I’m desperate. Whenever I get into this phase I open up a bit and try sharing my story. Like the time when we weren’t receiving enough cards. That’s when I first opened up and explained to everyone why I can never complain – #cantcomplain.
Then we weren’t getting pictures and people were questioning why we were purchasing the entertainment systems, so I did the Facebook Live during my least favorite test to illustrate why I’m so passionate and one reason – #everycardcounts. Now with this one it’s a bit different. I’m using my personal story and a recent test to TRY and change one of the themes we’ve been getting from your cards.
I shared the detailed story on my personal Facebook page a little after I got the results, but I’ll give a summary here.
In summary, I got brain surgery in 2005 to remove scar tissue that was “causing” me to have 15+ seizures a day. Over a decade of tests, different neurologists, and a variety of medicines (one of my pharmaceutical companies has made cards), things began to settle down. Often late at night while working on Cardz for Kidz stuff, I watch movies or shows to stay awake. One evening I watched the movie Brain on Fire, where the main character goes through a series of tests and they determine her own body is attacking her brain (click the title of the movie for a link to trailer to get more details). The following day my neurologist contacts me and tells me that they want to bring me in for a spinal tap and further tests since I may have that same condition. Was my brain surgery, medication, and all the tests now… worthless?
Honestly, I stuck to my guidelines and thought, “I’m breathing, I’m able to say it, I can remember to say it, and it’s true, so no matter what else is going on I can’t complain.” But what if I would have shared my story immediately and told people about the feedback from the hospital? What if people assumed the guy who started a nonprofit where he’s giving cards to people needed cards himself? What if I received the following cards?
Let’s start with the card on the right. To be honest, if I opened up and told someone that I was worried about my prognosis and they told me to “stay strong,” my response would likely be:
That’s true. I’m definitely working at it and I’ll improve. I’m sorry.
The “I’m sorry” would have come in there because I would have assumed, they were saying “Stay strong” because my low points were showing and that I needed to hold it in. It’s a battle, but obviously the fact that people feel the need to remind me must mean something. I’m sorry.
The card on the left. What if someone gave me a card that said I was the strongest or said something like “You Are Strong?!” My response would likely be:
(Hiding a sheepish grin). Thank you! It’s less than enchanting, but I know it’s nothing compared to what my favorite patients XX and XX have overcome. Those girls are the ones who are truly strong!
I know I would have tried to be modest but would have definitely appreciated the comment. No additional requests, no more requirements, simply an observation. Very encouraging. Although I did a Facebook Live on my way to the appointment and tried to look relaxed, deep down I was shaken. Thankfully, I was able to bounce things off a couple siblings and received some type of encouragement. As mentioned before, I realized I’m blessed and we’re consistently reaching out to children who don’t have that same type of immediate family support – we’re connecting with kids in foster homes and/or similar nonprofits on a continual basis (#realsuperhero).
Whenever I discuss Cardz For Kidz and making cards, I always try to remind people our overall goal is to encourage and uplift the people we’re reaching. We’re reaching children in foster care, people with life threatening conditions, veterans in hospitals, and many other disheartening situations. These people have enough requests and strains on their life. Your cards should be proclamations (You’re Strong, You’re Beautiful, You’re a Winner), rather than additional requests on their busy lives (Stay Strong, Stay Beautiful, Keep Winning, Keep Fighting). The people we’re serving are already conquerors.
It’s true. They may not have had their positive follow up doctor’s appointment like I did, but I still believe we can TEST THE RESULTS of positive feedback! Let’s work together to uplift spirits the correct way!
To see more pictures and stories, please check out the rest of our site, www.cardzforkidz.org; like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter and Instagram; visit our LinkedIn page! Also, check out some of our videos on YouTube!