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# Why I Stride 4 CF

9 Jun

It’s been nearly two months since my last post.  I owe you an update on Jody, and I plan to do that soon, but I’d like to use this post to tell you about the CF walk we participated in last month.  Each year the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation holds nearly 600 walks nationwide to raise funds for research and drug development for CF.  They term these walks “Great Strides” events.  One of the things I enjoy the most about this event is being in the presence of so many people who know and understand Cystic Fibrosis.  It seems like almost every day of my life I need to explain CF to someone, and while I’m happy to do so, and consider it a calling of sorts, it’s a relief to be in an environment where I don’t need to do that (even if for just one day).  It was fun to meet other CFer’s and CF caregivers, and to encourage them to press on in their fight against Cystic Fibrosis.

2015 Great StridesB

We walk for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis!

Jody and I would like to thank those of you who joined us for this walk; your support meant more than you know.  Likewise, we are appreciative to all the people who made a donation to our team and ultimately helped those living with CF.  Would you believe this one-day Lancaster Great Strides event raised over $172,600?!  Can you imagine how much is raised nationwide?  This is exciting for those of us that have been touched personally by the work of the CF Foundation and hope for a cure for the disease.

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Team Journey with Jody

 At the walk Jody and I were privileged to say a few brief words and share a portion of Jody’s journey with those in attendance. I am continuously amazed at the reach of Jody’s story and although it has not always been an easy road, I hope that we are able to use it to encourage others. At the walk I was also able to meet a few readers of this blog and it was fun to hear your stories (thank you for introducing yourselves to me). Overall it was a fun morning of hanging out with friends and family, raffles, photos, exercise, lunch, and most of all… supporting a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

Below are a few snapshots of the event (click photos to enlarge and read/add comments):

FYI: Per the guidelines of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for outdoor events, people living with Cystic Fibrosis need to maintain a six-foot distance from one another to prevent the spread of bacteria and cross infections. In order to make those with CF easily identifiable at the walk, anyone who has the disease is given a green shirt like the one Jody is wearing and is asked to keep a healthy distance from anyone else with the same green shirt.

 # WeStride4Jody

(and others living with Cystic Fibrosis)

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We Need A Cure

9 Apr

Cystic Fibrosis.  Do those words have meaning to you?  Is it something you’ve heard of but know little about?  Maybe you’re all too familiar with those two short words?  Or perhaps you’re like most people and have no idea what they mean and the impact they have on one’s life.

Obviously the term, Cystic Fibrosis, carries much meaning for Jody and I.  Actually, I have a love/hate relationship with CF.  I have met so many great people because of this disease and our shared understanding of it.  It’s been neat to see how this blog has connected some of us, something I never would have imagined when I started it.  This disease has allowed me to be a part of a group of fellow CF Wives online and they are a great resource and support when I need it.  I’m also thankful for all the healthcare workers (especially ours) who have made treating people with CF their life’s work.

There are many things I don’t like about this disease, clearly it’s taken us down some difficult paths we would not have chosen for ourselves.  My heart breaks for those I know, or have learned of, who have had lives cut short because of Cystic Fibrosis, and I thank you for sharing those stories with me.  What it boils down to is… WE NEED A CURE!

Jody and I have been asked to participate in the Lancaster area Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Great Strides Walk for CF.  Actually, Jody has been chosen as the Honorary Chairman of the walk and we will be saying a few brief words at the event.  In addition, our team will be leading the walk.  Will you join us?  Great Strides is the foundations largest fundraising event with more than 125,000 people participating, nationwide.  Funds raised support Cystic Fibrosis research and drug development, moving us closer to the cure we so desperately need.  We believe in the work of this foundation because we have been touched by it directly.

We would love to have you join us, team Journey with Jody, for some fun and exercise while supporting a cause that is near and dear to our hearts.  And since Jody is the star of our team, and the honorary chairman of the walk, you’ll be supporting him too.

Click this link to join our team or to make a tax-deductible donation to team Journey with Jody.

