Given a Second Chance to Give Back + $100.00 Visa card Giveaway |Building Our Story Yum

Monday, February 29, 2016

Given a Second Chance to Give Back + $100.00 Visa card Giveaway




We have had some amazing experiences over the years.  Marriage, graduating college, buying a house, traveling and bringing two special souls into our family.  When I sit here and think about these milestones, blessings and experiences I cannot help be remember the challenges we have faced as a family as well.  

If you had told me that 10 years into my marriage my husband would be facing a debilitating disease and further more a life changing surgery to cure this disease I would have never believed you.  Let's face it, we never think that the medical issues or struggles will hit us.  But it does. 


We are thankful every day - multiple times a day - for Jeremy's health.  Let me give a little background for those who may not know.  Jeremy was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2009 and by January 2013 he had tried over a dozen medications, some super scary ones too, without any relief or remission and it was decided that it was time to remove that diseased colon for good.  While it sounds easy, the fact is, this left him with a permanent ostomy bag.  It was hard to except - for us all, but now that we have finally overcoming the surgery, the disease, the healing and the new normal we are thankful. 

 

Over the years dealing with this disease was frustrating - we call it an invisible disease because most of the time Jeremy looked "normal" and healthy but the fact was - he was so sick.  We won't go into details in this post but we left that disease with the courage to tell about his experience, an experience that most do not even put on their monitor of a disease that needs to be cured.  But we also left that disease with the opportunity to give back.  Jeremy was given a second chance to give back and we love that! 


Meet Twinkle VanFleet from Sacramento California. Twinkle was diagnosed in 2003 with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (CRPS/RSD), a painful, debilitating and often progressive central nervous system disorder. A spinal cord stimulator has helped manage her pain, and she has expanded her advocacy efforts on behalf of those with neuropathic pain disorders from online to in-person events. As advocacy director and executive board member for the Power of Pain Foundation, Twinkle works on policy efforts, patient awareness and many other aspects of chronic pain.

Twinkle and Jeremy had a lot in common - those invisible diseases will hand you pain and suffering that people cannot see or understand.  Twinkle is using her abilities to become an advocate and drive awareness around chronic pain.  I read her story and I was so inspired.  She is just one of the amazing honorees from Bakken. All of the Bakken Invitation award honorees are passionate about using their second chance in order to give back to others who are not as fortunate as them. Those that are healthy can learn from these honorees and get inspired to give back.


After reading all of the 2015 Bakken Invitation honorees I was so inspired and ready to use our second chance to do good for others.  Also, I was kind of put in my place, sure we had our struggles over the years but thankfully Jeremy is doing well now with his ostomy.  People go through so many health and medical issues that are terrible.  A great time to reflect and be inspired to do good in our hurting world.  

"The Bakken Invitation is a global program that Medtronic Philanthropy launched in 2013 to connect and celebrate people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are now selflessly giving back to their communities. The Bakken Invitation award is annually given to patients from the Bakken Invitation Community recognizing extraordinary accomplishment. The program is named after Medtronic co-founder, Earl Bakken. The Bakken Invitation promotes access to healthcare and inspires others to give back. The program was designed to highlight how when people have access to quality healthcare, they not only can successfully manage their own health condition, they can use their “extra life” to help others. The Bakken Invitation Award Honorees demonstrate that it can have social impact that reaches beyond just that person."


Through our experiences as a family who went through 4 years of medical struggle with an invisible disease we will continue to advocate for those diseases and make sure they are not forgotten.  One of our favorite events to attend is a Colitis Walk in Denver - this walk brings awareness to our city and lets Jeremy really find his community.  





Now it is your turn!  Why do you give back to your community?

Enter to win a $100.00 Visa card

Follow the instructions below and you will be entered to win a $100.00 Visa card to use to give back to your community, great right!?!? I hope that you use it for something that is close to your heart but you can use the card in anyway you need.  

Must be over 18 and live in the U.S.  Winner will be selected March 18th


***Leave comment on this post, if you give back to your community and if you live with medical technology - INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS!


