5 year old daughter, Maria, in a tragic car accident involving their teenaged son.  Their daughter was adopted from China.  With the Olympics in China in the media, it is a good time to underscore the connections of the human spirit and relationships formed around the world.

         I fully expect there to be anguish…how can you go through something so traumatic as loosing your daughter, at the accidental hands of your teenaged son, and not have anguish?  Then to have the eyes of the world on you as you grieve; it has had to be extremely stressful.  Not to mention the threat of legal proceedings against your teenaged son, hanging over you while you are going through your loss.  There are so many messages that could be presented to the world through this experience, love, loss, safety, spirituality, depression and the list goes on.  God says, he will make good come from all things.   

          This experience would be horrendous for anyone…let alone a Christian family, just because you have the added responsibilities of not wanting to let God down, or fail to encourage others; however, human beings are just that…human…we often fail, even with the best of intentions.  The Chapman family is a family who has brought hope and healing, through music ministry for years; not to mention, opening doors to financial guidance for adoptive parents, creating another avenue for God miracles to impact lives.  Their struggle to find peace in this very difficult time continues…there are things that grief to the surface…questions that demand answers for.  It is as their daughter Emily said… Grief is a very windy road.  It is a struggle to meet all of their children’s emotional needs as they navigate their own ups and downs; but, at least their family is trying to heal together.

          Christians are not immune to tragic circumstances…in fact, i believe that they are given to everyone.  No one is left out of doses of misery, despair, sickness, loss, financial stress etc.  But the Christian bears an extra burden during those times as they are living their lives, as a testimony before others, about God’s grace and mercy.  How to explain the unexplainable?  The old question, why does God let bad things happen?  Oh, King Solomon i am sure, would have an answer to that as he prayed for wisdom and was granted it by God…but truly, only God knows the whys of things.  All we can do is struggle to hang on to our faith and try to grow it through the struggles of life.

        I know that Robin Roberts is a Christian…she has had her own struggles, this past year.  I am most interested in this interview, as i believe that God will impart compassion, grace and understanding in it, to others who are going through their own difficulties.  I pray that hearts will be touched and moved.  Watch tomorrow on good morning america for this moment of heartfelt grief and love and hope.  It will be worth your time!

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       There is something special and unique about the bonding that takes place when people bond through their shared experiences.  Something that i noticed when my parents each went through their cancer diagnosis and treatment sessions…intense bonding with fellow cancer patients and their families.  That bond in those relationships was a lifeline at times.  The fear of the unknown, the medical traumas, the difficult side effects, the kindness of strangers it all blended to remind us that we were not in the situation alone.

         During hospital stays, during chemo treatments, and doctor appointments; my parents and other patients would share things about their families, about their experiences, their struggles, medical information, tips on how to overcome nausea, or how to cope with some of the side effects of the treatments.   Some patients were alone…they had no family or else their family members lived in distant places.  We would adopt them and visiting and trying to support when we could.   It was all very intense. 

        In what amounts to a, down in the trenches, fight for their lives; cancer patients bond in very intense ways.  When fellow patients would struggle…my parents would ask for prayer for them, from us.  We are blessed with a strong family unit.  We would honor the request …knowing that if we needed the favor returned…it would be given automatically by those same cancer patient friends and their families.   We were all in a fraternity; that none of us wanted to be in….but still, we were in it together.

       The losses hit hard.  The emotions were so deep for my parents and for our family.  Each loss, it was understood, could have been ours as well; but for the grace of God.  Each milestone was celebrated.  Waiting for the results of testing was, and is, filled with anxiety and fear.  It is no less worrisome to hear of others around the world who struggle with the same issues.  http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/tnbcinthenews.htm (more…)

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       Today, on Live With Regis And Kelly’s morning show , they had there much promoted high heel a thon.  It was a sprint of 150 yards in high heels; it was done to benefit the March of Dimes.  The participants had to register and then run pre-race heats to get their placement in the race.  Each contestant wore a timing chip to help determine the winner.  The high heels had to be a minimum of 3 inches in heighth.  The winner was declared to be a woman from Queens, New York.   Another woman, by the name of Jill Stamison who is from my very own state of Michigan,  won the best legs portion of the contest, as well as, set a  Guiness World record with her time in the race which was 21.95 seconds.  Congrats to Jill Stamison from the wonderful and scenic Grand Haven, Michigan!!! (more…)

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        This week charities received some press time when it was revealed that Leona Helmsley left a whole lot of money for her dog, Trouble, and charities that take care of dogs.   Out of the billions of dollars that Leona left behind…most of it will go to charitable organizations.  That got me to thinking, while animals are important; and, organizations that work towards protecting them and providing them with care are wonderful…hopefully, some of that money could be used towards charities that do the same types of services for human beings. 

       There really are some great organizations and non-profits out there who really try to make a difference.  I love it when someone creates one when their hearts and minds get touched by an experience in their lives or the lives of someone that they care about.

         Today i read about another one that i think sounds wonderful and hopefully, other individuals will be inspired to create charities when they feel moved to do so.  The one i read about today was called, Kid One Transport.  Their website is:  http://www.kidone.org/index.php  (more…)

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        I heard a recent news story about a woman in Germany who chose to commit suicide over moving to a nursing home.   Did she not have loved ones to live with; or some other option?   She consulted with a knowledgable person about what drugs/chemicals to mix together to kill herself because she said she had no wish to struggle with a mediocre life.  She was not going to live the rest of her life, living what she considered to be a less than ideal lifestyle for the rest of her life; how sad is that?  Some families park their elders in a home and neglect to visit them; maybe she was afraid of being abandoned in this way. (more…)

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