DSC_1484A

I’m ready to walk for a cure… are you?

EVENT DETAILS:

Date: Sat., May 16th, 2015
Check-in: 9:00 AM
Walk: 10:00 AM
Distance: 5K (approx. 3 miles)
Event Location: Garden Spot High School, New Holland, PA

FYI we will be using the Journey with Jody shirts we sold at our auction as our team shirts.  We have a few left if you are interested in purchasing one.  If you do not have one just wear a black shirt (and only if you’re feeling really crafty, decorate it with your own Journey with Jody lettering).

This is a family friendly event that includes activities for kids.

Here’s a two-minute video of what Great Strides is all about:

 

The Auction: Fun, Photos & Facts

15 Oct

Our Jody Needs Lungs benefit auction is over and what a day it was!  We couldn’t be at the event since Jody was just transferring out of the ICU, but we heard from people that it was a great time!  Below is Jamie, our friend and auction planner (standing 10th in from the right), along with her the team of volunteers who made this day possible.  If you were one of those volunteers and are reading this post… thank YOU!  You helped to make this day run smoothly and successfully and we appreciate that you were willing to give up your precious time on our behalf.

JNL Auction Volunteers

Since we couldn’t be at the auction, John Martin of John Martin Photography, kindly volunteered to photograph the event for us.  It was great to know we could count on him to be our ‘eyes’ at the event.  We loved seeing the pictures he took and thought we’d share them with you.  Rather than going into details about the event, we’ll let the pictures do all the talking.  To view the online gallery, click below.  Thanks again John, for giving us this gift.

Link to auction photos by John Martin Photography

When planning this event we decided on having a photo booth since they are all the rage right now.  Jamie came up with a fun way to combine photo booth silliness with encouragement for Jody by asking attenders to write supportive messages on a chalk board frame when they had their pictures taken.  Robert Buzzard of Robert Buzzard Photography willingly agreed to help us out with this activity and he has provided the link below for you to see the fun for yourselves.  Thank you Robert for supporting us by donating this activity at the auction, Jody was encouraged by all the messages.

Link to photo booth photos by Robert Buzzard Photography

Password: Jody_DSC0134

About a month before Jody’s transplant he and I created a short video that could be shared at the auction.  While it’s far from perfect we were proud of how it came out and thought we’d share it with you.  This video was shown just before the live auction began.  We hope it creates awareness of Cystic Fibrosis, a disease which frustratingly, few people know much about, and one that is near and dear to our hearts (you might not be able to view this video from email, but will probably need to go to the blog site itself).

Here is part of a letter that was read for us at the auction and seemed fitting to share:

“The day after Jody was told of his need for a transplant, a transplant social worker met with us to discuss fundraising. We sat there dumbfounded that #1, it was time for him to get a transplant, and #2, that this woman was suggesting a fundraising goal of $100,000!!! We were told the first year post transplant is estimated to cost $70,000 alone. Although we are so very grateful for our insurance to help with these costs, the out-of-pocket expenses seemed overwhelming and impossible to face.”

“When our friends got word of this news they quickly took the burden of fundraising off our shoulders. Brainstorming began, a logo was designed, a website was created, word spread and fundraisers started. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and the money that was raised even before transplant occurred. We felt relieved to know that we were well on our way to being financially prepared for Jody to receive the call for his new lungs.”

Having said that, thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you who had a part in making our benefit auction a success.  Whether it was in planning, prepping, getting or giving donations, picking up items, sharing the event, volunteering on the day of the event, purchasing items at the auction, YOU MADE IT POSSIBLE!!!  Together you added $13, 078 to our transplant fund!  This figure does not even include the money raised from selling t-shirts at the auction, which we hear were a big hit (on a side note, we have a few shirts left if you are interested in purchasing one leave a comment).  We couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of this event.

