I'm doing a dedication blog post tonight. First, I would like to dedicate this post to Sarah and Mark Bender (plus their 4 little boys). I first met Sarah 2 summers ago at the "mid summer nights cyclocross race" put on by Raleigh in Cle Elum. She introduced herself to me and I thought, wow this women is so stinkin' cute, and, how nice to just walk up to someone and say hello. Ever since then I have always thought she was the sweetest little thing, I love seeing her around at the CX races! Then this Fall with all my traveling, she was so supportive of me while away racing with the big time ladies, always congratulating me on my results. Being an all time awesome person. Sarah is one of the reasons I love my cycling community, because of people like her, it's very clear that I'm not the only one who adores her (and her family)! I most recently met her husband at CX nationals when he (just as Sarah did) walked up to me and introduced himself to me. He was there to support their little boy who was racing in the one of the young junior categories (can't remember his age :-/). Last week (thursday or Friday, I can't remember which day) I logged onto Facebook and on my newsfeed (thank you Facebook) a lot of my friends had posted on Sarah's wall saying how they where praying for her and Mark. I immediately did some Facebook stalking to discover her husband (Mark) went into surgery after a body surfing accident while in Hawaii celebrating their 15 yr anniversary. He was taken out by a wave and suffered a spinal cord injury which resulted in surgery to fuse his C6 and C7 vertebrae. Mark and Sarah are still in Hawaii (Honolulu) until Mark is stable enough to fly home. Their 4 boys are still here in WA, but will hopefully be reunited soon. Now here comes why I love my sport and the community that goes a long with it.
FUNDRAISER!!!!!! Thank goodness for kind hearted people of this world! A teammate of theirs (remember I try to keep names anonomous) has put together a coffee fundraiser. All you have to do is click on the link below, order coffee and then BAM all proceeds will go to the Benders, because the last thing they need is any added stress (I can't imagine the $$ amount of everything. I was astonished when I received my chiropractic bill)! Anyways, click away, order coffee and lots of it. Order with friends to help cover the shipping cost, order FOR friends for gifts, because you are doing the RIGHT thing! You have until the end of April to complete your order/s.
Perhaps you aren't a coffee drinker but you would like to support the cause? Their church has also put together a website where you can make donations to their family. Follow the link below:
Want to continue to follow updates? Lots of links:
Caring Bridge Site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/SupportfortheBenders
Facebook Group dedicated to support: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-for-the-Benders/319325408170717?fref=ts
Facebook Group for the coffee fundraiser: https://www.facebook.com/events/308281062631820/?fref=ts
My second dedication goes out to my Cousins (in laws?), to lay it out for you; Chris's cousin (female) and her husband (male) need your help too. They have been quitely living their lives with the most positive outlook on life. My cousin in law (male, no names) has been on the heart transplant list for 2 years now. 5 years ago it was discovered that his heart was basically failing after a virus attacked it. He's my age, 28ish. He doesn't deserve to be on the transplant list. At first he had a defibrillator put in his heart, but eventually that wasn't enough. He now has a machine hooked up to him that acts as his heart. He walks around daily, living his life hooked up to a machine and when his blood levels aren't right he has to be admitted to the hospital until they are normal again. The worst part is, they live in Bellingham but his treatment is at UW. So every time something isn't right, he has to be admitted at the UW Medical Center. That must be SUCH a pain! Not to mention he can't work with this condition. To make matters worse after their last 2 day stay at the UW Medical Center they came home to find their back door kicked in and their most prized possessions gone. GONE! Okay, I know you think well at least they are okay, but have you ever had your house broken into? I have, twice. It's the most violating experience I have ever had. You think your home is safe and as it turns out, it's not. Then, the memories with those possessions, you can't get those back. To top this all off, they found out their home owners insurance wont even cover a lot of the items that where taken. This husband and wife have literally been through it all with each other, you know their marriage will last forever!
Now, the happy part. My brother-in-law (SOO weird to say) has created a donation site for their cause (is this seriously the family I married into?). Okay, first off you have to read his rhyming. If you where at my wedding you will understand his hilarity. A quite guy, but SO funny. Follow the link below, read the story, donate a little, and feel good:
The least you could do if you can't afford to donate to either cause, is pray for these families, that in the end, everything will be A-okay. Thanks for reading!