A blader from Florida has been skating everyday to generate awareness and funds in support of brain injury survivors and their care practitioners. Meredith McDonald began rollerblades in Jacksonville, Florida and will finish her journey in Boston, Massachusetts to cover a total distance of more than 1,400 miles over 12 states according to WBTW News.
Meredith started raising money following her husband’s motorcycle accident years prior. After her husband Nathan recovered, they set up the non-profit organization called the BIG Life – BIG stands for Brain Injury Group.
The BIG Life aims to gather resources regularly for assisting caregivers and brain injury survivors, especially those who have limited means of support. Unbeknownst to many, brain injuries are common. In terms of statistics, approximately 1.7 million Americans suffer at least one brain injury each year. Many more people get afflicted around the world.
Meredith stated in an interview with ABC, “The pain that I’m feeling every single day is temporary and it pales in comparison to what survivors and caregivers and people that have been impacted with brain injury deal with on a daily basis.”
When fatigue and pain sets in, the people she meets along the way keep her going. Karren Paglia who’s been fighting cancer for five years now said that meeting Meredith was “a blessing and an inspiration.”
Boston was set as the end point as WABI TV indicated that a hospital there was where her husband’s life was saved. Meredith started last September 10 and targets to reach Boston by October 14 if all goes according to plan.
Nathan follows closely behind, driving a truck, supporting his wife all the way. “She blows me away. She’s my motivation. She’s my drive,” said Nathan.
So far, The Big Skate has raised more than $13,000. Aside from providing support to individuals, a part of the funds will also be used to develop the BIG Life campus to serve as a place where more people can join the cause.
But it’s not just for funds, as Meredith wants to spread a deeper message. The blader stated, “We want to let people know that in spite of brain injury or whatever obstacle may be in your life, you can still live a really big, awesome life by focusing on the positive things and what we still have rather than what we’ve been robbed of.”
Organizing activities and events is a great way to raise awareness and support. However, initiatives such as these are only made possible by kind people who go out of their way to devote time and effort to promoting worthy causes.
The Mirror reported that a few days ago, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking delivered a speech for a brain injury charity even after he was deemed unfit to travel initially. Similarly, SBC News shared last July the piece about gambling addiction and psychological advice sessions arranged by GamCare, a gaming charity supported by numerous gaming providers such as Spin Genie which hosts slots titles like Reel Rush and as well as many other commercially licensed games. And last year, an identical move to The Big Skate was undertaken by Collin Clarke when he rollerbladed more than 300km for Jumpstart, a foundation to help kids get into sports.
Life is unpredictable. You never know what is around the corner. Sometimes, it’s good; other times, it’s game over. But then, you can still lead a fun and awesome life. It’s only a matter of choice and perspective. Second chances come rarely, but if they do, cherish them and make the most of a new life the best that you can.
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