Now that the auction is over, we want to tell you again how much it means to us to have your emotional, practical, prayer, and financial support.  Already, this transplant has been expensive (food, outrageous parking fees, fees for use of the room TV, purchasing medical equipment for home, missed work, etc). and we haven’t even left the hospital yet.  Your financial support has given us so much peace of mind as we face these costs as well as the hospital bill and medication and doctors expenses throughout this first year post-transplant.  From the bottom of our ‘healthy’ lungs, THANK YOU for your support!

*When life settles down a bit I intend to create a photo book as a keepsake of the auction.  If you have any photos to share with us, please email them to tiffany@supportjody.com.  You can also leave any comments or funny stories you have about the day here on the blog so they can included in our photo book.  Help us remember the auction through those of you who experienced it firsthand.*

In Celebration & Support of Jody’s New Lungs

27 Sep

Hi, I’m Beth, a member of Jody’s CF (Care and Fundraising) team.  I’m excited for you to join us for a fun day to celebrate Jody’s new lungs and support his family financially during this expensive first year post transplant. Enjoy food from local businesses, enter to win prizes, bring your kids for family fun, and bid on your favorite items. Join us on October 11th at Lancaster County Christian School, Leola campus (2390 New Holland Pike, Lancaster).

KIDS ACTIVITIES (3 PM – 5 PM)
Activities Include: face painting, outdoor bounce house, pumpkin painting, cookie decorating, and fire truck exploration. A photo booth will be available for silly photos and an encouraging surprise for Jody.

These activities are by donation. With a donation of at least $5 you will also receive a Journeying With Jody Benefit Bracelet.

FOOD
Light refreshments will be available for purchase. Items include Coffee Company coffee, Kunzler hot dogs, Dominion Pizza, Herr’s Chips, drinks, and sweets.

SILENT AUCTION (3 PM – 5 PM)
Items include children’s items, gift baskets, jewelry, household items, services, gift cards, and consignment sports memorabilia. Featuring a signed copy of Marie Monville’s book, One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting, accompanied by a 1 hour speaking engagement.  If your church, organization, or conference is seeking a speaker who will inspire and bring hope, Marie is it!

LIVE AUCTION* 5 PM
Bid on items including vacations, furniture, home décor, work by local artisans, and unique experiences perfect for a night out or a family adventure. Highlights include a swing set donated by Swing Kingdom, a gas grill donated by JB Zimmerman, and autographed items donated by the Philadelphia Flyers.  Absentee bidding is available for some items. Contact jamie@supportjody.com with inquiries.

*Child Care available during the live auction for children ages 1 – 5.

RAFFLES
Purchase raffle tickets and enter to win a $100 Shopping Spree at Rockvale Outlets. We will also raffle a $35 gift card to the Olive Garden. To be eligible to win you must RSVP on the Jody Needs Lungs Auction Facebook Page that you will be attending the auction. Non-Facebook users can comment below with their RSVP of attendance. You must be present at the auction during the drawing to win this raffle.

Click to enlarge

T-SHIRTS
Journey with Jody t-shirts will be available for purchase at the auction for $20.00.  Pre-ordered shirts can be picked-up on the day of the event.

PAYMENT OPTIONS
Debit/Credit accepted through our YouCaring website at checkout. Check/cash preferred when possible.

A special thank you to our business sponsors:

Auction Catalog Link Facebook

Click photo for link to auction inventory

 

Click photo for link to RSVP

Click photo for link

Whether or not you are able to attend Jody’s auction please ‘share’ this event with those you know and encourage them to come out in support of Jody and his family.  We look forward to seeing you on October 11th.  It’s going to be a great time for everyone!

Mark Your Calendar

9 Jul
Save the Date

Save the Date

October 11th, 2014.  Mark. Your. Calendar.  This is the date that has been selected for our biggest fundraising effort to date, including a live and silent auction.  We are super excited for this day, and hope you will join us.  This event has the potential to make a big impact in pushing us closer to our fundraising end goal, but we can’t do it without your attendance.  Please mark Oct. 11th on your calendar and plan to attend.  This event includes family fun, so bring your whole family with you.

