Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rancho Vino Event

Last Saturday, Joe and I were at Rancho Vino, at the event that benefited The Children's Miracle Network. I gave my Celtic Lady Summer for the silent auction, and we were invited to attend.
As we were getting ready, I was telling myself how good it was to give to the community, how rewarding it feels to be making a difference, how it takes just one act....but these were just words. It did not feel personal to me, it did not feel like I was making a difference at all. Indeed, "it" felt more like I just purchased the tickets for the evening of entertainment, only instead of cash I gave my Lady. It did not feel personal - until I met Melinda.
Just by accident it happened so that we were sitting at the same table as the Guest Speaker and her family.
Three years ago Melinda was diagnosed with cancer of the blood. She was thirteen. In the following two years, she has gone through treatment that included regular chemotherapy and blood transfusions. Melinda described her journey to recovery in her book "Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery."
Now, Melinda is free of the disease. She became a spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network... She goes to the events and speaks of her experience; Melinda's mother mentioned she was booked till February. Her grandfather said that in two years of treatment his granddaughter matured about 15 years. "These things make you grow up faster," he said...
As I was trying to look at this girl outside of the "cause," I saw - a child. I child who was eager to live, to have fun, to talk, to dance, to fall in love... To partake of all the good things that life has to offer her.  May it be so...
This was the moment when it became personal, and I no longer felt like I "paid my way in" for some food and entertainment. Because if another child like Melinda can make it through, then it is an honor to be of any help.

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