Saturday, February 02, 2008

Beyond FUNDRAISING: A Family in Need

I was going to write a post on perfection this weekend after hearing a terrific NPR piece (that included an interview with Larry Csonka of ’72 Miami Dolphins fame—who’s also a famous Syracuse alum) on the Patriots’ pursuit of a perfect season. If the Patriots win the Superbowl (and my sister Janice in Boston would say “when” they win!) they’ll have won every game they’ve played during the 2007-2008 season. What impresses me most is the way the entire organization focuses on one game at a time, one day at a time, without letting the emotional aspect of even the potential of such an accomplishment sidetrack them. This low-key culture has been the brunt of a lot of jokes in the media, but it makes wonderful sense when you have a huge task staring you down. Like, for instance, writing a novel (or a short-story collection, my current challenge). Or keeping your family afloat when your husband’s out of work and just had back surgery.

In the case of Pam and her family over at Rhett’s Journey, back surgery is only one of the many challenges staring them down. Pam’s husband’s back condition has forced him to stop working; Pam can’t work because their youngest, Rhett, is a two-year-old who requires constant, special care. Rhett was a healthy child with Down Syndrome until an extreme (10-fold!) overdose of painkillers last year after surgery resulted in a series of physical impairments. For details, read a few of Pam’s latest posts. I’m overwhelmed by just the idea of the logistics involved in getting Rhett to all his medical appointments and therapies. Pam’s oldest son also has Asperger Syndrome and requires his own special appointments. (When Pam wrote about Dakota’s recent phenomenal accomplishment of reading and sharing in front of his entire class, I was so happy to hear that at least SOMEthing was going right for them, even for a single day.) Add to all this the stress of worrying constantly about Rhett’s health—including his limited ability to breathe correctly, especially at night—and I know I’d be a complete mess if I were Pam.

But there’s more. Pam and Andy and their four children are very likely going to have to move out of their rented home soon due to a drastic inability to pay their rent. Pam swallowed her pride and installed a “Make a Donation” button to the top corner of her blog. I’m writing now to invite every visitor to this blog to stop by Rhett’s Journey and pitch in any amount. As Pam notes, even $5 will help. Whether or not you choose to donate, if you pray please pray for Pam and Andy and their kids. This new year has been a nightmare for them so far. With our help, maybe it’ll turn around soon. I certainly hope so.


Blogger Sherry said...

Thank you for always opening your heart and your mind...and for allowing the rest of us to open our hearts to the world.
You allow us to make a difference.

Bless you for being such a wonderful ambassador to the world.

This is why I spoke of you deserving a Mathetes Award on my blog last weekend.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Sherry, how did I miss that post?! I'll pop over now to check it out. THANK YOU in advance for that and for your kind words here. Hugs right back at you, K.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you for bringing our attention to this family in need. You do give us the opportunity to make a difference, and that's really what being a human being is all about.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

You're so right, Lisa. And the blogosphere provides such an easy way to raise awareness and help, as I'm sure you're discovering with your Compassion in Juvenile Sentencing blog. We're all in this together. K.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Jen P said...

Thanks Karen. I've subscribed to her other blog but not on Rhett's. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, otherwise I would have missed the boat!

6:24 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Jen, glad to be of help and thanks for the reminder that Pam has many readers who may not be aware of her family's situation. K.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I am glad to see you post this. Pam is a dear friend of mine and yes, things have been terrible for her lately. Through it all, she always keeps her chin up. She is a ROCK of a woman. I chatted with her as they were leaving for Andy's back surgery last week. I have helped some, but, being so far from her, it's hard. She'd be so happy to see your concern (alas her Internet is down currently). Thank you for doing this! Next time I talk with her, I will let her know how wonderful you are!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Just let her know folks in the blogosphere are pulling for her and her family, Melissa! Thanks so much for your note! K.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Pam is such a wonderful person and Rhett is like a second son to me, as he and Aiden share a lot of the same medical issues.

2:22 PM  
Blogger mom2noah said...

Karen, Thanks for stopping by my blog and for helping getting support to help our dear friend Pam and her family. Terry

5:23 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Stephanie and Terry, thanks for stopping by. I know you both and many other mom/bloggers have been incredibly supportive of Pam for a long time. I'm happy to add my voice to the chorus of support. It's the least I can do. K.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...


I'm so psyched I stumbled upon your blog. It was your wedding topper photo on a friend's blog that caught my eye.

I read Love's Revolution on my honeymoon and Does Anybody Else Look Like Me while waiting to adopt our son. I'll definitely have to check out more on your list.

Keep up the good work!

My thoughts are also with the family you posted about on Saturday. I sent them a donation.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Hi Michelle! Thanks for your wonderful note--you just made my day in more ways in one! And the photo of you and your sweet baby boy is adorable. So nice to "meet" you! K.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

thanks for your comment on my blog; I "know" Pam from a T21 message board and feel so bad for what her family has gone through - too much! Thanks for letting us know there is a way to help.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

You're very welcome, Michelle!

8:07 AM  

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