This auction is three months away and preparations are in full-swing.  We are now accepting donations of items and/or services as well as auction sponsors.  Perhaps this is something you can help us with, and here are some examples:

  • A themed gift basket
  • A service: photography, lawn mowing, snow removal, hair cut/color, or maybe you enjoy cooking and would be willing to auction off 12 homemade meals (one/month for a year for a family of five or less).  The sky is the limit.
  • An item:  Are you a talented artist, a business owner, a vacation holder, an antique collector?  If you have an item that you believe would do well at an auction, we welcome your gift.
  • An experience: Do you love to entertain?  Could you host a dinner party in your home or backyard?  Perhaps you have your pilot’s license and could offer a short flight experience.  Think boating, ballooning, ziplining, a limousine ride, the possibilities are endless.  You may not be able to provide this service yourself, but would you be willing to purchase this item and donate it as an auction item?
  • Event sponsor: For a minimum donation of $250 your business name and logo will appear in the event catalog and other promotional materials, as well as recognition from the stage during the live auction.
  • Family Fun help: Part of this event will include family fun time.  Are you a face painter and willing to offer your time?  Could you set-up a fun photo booth?  Is there a practical service you can offer to kids on the day of the auction?

We are anticipating a lot of out-of-pocket expenses associated with Jody’s transplant and recovery so you can imagine we are hoping this auction will be hugely successful.  In order for that to happen we really need your help.  Please SHARE this event, and encourage others to attend.  Additionally, if you know of someone (your boss, family member, or friend) who you think could donate something for the auction, please contact jamie@supportjody.com for an auction donation form.  If you follow our Jody Needs Lungs Facebook page you will soon begin to see information posted on businesses and items that have already donated.  This info will also be able to be viewed under the “Auction” tab on our website, JodyNeedsLungs.com.  We are so thankful to each of these people and business who were touched by our story and moved to help.  We hope you will too.

Auction Promo front

Auction Promo back

* Donations are not tax-deductible*

Thanks, Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA

8 Dec

From our family to yours, thank-you, Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA

Yesterday was our big day at Chick-fil-A (CFA), Lancaster, PA.  If you read my last blog post or have been following us on Facebook you know that amazingly we were chosen by CFA as the recipients of their second birthday give-back celebration.  This meant that for every original, deluxe, or spicy chicken sandwich sold between the hours of 11am-7pm, CFA, Lancaster, PA would donate $1 to our Jody Needs Lungs transplant fund.  In addition they offered us their spinning wheel where people could donate $1 directly to Jody Needs Lungs for a chance to spin the wheel and win coupons for free food on their next visit to CFA.

After about two weeks of promoting the event, both CFA and us, the day finally arrived.  We had 23 volunteers lined up to cover eight hours of handing out thank-you flyers to all customers and also to man the spinning wheel (if you were on of those volunteers we owe you a BIG thanks!).  The morning started with radio station FM 90.3 WJTL on site with their infamous Kid’s Cookie Break program from 9am-12pm.  If you were tuned in you would have heard Jody and Jamie (our fundraising team leader) speaking on the radio a little after 11am.  It felt a little surreal to hear our story being told on the radio and handed out to every customer at CFA.

Jody and I were not present all day long but we were told that the dining room was packed much of the day.  We were touched by all the people who came out to support us, even people we didn’t know, but who knew about us.  At the end of the night, 1550 sandwiches were sold, and $927 were raised on the wheel.  We also received a few direct donations, bringing the combined total raised throughout the day to $2727!

Again we want to say thank-you to Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA for partnering with us, and for generously giving-back.  Thank you to all the employees who worked hard that day to keep the hungry mouths fed, and for doing it with a smile.  Thank you to our volunteers for giving up your precious time on our behalf, and especially to those who served outside in the cold.  Thanks to the many of you who shared this event, and to our friend Jamie for coordinating the day.  Lastly, thank you to everyone who came out, bought a sandwich, and took a spin on the wheel.  We felt the love and support yesterday and are one step closer to being financially ready when we get the call for Jody’s new lungs!

