Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gary and the NF camp. You have to read this entire blog. I promise it's good for your soul...

>>>It's been an interesting week. A couple days ago we got an email from a guy named Gary:

Hi JB and Sandy,

I listen to you guys daily and I have enjoyed every moment. I have a
big favor to ask of you and your listeners. Let me explain and I feel
sure that you can help me out. I am an adult that has
neurofirbromatosis (NERVE FIBER TUMOR). Big word, so people with this
disorder call it NF. I have had many surgeries over the years and felt
totally different from everyone else. I have a facial difference, as
do many of the children with NF. It does cause varied problems. Then
18 years ago, I found out they were having a camp for people with NF
and their families. I can not begin to tell you how much it meant to
me to finally meet others with this disorder. Now it is held at Camp
for All in Burton, Tx. in Sept. and we have a huge attendance every
year. They come from all over Texas to attend. Most in attendance are
kids, just wanting to be kids. Now, I am getting older, but the
friendships the kids make here are huge and long lasting. You see,
sometimes it's hard to make friends, when you may look different and
have a learning disability.

My problem? Every year we have always had lots of door and bingo
prizes, that the kids look forward to winning. This year, I have
pounded the pavement and hardly any store is giving away anything!
With the economy and the heat, I am not having much luck ;o( I have
not even got 1 single toy! Even Walmart is pretty much tapped out. So,
I understand, times are tough, but what's bingo without prizes??

Can the bunch of you or your listeners help us out any? Attached is
our 501c papers and the letter I am presenting companies. You can also
visit the Texas NF Foundation website at

Thank you for all the morning laughs!


>>> so after getting this email I looked up some information on NF and some pictures and what not. It broke my heart, especially thinking about kids wanting to feel normal. Having some experience with Cancer camps and Burn camps for kids, I knew what it meant for them to go to a camp where they feel "normal" and forget about their problems. Sandy and I decided to help. I think we both sent emails to each other at exactly the same moment saying that we need to help TOMORROW MORNING. We wanted to get on this a.s.a.p. Our listeners have always been great and you guys have ALWAYS come through. We just asked you guys to bring door prizes for kids in the next two days so we could get them to Gary. You guys have been amazing dropping off stuffed animals, board games, sports balls and everything you could imagine. I love our listeners because you are what makes working in Austin so great.
Admittedly, we bump into opposition when Sandy and I decide to do things like this. We get that "deer in the headlight" looks from new staff members or people that don't understand why we love doing this kind of radio. It's not even worth trying to explain to them, it's just what we do.
As if this story wasn't motivating enough. I got this email from Gary's wife today:

Hey JB, Sandy, and Alex,

Yes, we share email, old fashion, I know. I really just wanted to
thank you for all that you had done, not only for the kids at camp,
but Gary also. He has had it pretty tough the last couple of years and
he deserved something wonderful to happen to him. He feels so strongly
about NF camp, the kids, and families that it serves.

Last Dec. at MD Anderson Hospital, he had a tumor removed that went
all the way from his rear to his knee. They thought it was cancerous
for 2 months there and who was the first people he called? Not his
family, but 2 friends he had met at NF Camp. It's just that important.

Gary is the best of the best. Besides being my husband, he is also my
care partner, for I am living with multiple sclerosis. It's been
really rough on Gary the last few years and this has been the biggest
kick of his life and I just wanted to say THANKS! I am attaching our
story card, that we used this year to advocate at the capital. Just so
you will really know Gary and what a wonderful man he is.

Thanks again,


>>>This brought me to tears thinking about how Gary wants to help all these kids. Look at what he's going through right now. I'm amazed and humbled by people like this. I'm motivated and I hope you are too. Since you can't click on their attached story card. I'll post the text for you here:

This is my story…

When my husband and I said the vows “in sickness and health” 30 years ago, we had no idea that MS would be our silent partner. It affects every decision we make where we live, what cars we get, what job my husband Gary takes, and every financial decision.
In 2006 an MS treatment did damage to my heart and I had to have a quadruple bypass. I also got aseptic meningitis. I was very sick for 4 months and Gary became my caregiver. I couldn’t be left alone and we couldn‘t afford to hire someone. Gary ran out of FMLA and lost a job that he loved and had been at for 14 years.
We lost everything: our house, 2 cars. Most importantly we had to say goodbye to the 3 foster care developmentally delayed men that had lived in our house for almost 10 years.
We are still trying to recover. Gary had to put me in a rehab, pack up our house and move to a new city to find a job. He works nights now so he can be here when I am awake. The emotional and physical toll on him has been significant.
On behalf of Texans with MS, their caregivers and families, please support Respite Services!

>>> O.k. at this point I was laying on the table, as I'm sure you are. What an amazing couple. I love these people and I love the listeners of Mix 94.7 for coming through for us again. Gary is coming to pick everything up at the end of the day tomorrow (fri Aug 7th), but if you would like to help with money or prizes for these kids, please feel free to contact us.

I hope reading this has changed your life, your perspective and your appreciation for what you have. It did for me.

This is truly why Sandy and I love what we do on the radio in Austin. We appreciate our listeners and to those consultants, researchers and newbies who don't understand why we do what we do, F.U.!!!!!!!

Have a wonderful day. God bless, JB


Anonymous said...

Amazing. We always complain about our lives but really do not realize how lucky we are.

Unknown said...

I can't make it there by morning but I want to help! How can I help? I will set up an account for them if that would help. Please let me know whatever I can do!

Nicole Boynton - Round Rock REALTOR said...

Thanks for this post JB. You and Sandy have been a part of our lives for more than 10 years and the reason that we continue to listen is because you have such caring hearts and you never stop giving to Austin. You are the poster guys for local radio and it means so much that you care about our community and your listeners. Even though I have only met you briefly while dropping off donations to Bikes for Kids I feel as if I know you both and my mornings would not be the same without your local radio show. Thanks for caring enough to post this blog and for giving of yourselves every morning and in so many ways.

jayiin mistaya said...

Things like this is one of the reasons I listen to y'all so faithfully - things like this, Bikes for Kids, and all the rest of the things you do that show how compassionate you both are.

As someone who is chronically ill and who takes care of someone with chronic illness...I really feel for Gary and Kim, and I think it's awesome that you (and the rest of us) can have the chance to help, and I think it is amazing you are willing to use your radio show to do it.

Thank you, to both JB & Sandy (and Alex and the rest of your crew) for everything you do.

~alan m rogers
(the guy from Dragon's Lair)

Daniel said...

Hi, I'm Kim's little brother. You know how most guys think that there isn't a man worthy of your sister? Well, Gary has been the best husband that I could ever hope for my big sister. He has always been there for her through thick and thin. Kim was able to look past his physical deformities and fell in love with the real Gary and he has responded with total devotion to her. When she got sick with MS, Gary never complained and has always been right by her side. You are right, they are an amazing couple. Thank you to everyone that is helping out Gary with toys for the NF camp, it really means a lot to both of them.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that my 9 year old daughter has NF, we do not live in Texas but a dear friend shared this link with me. You truly are an angel!! You have no idea what it is like to have a child with NF and to sit through countless DR's appointments, MRI's hosptial stays, surgery, the anxiety, the stress, the worry, the loss of jobs due to missed work etc You have no idea how you are helping these children by doing what you have done. GOD Bless!!!!