Posted by: Modern Mom | November 16, 2011

A Revelation of Hope

Last night I had a dream. That’s no rare thing, but this one really got me thinking because it was so powerful and memorable. The message was one that hit me hard. It’s not often that my dreams have such a clear message, so there’s got to be something to that, right?

To sum up; In the dream, I was blind. But I had amazing powers to change peoples lives in very profound ways. So, I went about my life with that purpose. I changed lives all around me. In big ways and small ways. I was having the time of my life when, a very big change came.

A young man, who was also blind from a rare disease, came to me. No scientists had been able to help him. No doctors, either. He had an amazing attitude and didn’t ask me for anything. But when I held his face in my hands to greet him a remarkable thing happened. My sight slowly came back to me, and as I looked into his eyes, I could tell that he was looking back at me, seeing me. I awoke crying.

The boy in my dream was my nephew. He is 13. At the beginning of the summer of this year, he was diagnosed with a very rare disease called Stargardt’s Disease. It is an inherited juvenile macular degeneration. Since his diagnosis in May, he has lost almost all of his central vision. When he was diagnosed, my husband and I did some research to find out what the disease was, what caused it, and what advances had been made. There’s not much to know. The problem is, there isn’t much money to fund the research on such a rare disease.

It was shortly after this discovery that a very profound thought hit me. It was during a training call, of all things. The woman leading the training call is a leader in my company, and one of my biggest inspirations. She has come so far, in so short a time, and touched many lives. As I listened to her tell her story about where this business has taken her, and what it is now doing to fully fund her own foundation, it struck me. My calling. Until that moment I didn’t have an inkling of what this business could do for me, or others. All I knew was that I felt called to be here. When she spoke these words, “…it was sometimes overwhelming – knowing that building our own foundation (to help battered women) would take literally millions of dollars of our own money. But we did it. We’re doing it.” I was overwhelmed with excitement. There was my purpose. A foundation that would help children with Stargardt’s and fund research for the disease.

I’ve been thinking about this foundation and what I would do with it for a long time now. That call was months ago, so I’ve had the time to develop it in my mind. I’d start small by helping children buy guide dogs and pay for education. My next leap would be to start funneling money to a research facility like HHMI so that we could make big changes. The whole prospect is so exciting to me that I could burst with it. There are miracles to be worked here, and I have my sights set on one in particular.

The dream last night just reinforced it for me. It was just a reminder of the power I have to change things. I can accomplish so much, and this is my vehicle to do so. The things I’ve witnessed in my short time working with my team, and with the Doctors are nothing short of miracles. A mother pulling her family out of near poverty to grow a business that produces royalty income for her in flexible hours. A 29-year-old school teacher who got dragged kicking and screaming into the business by her mother, and who is now a millionaire and fully funding an amazing charitable foundation. A real estate dynamo with two young kids at home and a very busy husband who, in less than a year, reached the top of the company’s pay scale, earned her shiny new Lexus, and is fast on her way to that millionaire status.

The things I’ve seen would stagger the imagination, and leave you in disbelief. They are, nevertheless, real. And there are days when I have to pinch myself to be sure this isn’t a dream.

I feel so blessed to have found this. Or rather, that it found me. Or maybe… that I stumbled into it blindly and with little gumption. However I came to it, I’m so thankful and I can’t wait to see where it all leads.

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Responses

  1. […] when our nephew was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, I added another big project to my list. To build and fully fund a foundation dedicated to the […]

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