Here is a letter written by a TOMF parent about their family’s experience….
When we first were given the name of the foundation, we were honestly clueless, but we were told that we MUST fill out the application and get it mailed in. Our application was accepted and we were sent tickets to attend the Jam the Gym event that was in a few weeks. Again, we were clueless.
That night, at our very first Jam the Gym in Bird Island, we were so confused, worried, and totally bewildered. I remember sitting in the music room being video interviewed by this sweet gal who asked “So, tell us what this means to you.” I felt horrible saying “Well. Umm…..we’re not really sure yet. Two of our children were just diagnosed with a terminal disease. We now have tons of meds to dish out, and we have a ton of medical bills and doctor appointments. Now a month and a half later, we are at this huge event.”
There is no way we could have prepared ourselves for what happened next.
We were led into a COMPLETELY dark and quiet gym….all we can see is mascots of every shape, size, and color. A huge Moose mascot comes over and takes my 3.5 month old baby away from me, and then another mascot takes my 2.5 year olds hand! What the heck is going on?? Soon a song starts to play and I can see candles all over being lit, or maybe they were glow sticks? Anyway, we start to walk and I cry, I weep, I sob. Never in my life have I walked into an area so large and so filled with love, support, and comfort!! There was so much in the air. I couldn’t control my tears (and I wasn’t the only one!!) Something deep inside told me “It’s going to be ok! It will all be ok!”
And here we are…7 years later!! And it’s all OK!! (o:
When we were asked the first time about our medical needs for the kids, I was unsure what was a need and what I THOUGHT was a need. What can TOMF do for us? I remember thinking…you did it!! You gave me a night I didn’t have to be so brave. You gave us a room of love and support when we were lost and scared. You gave us a memory that will never leave my heart. You did it!! TOMF gave us Jam the Gym 2008 ~ what can you do for us ~ YOU did it!!!!
Of course that was not enough, they wanted to give and do more. (o: So we thought hard and submitted a request, and waited for a reply. It wasn’t anything huge but it would make a huge difference in our everyday lives for a long long time!!! A request of anything coming from someone that ALWAYS did things herself, is a big deal. Also, that someone is married to a hard worker who has ALWAYS provided his family with their needs. This one little request was a BIG deal! Opening yourself up to help when you are already so vulnerable is a scary thing. But still, we let them know our needs. We bit our pride and shed a bit of light on a burden we were carrying now that a terrible medical journey had begun.
And wouldn’t you know, our request was granted!
HOWEVER, we were sitting on an ice berg of burdens. Burdens we were overlooking and burdens we were refusing to deal with. Burdens we didn’t have the time, the money, or the knowledge to deal with. An entire ice berg of burdens, and we requested help with the tippy top, because that was what we were focusing on. That was all we had the energy to focus on.
TOMF saw the entire ice berg…..they saw it before we did. They saw it in detail, and they saw it before we did.
The blessing (one of the many many blessings) of TOMF is they see a much bigger picture then those of us that are in the thick of it.
TOMF has helped us from a few sinkings. (o: BUT, they can’t do it alone. It takes us all to shine a light on someone’s dark journey. It takes a village, a grand community. It takes you and it takes me….and everyone else. You never know when the family in need will be you, or your neighbor.
TOMF has given us love, support, and hope. We’ve made memories, we’ve made friends…and we’ve began to claim some folks as family.
TOMF is dedicated to kids!
Kids are our future – and ALL kids dream of their own future!!
What kind of future do you hope to have? What kind of a future do you desire of the children in this community? Your donation tonight will answer these questions. From what I have heard, personally felt, and eye witnessed, TOMF is willing to give 110% for kids in need. They are dedicated. Are you?
If you have an experience with TOMF that you want to share, please fill out this simple form. We would love to hear from you!