It’s funny how sometimes opportunity knocks and you don’t even notice it. A lot of people probably think I’m very well “connected,” and that I know many people in high places. That may be so, but I actually don’t think of it that way when I meet someone. In fact, often I will make a new friend at some event, and we’ll make a connection based on common ground that we share, and only years later will I realize the extrinsic “value” of that friendship.
I put value in quotes, because to me, a friend is a friend. I’ve been blessed to have met people that I’ve kept as acquaintances, and later gotten to know them better, and many are just now “reaching out” to me because of my efforts.
Kathy Beattie is a longtime friend of mine. She’s one of those people that I’ll lose touch with for a while, then get back in touch somehow, and there’s no awkwardness; we just pick up right where we left off. But first, a little backstory.
I know I’ve spoken extensively about Camp Boggy Creek, which I used to attend since I was ten. I had the great honor of meeting Kathy when I was 11 or 12. She was my “Cabin Pal” (or camp counselor) in 1998, when my family went to a spina bifida weekend.
In spite of all the time and distance between us, Kathy and I have remained close friends. I look up to her. I met her as a volunteer for the camp, but she’s also a fundraising guru who has worked with several non-profits in Florida, including Bishop Grady Villas, an assisted living community for people with developmental challenges, United Cerebral Palsy, Camp Boggy Creek, and currently works for Nemours Partnership for Children’s Health as their Associate Director of Development for Special Gifts, in Orlando.
Earlier tonight, Kathy left me a comment on Facebook including the Nemours site. I immediately replied to her, recalling that I had profiled Nemours many months ago, but the letter I sent was returned, presumably because of a wrong address or perhaps because the person I sent it to is no longer there. Needless to say, I had become discouraged.
I hadn’t even given Nemours another thought until now, when I jumped at the opportunity to discuss this. I asked if there were some way I could meet their marketing people, and she replied literally two minutes later, offering to take me to lunch and introduce me to their P.R. and marketing people, as well as their CEO! (Cue excited gasping.)
This is just a tiny example of how incredible Kathy is. And to think I get to call her my friend! I’m so blessed, and not because of her job position, but because I’ve gotten to know the compassion and empathy that are the driving forces behind this wonderful woman’s career.
My apologies for posting this late. I was at a LATISM party– this time, online. Yes, it’s a little nostalgic to have to go so abruptly from seeing these people in person to interacting on Twitter, but nevertheless, keeping in frequent contact is a great comfort to me.
Now, I’d like to share with you an issue that is constantly in the back of my mind but every so often, I am jolted by a reminder. I received the following Tweet today:
“My daughter is 3 with #spinabifida dr’s wanted me 2 terminate pregnancy due 2 poor quality of life! Bad hydro 2,she’s a miracle.”
Once again, I felt the blood in my veins go cold. How is this possible? How are medical doctors, who are supposed to be responsible for the lives of the mother and her child, being allowed to try to persuade women into abortion, when there is so much potential for these kids, now more than ever?
Is it easier to abort a child than to provide quality-of-life programs that he/she would benefit from?
What could possibly be more worth fighting for than the life of a child? You wouldn’t believe how common that scenario has become! And yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’re a whole decade into the 21st century. Medical advances have been made that boggle the mind and intrigue even the smartest of scientists, and yet the life of a child with a so-called “disability” remains expendable, and so conveniently disposed of.
I want to heartily thank and commend all of the parents who refused to listen to such ill advice from their “health care providers.” If not the easier road, you have certainly taken the higher road, and I guarantee that you will be greatly rewarded for it
My Love & Blessings to All,