Friday, September 30, 2011

iJoseph


Who would have thought, that a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers family and a die-hard Baltimore Ravens family could look past this budding NFL rivalry, one of the best in the league right now, and instead actually become forever linked in a positive way because of a funky contest for an iPad gone wrong?

Stranger things have happened I guess.

Of course, it is easier for me now that the Ravens laid such a WHOOPIN' on the Steelers in Game One of this season, after the Steelers so effortlessly sent us home from the playoffs last year after the Ravens were leading 21-0 at halftime in the Divisional Round.


Ouch is correct. Though I will admit that when the score three weeks ago was 21-0, in favor of Baltimore, at halftime, against the Steelers, AGAIN, I almost threw up. But in the end it doesn't matter. They'll beat us, we'll beat them. Ebb and flow.

And besides, what's great is that I got a chance to make friends with some people I probably would NEVER have had a chance to otherwise. Which is cool all by itself.

When Joseph's iPad showed up, his parents were scrambling to get a lot of stuff ready for their Buddy Cruise, a journey for the non-profit organization that both of Joseph's parents are involved in I believe, so there wasn't a lot of time for chit-chat, even about the game. In fact Pamela, Joseph's Mom, felt the need (unnecessarily from where I sit) to apologize because she had to scramble and disappear for a while. But hey...stuff happens.


Anyway, she wrote a very nice blog on her Facebook page which I am re-printing here with her permission and colorizing in beautiful...Ravens purple. :)

'About 8 months ago I learned about a beautiful little girl Marissa who has Infantile Spasms (she references a Part One written a few months earlier which explains the original contest for an iPad). Ok...About 3 months ago I learned that there was no foundation and no IPads. There is however, a beautiful girl named Marissa, who does have Infantile Spasms and her father who started the iPad giveaway.'

'Whether the giveaway was a fraud from the start, or snowballed into something to big for the father to handle, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that there were 40 children with special needs who were counting on the device to help them communicate, develop and grow. Something happened, a trust was broken, and I observed members of the special needs community who would count on each other for advice and guidance start to look for ulterior motives in every act of kindness or word of advice.'


'It was a sad thing to see happening. A few people who were involved in the original giveaway and others who knew of it decided that something had to be done to restore the faith of the special needs community and make good on a promise to the children who were assured a device. Of the 40 families, 20 decided to take the leap and continue with the newly formed Mission: iPossible.'

'Mid-July MiP started a campaign to solicit donations. They teamed up with a non-profit, and promised full disclosure every step of the way. Each child’s name was drawn randomly to determine fulfillment order. Joseph was number 16 of 20. Today, Joseph received his iPad! I have to thank from the bottom of my heart, Heather, Ken, and the others who were involved in setting up Mission iPossible, obtaining devices for our children and restoring trust.'


'Back to the full disclosure. I have to admit when I saw the box I started to tear up. It has been a journey of mixed emotions. Joseph now, finally has a device to help him communicate and to help him acquire much needed fine motor skills. I cant wait to see and share his progress. Heather and Ken, be prepared for stories & photos...now and for years to come.'

That's great, as is the promise that I have a 'Pen-Pal for Life'. Now...I take those kinds of promises VERY seriously, and especially from a person who follows a class organization like the Steelers, who I have deep respect for as a rival.


I expect each year to be able to chit-chat about the games AND to be able to talk about how great Joseph is doing!

PEACE.

-Ken
On behalf of:
The Mission: iPossible! Group

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