Below are some pictures of the day for you to enjoy (click each photo to see them enlarged & to make comments).  And don’t forget to show your appreciation to Chick-fil-A, Lancaster by “Liking” their Facebook page.

Exciting News… Please Share

21 Nov

Screen shot of our new website

It’s time!  Time to officially launch our new website, JodyNeedsLungs.com.  This website was created at the suggestion of our fundraising team and it’s purpose is multifold:

  1. It’s a place for us to share Jody’s story, and of his need for a double lung transplant.
  2. It creates awareness for Cystic Fibrosis by explaining what it is and directing people to the CF Foundation for further learning.
  3. The “events” tab will fill you in on up-coming fundraising events (read below for our exciting news about this).
  4. It links back to my blog for people who want to follow Jody’s journey to transplant and beyond.
  5. Donations can be made directly on the site which will go towards helping us be financially prepared for the many out-of-pocket expenses which will be incurred after Jody’s transplant.

This website was a labor of love by friends who sacrificed time and energy to create it. It involved taking pictures, creating a logo, writing the pages, building the site, and lots of back-and-forth emails and editing.  The color purple was chosen for the theme because it is the color generally used to represent Cystic Fibrosis, and the wood effect also correlates with Jody’s love of woodworking.  It was a lot of work, but in the end it was worth it!  We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! We believe this site will be essential to our fundraising.  If you haven’t already checked out the site, please do so.  Click around, read the pages, and give us your feedback.  Sing your praises to those who sacrificially gave of themselves to create it.  But don’t stop there, WE NEED YOUR HELP to spread the word.  “Like” the webpage and share it on your social media platforms.  We were blown-away by all the likes and shares on our Facebook page and we hope you will do the same with our website.

Now for our super exciting, mind-blowing, unbelievable news!  The good people at Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA got word of our story, and fundraising need, and reached out to help!!!  December 7th marks their second year here in Lancaster, and they are busy planning a big “birthday” celebration.  Each year on their birthday they like to give back to the community.  Last year they chose to give towards the Water Street Rescue Mission, and well, you guessed it, this year they chose US!  We are still trying to wrap our brains around this one.

Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA event promo (front/back)

On December 7th, from 11am-7pm Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA will donate $1 for EVERY original, spicy, and deluxe chicken sandwich sold (note this does not include nuggets or other menu items).  No paper is needed, and this includes ANYONE ordering (even strangers who just need a quick-lunch break from their Christmas shopping at the outlets).

As if that’s not enough, they didn’t stop there.  Chick-fil-A, Lancaster will have their spinning wheel out for people to pay $1 per spin for a chance to win coupons for free food; 100% of the proceeds from this will go to us!  We are in need of volunteers to man this wheel for the eight hours it will be in use.  The time slots will be for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the amount of people who offer to help.  If you are interested, please email jamie@supportjody.com with your availability.

Lastly, WJTL radio station will be joining us for a portion of the day.  Who knows, it might even end up on the news or in the paper (I think this is being looked into).  We are so touched by this, still even a little in shock, and it’s hard to find words to express our appreciation.  God has truly blessed us!  Please mark your calendars and join us, along with Chick-fil-A, Lancaster, PA on Saturday, December 7th between the hours of 11am-7pm. We’re gonna have fun while celebrating their birthday, getting the word out, and raising funds so our family can be financially prepared when we get the call for Jody’s new lungs.

I know this is getting long but bear with me, I’ve got one more fundraiser to tell you about.  This one is especially for all you shoppers.  My wonderful co-workers took it upon themselves to plan this, and it’s happening soon, so don’t miss out.  THIS COMING MONDAY, November 25th, Homestead Furnishing & Gifts will donate 20% of everything purchased between the hours of 6-8pm at their store in Maytown.  Why not grab a girlfriend and make it a “Girl’s Night Out.” For more information, click here.  Hope you can make it!  And thank you to my co-workers for planning this event.

Alright folks, now we need your help to spread the word.  Please consider “donating” a status update by sharing our website and upcoming events.  We very much appreciate your help in getting the word out.

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