What we have here is a LOVE FLASH MOB, being held on Momastery. It is a celebration of LIFE and LOVE and HOPE. We come together there to support a Sister, a Sister who might need a reminder that She is Loved and Watched Over. In short, we make magic happen, baby.
Everyone, meet Claudia.
Claudia is a single mama diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gherig's disease. She has three children, all of whom have Fragile X syndrome. She currently lives with her youngest son, who has autism, and his caretaker, Amy.
After suffering through a difficult childhood and young adult life, Claudia found her passion in saving the lives of others. For nearly two decades, Claudia served her community in emergency services. She was a volunteer firefighter and EMT, a paid-reserve firefighter, paramedic, Emergency Department RN and helicopter flight medic. Her second full-time job was advocating for her special needs children and other families with similar challenges.
"I began having slurred speech in October 2004. In August I was diagnosed with ALS. I went from being 'gregarious' and 'articulate' to being presumed to be mentally impaired. My voice is weak and sometimes I can barely speak above a whisper. I'm frequently very short of breath. I use a wheelchair full time. I'm in near constant pain from my increasing spasticity. I sleep using a breathing machine. All my symptoms are progressive and eventually, while mentally alert and with intact sensation, I will become totally paralyzed.
My ALS Progression is VERY slow. My slow progression is a blessing and a curse. The blessing is obvious: I have more time with my children and friends; I treasure this time with my children. The curse is that I will pass through the stages of losing function in slow motion. With the loss of functioning comes an increased need for resources that I simply don't have. Life is often hard, but I feel blessed. It is amazing to think that coming to the end of my physical, financial, emotional, and relational resources helped me learn to truly rely on God!"
Well, I believe God can be depended upon, but I also believe that that God shows up through other people. And today, WE ARE THE PEOPLE, PEOPLE. We're the ones who are going to show up for Claudia and remind her that God loves her and her family, that the Universe is on her side, that she has not been forgotten, and that We Belong To Each Other.
Here's how we're going to do it:
We're going to buy Claudia a (fully loaded, fully outfitted) handicapped accessible van that will accommodate her special needs as well as those of her youngest son. Right now, Claudia has no vehicle that will hold a wheelchair, so she is not able to attend her son's frequent doctor's appointments or even her own. She's not able to visit her oldest son, who lives thirty minutes away. Amy, the angel caretaker who lives with Claudia, can't take Claudia to museums or parks or even outside to see the beautiful world that Claudia spent so much of her life saving and loving and serving. Clearly, this is unacceptable.
So the times, they are a changing. Today. Today, we are going to give her back some of her freedom, her love of adventure, and her ability to nurture her children -- all of which are the stuff that makes Claudia, CLAUDIA.
OH ... ONE MORE THING.
Meet Paul and Mindy and their gorge kiddos.
If you read Momastery, you will remember them from this miracle. Mindy's family is so beloved by her neighbors that one of them, Matt, sent us a letter asking us to help fix Paul and Mindy's aging car. Matt told us that he loves Momastery but finds what we call ourselves, 'Monkees,' too feminine. So, he refers to himself as a Donkee.
Donkee went on to explain that Paul and Mindy's family deserved a break, like, yesterday. You see, Mindy's been diagnosed with stage 4 lung, bone and liver cancer. Matt said that their medical bills get so high that sometimes Mindy and Paul just can't get their car out of the shop.
Mindy defies her diagnosis. As she told us:
"I have so much to fight for, I don't plan on dying anytime soon. My 'baby' is 5. He is full of life and for that I am thankful. I look at my beautiful children and my wonderful, supportive, and handsome husband, and remember that I too am alive and will be alive ... my fight has to be great! I'm not going anywhere!"
And to that we say, No ma'am, not in that clunker, you're not. So we're gonna go ahead and help Mindy and Paul too. They've got enough to handle without car trouble. Just, enough said.
So ... Two Families. Two Vans. No problem.
The Love Flash Mob Rules are over on Momastery. You can get more information there.
We can do no big things, just little things with great love. Each of our offerings will be little but together, they will become great.
I'll update you frequently as the miracles unfold.
Love, LOVE, LOVE!!!!!! TWMF
(The Whole Monkee Family)
Now ... GO!
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