Sunday, March 6, 2011

A grassroots fight from the trenches…

The past several weeks have been a whirlwind to say the least. First and foremost, we grieve for the families, friends and communities who have lost children to SCA. We took it hard when we learned of a young man who died in Longview WA, a seventeen year old and a father. The young man died while wrestling with friends, HCM the apparent cause. Two weeks later, and less than 100 miles away in Silverton Oregon, another young man dies while competing in a high school wrestling match. Now just days after a community honored a fallen son, we are shaken by another loss in Michigan. The young man in this case died from SCA after hitting a buzzer beater to preserve his team’s perfect season. Then only a day after the Michigan tragedy a young man in Colorado dies while playing rugby. To see it all unfold on ESPN and the national news was more than I could handle.

That brings me to the crux of this post. We are in a battle; family by family, community by community, foundation by foundation and heartbreaking story by heartbreaking story. It’s the axis of change being directed by those who have suffered loss and want to do something about it. Although we are not a unified front, we all share the same battle cry, the same motivation, the same care for our children and the same anguish that puts a pit in your gut that you can’t explain. When we hear the horrible news of another child lost to SCA we all take the hit, we all recall our own personal tragedies, we shed countless tears, we somehow collect enough energy to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and carry on with our missions.

Our battles are many. Our victories are both monumental and minuscule, measured in terms of “saves” or as simple as telling your story to an 80 year old woman at a community health fair. As warriors we don’t pick our battles or measure ourselves by how many “saves” we’ve had or how many people we talked to. We are warriors for a cause; not for personal gains, notoriety or shiny medals that show how many battles we’ve fought in.

As a grassroots army we count on the strength of our family, friends and community. Without their un-waivered support and amazing dedication to volunteerism we would certainly lose most fights. These unsung heroes are motivated by the sheer desire to make the world a better place, one child at a time. Although it may not be apparent, we are moving mountains together; one screening, one health fair, one community event at a time.

As warriors, we fight because we’ve been ordained to carry out a mission, one we did not ask for, but one we will see through, come hell or high water.