What do you dream about? Many of us here dream about a day when the neocons are but a distant memory, and war isn’t an option. When health care is a right for every human being, not a privilege, and those uncounted millions who are working three jobs just to keep a roof over their heads, are able to make a living wage, and still have time to raise their children. A day when racism and ignorance is no longer tolerated, and those who support and inflame those ideas are banished to the outskirts of society in shame, not elected to national offices. Some folks have other dreams, very simple ones that don’t require massive cultural change or revolutionary ideas to achieve. Some people dream only of having a friend, one that will look after them and help keep them safe. In the last three weeks I have written several stories, both here and at another blog, about a brave young man who needed a little help making his dream come true. His name is James, and all he needed was a little help from folks like you, in making his miracle happen. Today thanks to some special people like yourselves, he is very close to making that dream a reality.
Cross posted at big orange
For those who aren’t familiar with James, here are the basics of his story…
James is a 17 year old student and an active member of the Boy Scouts. He loves scouting. and has just reached “star level” in their program. As James says: “Scouting Rocks”. He loves to walk and recently with the help of his wheel chair for balance, and some of his scouting buddies, he completed an 11 1/4 mile walk for life relay, to raise money for the fight against cancer.
He has been diagnosed with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Mental retardation (overall development of a 6-7 yr old), an unknown slow Bowel Disorder, and ADHD. Due to the cerebral palsy James wears AFO braces on both his legs. He has had a vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) implanted to help with seizure control, and has been seizure free for over nine months. Today James is in the hospital where he will undergo another surgery for his bowel disorder. Before you get to depressed about the struggles James has to face, this is what he says about himself on his fundraiser web page:
in spite of how medical involved some people feel I am, I am a happy, carefree, and lovable young man that strives to be as independent as I can. That is way I am posting here today.
I first heard about James through franziskaner’s diary and immediately went to his web page to see how I could help.
His doctors had recommended that he would benefit greatly by receiving and bonding with an Autism Assistance Dog.
These dogs are specially trained in a wide variety of skills that are uniquely tailored to suit the needs of an autistic child. I encourage you to read about the wonderful benefits these animals provide to the child, they are truly making miracles happen for them. James has already named his future partner, He has decided to call him “Runner”. Runner will not only give James a partner, a friend, and some safety, he will also give him some much needed independence. Every teen age boy needs a little time to himself now and then.
How dogs know what they do is a mystery we will never find the answer to but when it comes to children with Autism, this mystery of how the dogs know just what their young partners need, is nothing less than magical.
Typical of the american experience in health care issues, James and his family were pretty much on their own in figuring out how to come up with the $12,000 it costs to train the dog, the child, and the family. It’s a time consuming process. They held bake sales, yard sales, sold candy bars, 50/50 tickets, held a silent auction, several other fundraisers, and were still less than halfway towards the goal. That is when James turned to the internet hoping to find a few “cyber angels” to help him.
I am happy to report that some of you cyber angels came through for James. He has met the set goal
of $2675.00 This is what James had to say last night:
Sept 19, 2007
HELLO FROM JAMES
You all are awsome, you rock and make me happy! I clapped my hands so hard they hurt when I see I met my goal and more. I do not understand how much money this is but Mom & Dad say it is alot. II almost have enough to get my class date and cannot wait. Runner is going to just as cool as you are. He is going to be my best friend and helper. You space angels are cool and I thank you for helping me.
If you have not checked out 4 Paws please do. www.4pawsforability.org
Go to the make a dream come true page you will meet other kids that are waiting for their class date to. Karen, the owner is a cool lady. I met her this summer when Mom & Dad took me to visit them. She has all kinds of dogs she is working with. I call her the little lady with big heart. I have to go to bed now. I go to hospital tomorrow an have my operation Friday.
God Bless you Space Angels
Tonight I join James in saying Thank You. You have reminded an extremely cynical and pissed off man, (Me) that there is still a lot of good things going on in the world if I look for them. Double Thanks.
Per James request here is a link to the 4Paws webpage Make a Dream Come True. There you will find other children who have dreams, simple achievable glorious dreams. If you missed the chance to make a donation to James, perhaps you might like to help another child.
It is difficult to be an oval soul in a round world. It is unsettling to not quite grasp the rules of social engagement, be teased, shunned and judged. Wyatt needs a friend to help him traverse the crazy world we live in and maneuver through the unique challenges that he is faced with. He needs a friend to keep him safe. He needs a friend who loves him just the way he is. He needs a friend who will foster his independence.
Here is a picture of one of these loving pals, on the job, ever vigilant, keeping an eye on their best friend.
Thanks again folks. I close with one of my favorite movie scenes. The dialogue from the end of the 1988 Bill Murray movie Scrooged.
How did that happen?
That happened because it’s Christmas Eve.
I’m not crazy. It’s Christmas Eve.
It’s the one night when we all act a little nicer.
We…we smile a little easier. We…we…share a little more.
For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be.
It’s really a miracle because it happens every Christmas Eve.
And if you waste that miracle, you’re gonna burn for it. I know.
You have to do something. You have to take a chance and get involved.
There are people that don’t have enough to eat and who are cold.
You can go and greet these people.
Take an old blanket out to them or make a sandwich and say, “Here.”
“l get it now.”
And if you give, then it can happen, the miracle can happen to you.
Not just the poor and hungry, Everybody’s gotta have this miracle!
It can happen tonight for you all!
If you believe in this pure thing,
the miracle will happen and you’ll want it again tomorrow!
You won’t say, “Christmas is once a year and it’s a fraud.” It’s not!
It can happen every day! You’ve just got to want that feeling!
You’ll want it every day! It can happen to you!
I believe in it now.
I believe it’s gonna happen to me, now. I’m ready for it!
And it’s great. It’s a good feeling.
It’s better than I’ve felt in a long time.