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40 comments:

  1. What a great program. I am so sorry to hear that your husband deals with this disease. I am glad that your family found out what the problem was and that all of you can get back to a new normal. I love to give back to my community by sewing lap quilts for the elderly and making stuffed toys for children in the hospital. Although I was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and recently had hip replacement surgery, I don't live with any type of medical technology. I will look more into this organization and I wish you and your family the best.

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    1. What a great way to give back! Also, I hope you are recovering well from treatment and surgery. Thankfully now that my husband has the ostomy bag, we are all able to live a full life! So blessed!

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  2. My mom has that disease and it is horrible and quite debilitating. I wish you all the best and hope your struggles become far fewer.

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  3. I would love to put more money into education about diseases that are not visible. Not everyone is sick on the outside that people can witness. Some people struggle so much internally we just have no idea.

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  4. Wow what a year. My dad had an ostomy bag as well, and yes it does take some getting used to. I certainly hope Jeremy is feeling better that that everyone is able to enjoy a healthy life together.

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  5. We do not live with medical technology, but I would love to give to K4 programs. It was hard, but we were able to get my son into a program that was free this past year and I wished that more schools would not just offer it to underprivileged families, but open it to all families. Education is so important.

    dlatany at gmail dot com

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  6. Oh wow, your family has been through so much! Thank you for sharing part of your story here. I love hearing that your husband is doing much better now and I love the picture of you two having fun in the pool! :) After having a baby in the NICU and my dad dying of lung cancer I am moved to give back in both of those areas. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. We are fortunate not to live with medical technology at this point. I give back to my community because I know there are people who cannot afford the basic necessities. I like to have my children get involved in shopping for items for our local food/dry pantry because they get such satisfaction in delivering the items for those in need.
    Kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  8. So glad he is cured and you get this opportunity to give back. Not many people take advantage of this opportunity and a great giveaway.

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  9. I give back to my community by donating money. I don't live with medical technology as of today

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

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  10. Your story is amazing and I am so glad to hear that your husband is doing well now. We do a lot of donations in our community to give back where we can.

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  11. I give back to my community by regularly donating to local food bank and shelters. I do not live with medical technology. tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  12. Kristin G
    marleykristin@hotmail.com

    I love when people use hardships to inspire others. I've read about other invisible diseases and it just hurts my heart with the pain they deal with, plus the social stigmas related to those diseases. My family volunteers with a dachshund rescue in our area. As a result, we have four dogs! I also volunteer with our Upward soccer program at church. I grew up playing soccer so it's fun to teach kids about the sport that I love. I volunteer a lot for the nursery at my church. It's so hard to find good volunteers these days. I also follow a good samaritans page for my city and I donate items to the homeless when I see a need that touches me.

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    1. I forgot to mention that I don't live with medical technology personally. My dad was just fitted with some hearing aids that are bluetooth compatible which is really neat!

      Kristin G
      marleykristin@hotmail.com

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  13. I give back to my community by donating food to our local food bank and supporting our local thrift stores with donations that go to help the elderly living in hospices. I don't live with medical technology. jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  14. Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your story. I do not live with medical technology. I would love to use the card to support our local council against the abuse and neglect of children. I have been a member of this group for many years and they do some wonderful things for children in our community. jenannhayden@yahoo.com

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  15. I give back to my community, because yes, even though I was diagnosed with CRPS/RSD 2+ years ago, there are so many in so much more need than myself.

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  16. I volunteer at a local shelter and with an organization that offers free tutoring services to low income families

    showstopper474 at gmail dot com

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  17. I give back to my community whenever I find the opportunity. I am always on the look out for someone needing an extra hand.

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  18. I do not live with medical technology. I do give back to my local community through donations of food, clothing and basic necessities like toothbrushes and soap.
    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

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  19. I've donated toys and household & art supplies to our local Ronald McDonald House over the years, because it's SO important for family to be nearby when a sick child is in the hospital.

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  20. I give back to my community by helping family in need. I do not live with medical technology, but people close to me do.

    cmh62789@gmail.com

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  21. I don't live with medical technology, but I do give back to my community by donating clothes and furniture to my local Kidney foundation and giving monthly to charities I believe in.

