26 May 2011

Miracle Marathon.

Yes, I know I have been blowing up my Twitter and Facebook statuses today with stuff about Dave and Carole’s Miracle Marathon for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, but it is something that is very important to me.  I have never personally had to utilize the services that Children’s provides, but I know plenty of people who have…and the place is incredible.  Everything they do is FOR THE KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES.  It is absolutely amazing seeing these doctors and nurses and support staff and nutrition staff etc etc etc at work, because they all care about kids.  
Whether it is treating childhood cancers, rare heart defects, genetic disorders, emergency situations, neurological disorders, GI problems, renal problems, premature births, birth defects, etc etc etc, you name it—Children’s DOES IT ALL.  Being in that place, visiting the kids, watching them smile through all of the pain they must be enduring…is absolutely heart wrenching but such a blessing at the same time.  We, here in Southeast Wisconsin, are so blessed to have a facility right here, at our fingertips, at our disposal, if we need it.  And if we personally don’t need it…there will come a time where you will be personally affected by it through someone you know.  Families travel from all over the country—and in some cases, all over the world—to be at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  The doctors work around the clock to create specialized treatment plans for the child.  They will not stop until they have done everything they can for that child.  This incredible facility is an absolute Godsend here.
So, I urge you, if you can donate, whatever you can…DO SO.  Dave and Carole are broadcasting around the clock for the remainder of the day and tomorrow.  All proceeds go to supporting CHW’s mission of helping children.  Last year, donations exceeded $1 MILLION DOLLARS.  How incredible is that?!  My Mom and I will be answering phones tomorrow morning from 8:30a-12:30p to help support this most worthwhile cause.  I even answered a call last year where a gentleman singlehandedly donated $10,000 out of his own pocket.  Even a small fraction of that can make a HUGE difference.  Almost every hour is a Power Hour, where various Milwaukee-area businesses (and in some cases anonymous donors) match your donation DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR.  Some are even Double Power Hours, where your donation is TRIPLED.  The website for donation ishttps://www.chw.org/display/PPF/DocID/33082/router.asp or you can call 414-337-WKLH (9554) or toll free at 1-800-414-WHLH (9554).  
We are blessed to have a facility like CHW here…And I feel beyond blessed to be a part of this.  There is no telling when you or someone you love will need this place.  Be a hero, donate to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  

19 May 2011

Exciting Times.

Last night, I contacted Apolo Anton Ohno, world class, gold medal winning Olympic speed skater, Dancing with the Stars champion (I would guess that Kyra singlehandedly made him win DWTS--she would call from every single phone in our home and then her friend's phones as well.  It was amusing. :)), and all-around good guy.  I did this on behalf of my sister, Kyra, who is basically infatuated with Apolo and the work that he does.  Kyra is a stellar student, athlete, friend, leader...and just all-around good person and if she could meet Apolo...it would be beyond her wildest dreams.  She is following her dreams, and I believe that Apolo's story and the work he does and his motivation...is a large part of why she is so determined and following HER dreams.  His book Zero Regrets has inspired her to keep fighting for her dreams and for what she believes in.  I am trying to get him to speak at her high school graduation, two years from now, in May 2013.  I can't think of anyone else who deserves this more...and I want to make this happen.

If anyone has other ideas as to how I can make this happen for her...let me know!  I have contacted him via his website and Twitter and once in a while I give him a Tweet...I plan on doing a handwritten (well, typed) letter a bit later in the summer...I really want to make this happen for Kyra.  She deserves it more than anyone I know.  Help me help make this girl's dreams come true!

10 May 2011

Reflections on the end of the year.

Perhaps it is a bit premature to be doing this, but these thoughts have been running through my head all day and I needed to get them down:
Thursday will mark the halfway point of my college undergraduate career.  It has gone so fast!  I cannot even believe how quickly things change…and even more so, how quickly these things happen.  It feels like just a couple of weeks ago I was just beginning college at Carroll, moving into a dorm with Heather and “making it” (faking it?) on my own.  And as quick as I moved in, I moved out (a semester later) and moved back home with my parents.  I don’t mind it…it saves money, but it impedes on a lot of things I can do on campus.  Another story for another day.  Then, I transferred to Marquette which is, I think, the best move I have ever made.  I LOVE Marquette.  I love everything about it—the location, the academics, the emphasis on the Jesuit style of teaching, the basketball, the people, and the list goes on.  I am so glad I made the decision to switch (and a tough decision it was).  For the field(s) I am going into, Marquette is the place to be around the Milwaukee area.  But half of college is over—finito.  Where does the time go, I ask?  I have so much to look forward to in the next couple of years…my classes are going to be focusing solely on my majors (political science and corporate communications) so they are going to be the things that really interest me and the things that I tend to excel at.  It is insane to think about.  I guess when I am in the moment, taking it day by day, things seem to drag and then when they’re over it’s like “hey, when did this sneak up on me?  What just happened?”  It is the weirdest phenomenon.  
With the end of the semester comes change.  For one, I won’t have to be up at the crack of dawn anymore…and I will actually have time for non-school related reading (which I am most excited about!).  I will be working at Mequon Soccer Club and Best Buy…and maybe an internship.  I still have applications out and am waiting to hear back from a couple.  Time will tell…but I am hoping it is going to be a busy summer filled with lots of memories.
I suppose it’s time to finish up studying for my 8AM theology exam tomorrow.  
Here’s to the end of school, and a new beginning…

02 May 2011

My Thoughts on the Killing of Osama Bin Laden

I am proud to be an American.  Yes.  After 10 long years, we have killed Osama Bin Laden who wreaked absolute havoc on our country on 9/11/2001.  It gives me hope that our country seems to have united over this issue.  For once it’s not right or left, Democrat or Republican…but simply American.  United we stand, indeed.
As I was watching the coverage of Obama’s historic announcement late into the evening last night, I was struck by something I never thought I would see: hundreds of thousands of young people, rallying on the streets of Washington DC and Times Square in NYC shouting “USA! USA! USA!”  It was a pivotal moment of sorts for people my age; this is what we have grown up with.  I was ten years old when 9/11 happened, so for over half of my life I have been hearing about terrorism and Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and all sorts of extremism.  In a way, this is our generation’s D-Day.  We have conquered.  
I am so thankful to live in America, where I am free to be and where I am not held back.  Our troops protect us.  Thank you to all of the men and women who put their lives on the line so we can be free.  I appreciate everything you do; you are the backbone of our country.  Today, and always, WE SALUTE YOU.
And finally, to all of the people who say Bin Laden’s death was not justified and who say “God will judge”: if you condemn the death of Osama Bin Laden as an atrocity, you endorse the killing of nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11.  This man was the ringleader of an organization that is responsible for thousands and thousands of deaths of innocent people worldwide.  He is a terrorist.  If you can’t support the decision our President made to go and find this asshole and put an end to his life, please read up and think about WHY we did this.  Moreover, if you do not support our troops, please, by all means, feel free to go stand in front of them.  They protect this nation from zealots like Bin Laden and ensure that we have all of the freedoms we do…the same freedoms we are fighting for in Iraq and Afghanistan—for their people.  This is certainly not to say that this fight is over—there are plenty of extremists out there who still would love to destroy us.  However, Bin Laden was the poster child of the terrorist movement, and with him gone there remains a weakened link.  The fight has shifted, and perhaps an end is in sight.  
God Bless America on this historic day…and always.