The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding research, finding cures and ensuring access to treatments for blood cancer patients.
LLS runs several different types of fundraisers, one of them being “Man & Woman of the Year”. This allows candidates who have been nominated for the Man or Woman of the Year to form powerful fundraising teams and compete against each other, in honor of two local children who are blood cancer survivors, to see who can raise the most funds. All the funds raised directly benefit LLS to support blood cancer research.
Fortunately, one of my sweet, HARD-ASS working mama friends was nominated for Woman of the Year, so we’ve had the pleasure to participate in this local fundraiser.
Recently, she organized a hike to bring people together, raise awareness, and support our local kiddos who we had the pleasure of meeting – and one in which I got to hike with.
I’ll preface the rest of this story with the fact that I’m not a big hiker, and definitely NOT in the best shape – so this hike was a bit of a challenge for me (no shame there).
While we were hiking, we ran into another hiker who happen to be alone. He was instantly captivated by this sweet girl and continued to hike up the mountain with her and her family. This man, who was also a professor at the local college campus, had done this hike 200+ times, and was giving her tips and techniques to encourage her to keep going – although she undoubtedly already had her mind made up that she was going to make it to the top.
While she continued to make the last stretch, the man and her talked, laughed, and got to know one another. It was very flattering to watch them interact with one another, but I hadn’t thought much of it until we stopped to take a break. While she was talking with her mom, he looks over at me (mind you, I had very little communication exchange with him up until this point) and says;
“This is the best day of my life. This is the best moment of my life.. meeting her.”
It caught me off guard.
I stood there quietly for the next few moments to reflect on his comments and started to become overwhelmed with a feeling much bigger than myself.
Other than the obvious reason that this girl and her sheer will to make it up the mountain was inspiring and encouraging, I had a moment of realization.
A DIRECT message coming from a higher power.
I looked up at the sky and glanced around me — my family, my friends, the strangers surrounding me, the nature that was providing us with this experience – it was all there to remind me that we were (by the presence of fate) connected, serving a purpose in one way or another.
This girl was going through these struggles for a REASON.
This man was going up the hill at the same time as this sweet girl for a REASON.
I was invited to this event to witness the impact this girl had on others for a REASON.
NOTHING about that moment or this LIFE is a coincidence.
Sometimes, though, we are too busy to be aware of this connectivity and forget that we have a purpose to serve. Other times, we don’t believe in ourselves or in our story enough to consider that it could ever be valuable enough to impact others. However, that’s a major fallacy often overlooked by our egos and this moment was a perfect reminder of that.
I am pretty confident that this man’s life will never be the same after his (very) brief time with her.
…don’t ever underestimate your story – your journey – and the impact it could have on others.
To learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please visit: https://www.lls.org/
If you would like to contribute to this local fundraiser and help make a difference, please visit: https://pages.mwoy.org/oswim/id18/amescher