Last week I returned to Annapolis to visit Melissa Smith. At lunch, she told me about a little girl name Addyson O’Donnell. Paralyzed since birth from Spina Bifida, the two year old and her family were still clinging to the hope that someday she would walk someday – a hope fading fast without proper treatment and physical therapy.
Melissa and the Maryland Chive Chapter had organized a fundraiser on November 15h to help Addy and they asked me to publicize the event and help get as many Chivers there as I could. I was happy to do so.
This week I published the story and placed a small link to Addyson’s GoFundMe page. The family felt bad asking for any more than $10,000. The Chivers thought that was a silly thing. Donations poured in from around the country and the total just surged past $60,000.
I spoke with Addyson’s mother, Janice, about a half hour ago. She told me this:
I’m stunned. It’s so amazing how, over the past few weeks, Annapolis has embraced not only Melissa and my daughter but also theCHIVE. This will sound strange but more than the money, the comments I’m reading are the most special part about this. There are still kind people in this world. It warms my heart. Addyson’s story is impacting peoples lives. I was surprised how many people had never heard of Spina Bifida. That means so much to me. Please thank the Chivers for all of this for the bottom of my heart. This great community has changed my daughter’s life.”
It’s one of the great privileges of my life to take phone calls like this, Chivers. Janice and the family could not be more appreciative of the gift you’ve given them. Christmas is coming and our new charity campaigns are going to take things to a whole new, inspiring level.
Happy Friday, now go get a beer.