    Email: 2dogs5catscrew@att.net

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  22. I give back by donating our gently used items, and I don't live with medical technology.

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  23. I (try) to keep a case of water in the car so I can give them to the homeless when I see them around town. A few times a year, I gather all the free samples I have acquired and make up little baggies with ones that would be useful to them and pass them out with my kids.
    turtleemiwee(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  24. My sister became diabetic when she was 5. 3 years ago I donated a kidney to her and last year she had a pancreas transplant. She is now doing fantastic and helping out the older population. My grandkids and I collect new toys throughout the year and donate to toy drives at Christmas. This GC would be put to use buying more toys.

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  25. We are fortunate not to live with medical technology at this point. But I give back by helping my community by volunteering at my local Food Bank and helping with the Food Drive that goes on during the year! Thanks for your story and I am so glad to hear that your husband is doing well now!!

    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  26. We are fortunate not to live with medical technology at this point. But I give back by helping my community by volunteering at my local Food Bank and helping with the Food Drive that goes on during the year! Thanks for your story and I am so glad to hear that your husband is doing well now!!

    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  27. I give back to my community by donating clothing and personal needs to our local womens shelter. I do this because I know how fortunate I am to have more than I really need, and want to do what I can to help others.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  28. Yes, I give back to my local community by donating clothing and food -
    - shaunie thefiggtree@yahoo.com

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  29. I do not live with medical technology. I give back to my community by volunteering with a local service organization, and by donating to the food shelf.

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  30. We had experience with the ostomy bag too, after my grandmother had her color removed due to cancer. My little brother was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was little. He is now older and married and has a pump that has been implanted. We use alot of medical technology.....and always try to give back by giving to the food shelf when we are able to.
    landfjacobson @ charter . net

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  31. I’m a nurse so I’m constantly inspired by all of the fighters that I see every day. I wanted to become a nurse for as long as I can remember. My brother was in the hospital quite a bit and we always had nurses that went above and beyond. I knew that that was what I wanted to do when I was older. I loved reading all of the stories but was immediately drawn to Twinkle’s story and her quote “"WHEN YOU THINK YOU CAN'T, MAYBE YOU ALREADY HAVE." I think it’s so true, that everyone has those moments of doubt but before you know it, you find yourself crossing over that finishing line.

    lindilala at aol dot com

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  32. I give back to my community through my job as a children's librarian. Besides their parents, I am often the first person to read to a child, and that is SO important!

    (I don't live with medical technology.)

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  33. I give back to my community by donating food, baby items like diapers and formula and clothing items. I like to help people.
    soapstarr01 at aol dot com

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  34. I'm inspired by David Simmonds who lives with Parkinson's Disease and uses humor to deal with daily obstacles. They are all motivating and inspiring stories. I would use the Visa for our residents in need program through our school.

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  35. I'm always donating either items or my time to my community and encourage my neighbors to do the same!

    mijulin at cox dot net

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  36. All of the stories were so inspiring. Kerry and Qi’s stories were particularly impactful because a close family member of mine as well as a friend was affected by diabetes. It was really hard seeing the disease slowly affect various parts of their bodies and lives.

    julimi at aol dot com

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  37. We give back to our community in several different ways.. we volunteer at a food giveaway site and help serve meals. I am an avid gardener and give some of what was blessed to me back to the food bank. We also love giving to Toys for Tots . Theres a long story involved there but years ago when I was a child our family got toys and I will never forget them.
    I also do TNR and socialize kittens out of pocket and maintain a feral cat colony (TNR is trap nueter release) I have done that well over 20 years .
    We do quite a but, and try to do more. So many people are hurting, and although we have little it is a pleasure to do what we can. I would use the extra money to buy more seeds for the garden so we can give more of the bounty of the earth.
    I am so glad to hear your husband is feeling better. My husband went through a almost fatal heart attack and then cancer last yer. Its the not knowing that is the scariest. He lives with two stents and will maybe need more.
    Let's hope for sunnier days!

    ellen beck
    tannawings at gmail dot com

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  38. Lisa Visser's story is really inspiring to me and I love that you looks to the Lord. I give to local charities and also to animal shelters in my home town.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

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