As you probably know (if you read our story), Jon and I both work at the same company. But what you probably didn't know is that we both got hired by the same guy - an Irishman by the name of Alan Manning.
Throughout the next five and a half years (yup, we're still working at the same place), Alan has played a very significant role in our lives, not only in the work-related sense, but as a mentor and friend as well. Alan is someone who's always been able to look at life as glass half-full, even though life has thrown more than a handful of sharp glass pieces at him. Yet, each and every time he's come out of it stronger and with a resolution to make everyone elses lives better.
The major event that I am referring to is the birth and passing of Alan and Vickie's first-born baby girl, Katie. Here is a quick capture of their story:
On May 19th 2008, our first daughter, Katie, came into the world. Unfortunately, on May 21st our brief euphoria was interrupted by the news that our Munchkin had a rare congenital heart defect, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). The next 175 days were draining yet uplifting, heartbreaking yet inspirational. After an intense battle (Katie’s story) Katie passed away on November 9, 2008. While she may be gone in body, Katie’s impact will be felt for a lifetime. Vickie and I hope to honor our daughter’s life by creating an organization that supports other families that need to spend extended periods in the hospital.
Instead of taking a negative approach, Alan and Vickie decided to start a not-for-profit organization that is centered around helping children and parents that have to frequent the NICU. That's how Kisses from Katie was born.
In 2011, our friend and co-worker Kari (the one that frequents my blog), decided to join the efforts by resolving to run a half marathon (to start) and help fund raise for Kisses from Katie.
So here it is, my do-gooder blogger buddies. My call to arms.
Help us spread the word. Help Kari reach her fundraiser goal. Help Alan and Vickie in their efforts to make the lives of patients and families at the hospital just a little easier.
Write a blog. Make a donation. Tweet this entry. Facebook it.
Here's some more background:
Kisses from Katie website
Kari's 2011 Resolution
Kari's Interview with Alan Manning