FIGHT LIKE MIKE
I want to say thank you for all of your continued support and donations to Share Love.
I find so much of God’s grace in his timing.
I always seems to find the gift of t-shirt purchase or donations in my inbox,
on days where I feel the most sad, lonely or discouraged in grief.
The orders no doubt seem to be orchestrated through Mike and God.
And this keeps me believing in purpose from pain .
Believing in hope.
Thank you for keeping me surprised by grace.
It is a gift I have no words to describe.
The foundation was established and named originally as-
FLM Foundation doing business as Share love, That’s all.
When you have been stripped of the ability to do all the physical things you love, you can always share love. Our friend Penny would say , “ even from my hospital bed , i can still share love “
The roots of the foundation began in Mike’s courageous battle with Leukemia. As well as all of our fellow friends fighting cancer battles of their own.
However we had dreams for it to grow .
And had hopes that YOUR shared love would touch the lives of anyone suffering , from anything.
We are all fighting our own daily battle.
And we believed -love is the only universal cure for suffering.
We felt it .
Your love was what sustained us through years of anxiety, pain, and fear.
The foundation began ( similar to so many organizations) with the simple idea that if someone purchased a t-shirt,
we would be able to give one to a patient , while they were in the middle of their fight.
We wanted to be able to pay your love forward.
And because of your generosity we have been able to share hundreds of t-shirts ,meals , and love with patients, caregivers, friends, nurses, strangers.
At our second “Field day “ fundraiser back in October,
I shared about how the foundation has grown over the years.
(I will post the letter of what I said below this incase you want to read)
For those of you who were not there , you should know that because of your gifts we have been able to fund, what we are calling the, “Fight Like Mike apartment”.
Dr. Kota originally text me with the idea almost a year before it actually happened .
He told me he wanted to hear people say Mike’s name each day.
So many wonderful people in Augusta have made this dream come true.
The apartment is in Augusta Ga, about 6 miles from the Georgia Cancer Center .
This space houses a patient and their family during their Bone Marrow Transplant journey.
For those of you who do not know, when you go through a transplant, patients are required to stay within a certain mile radius from the hospital after their transplant. Many people travel to hospitals and are far from home . Therefore they have to find somewhere to stay once they are strong enough to be able to leave the hospital.
Mike and I watched so many people suffering and not just from the physical pain from cancer and a transplant.
Their pain was then compounded by financial burdens , job loss, separation from family and children.
The ripple effects from a cancer diagnosis spread far and wide.
Because of our Fight like Mike army, these were burdens Mike and I did not experience.
And I will never take that for granted.
The FLM apartment will ease the extra burdens for a family.
So they are able to focus on being together.
To focus on healing.
The time I was able to have with Mike , to just be with him
Free of worry that I should be working.
He was able to heal at home.
A gift I am forever thankful for.
We have tried to make this FLM apartment feel like a home away from home.
At the Field day I shared that the first patient was about to move in .
The sweet family stayed from October until February.
Mrs Seymour, his wife, sent me the pictures below.
She gave me permission to post them here.
I think the pictures speak for them selves.
Your gifts and donations have made this possible .
You have made their burdens lighter.
You have given them hope.
She could not thank the foundation enough
And you need to know that YOUR LOVE
Continues to make someones day better.
That your donations are making a difference TODAY.
In February my mom and I took the kids to see the apartment.
We met Dr. Kota’s wife ( my dear friend ) and their kids there.
Two families, brought together through tragedy.
And yet I was reminded that day, that love will always outshine the darkness.
If we are open to letting the light in the cracks of our hearts.
My story with Mike did not end the way I wanted it to.
Not even close to it.
But maybe that’s not how life works.
Maybe life is not about what we want.
But about a much bigger purpose.
This apartment makes me believe in that.
In life after death.
In hope .
It is dedicated to each of you.
It is dedicated to Dr. Kota.
And the way he made
Mike believe in himself.
Of course I dream of more.
What about an entire FLM community ?!
Where many patients
can sit in a courtyard together
And talk about how hard their treatment was that day.
How they are crawling out of their alligator skin.
Where they feel loved and supported.
By people like them .
Because there is a line you cross overOnce you receive a diagnosis.
And you need people on the other side To hold you too.
To make you feel less alone.
So I will keep dreaming.
Because this all started
Because of you all ,
Our Fight like Mike army
Just loving on Mike
And me and J, C, and G
One day at a time .
One small act of kindness at a time.
It started with a purchase of one t-shirt.
So when I get too ahead of myself in dreaming.
When I feel like I have not done enough.
I remember the one thing you did for me.
To make my day better.
It was enough .
I remember the power of one t-shirt.
Making one persons day better.
And that is enough.
I remember that God is in control.
And I surrender to his plan.
A second family moved in at the end of March. If you would ever like to mail cards of encouragement to them, please email me and I will send you the address. You can also mail it to me and I will get them to the sweet family.
This space allows me to believe
IMike is still alive.
I believe his spirit is still encouraging someone to keep fighting this grueling fight.
I believe Dr. Kota and Mike , together ,
Are still inspiring others .
Fight like Mike …and surrender all the rest …to God.