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This is the journal entry from Danielle's Caringbridge site written 9/20/13
Everytime I have sat down and thought about writing this post over the past couple of days I have found myself in tears, overwhelmed by the emotions I feel. There can be no doubt that the past 3 years have brought me to the pinnacle of my emotions, scared out of my wits, distraught at the immeasurable loss we have endured... and at the opposite of the spectrum, so filled with joy that I think I may burst. Sunday, September 15th, was one those days. Even BEFORE the day of the Run / Walk I was overcome with the outpouring of love and compassion, SO many of you had signed up to be part of this day, to show support, to donate, to express your love for Danielle and our family. We had expected some interest... 200 people... maybe. There were 611 people registered for the Run/Walk at noon on Saturday!!! SIX HUNDRED AND ELEVEN... AND, 150 MORE of you registered Sunday morning!!! WOW!
There have been fundraisers for Danielle in the past, but none that we have been involved in the organizing process of... Jeff and I asked each other, should there be another fundraiser? Aren't we already asking for prayers, should we ask for more? We will be leaving ourselves vulnerable to possible negative, or little response. We are not, and never have been ones to ask for help... but are willing to lend a hand to those in need if we can. To be on the receiving side, is humbling... but for Danielle? Yes, yes, we would ask. When we started to see the responses, we finally realized... you want to help, you have been waiting for us to ask, and when we did... to be honest I am in tears right now, as I think about the HUGE response we have received, so many participants, so many people stepping forward asking to volunteer, asking to donate and offering help in any way that we needed.
On Sunday morning when the Run/Walk started I pushed Danielle close to the starting line and we watched as everyone passed us, I pointed people out to Danielle, many of them wearing their "I did it for Danielle" shirts, as tears freely flowed down my cheeks, "Look Danielle, look at all of the love, everyone here planned, took time out of their day, to spend it with YOU, to SHOW you their love and support, they LOVE you, they BELIEVE in you, they are part of your MIRACLE and there are hundreds more that could not come who are praying for you." It was one of the most incredible moments, words simply cannot explain.
I was overcome with emotion more than just once, 4 people who I call "Miracles" were present, Catie, Jack, Kurtis and Rock... each of whom have had life - threatening injuries, or illness were there to be part of this day, proving that with God all things are indeed possible. There were families who have suffered as deeply and more deeply than we have, whose loved ones are now with the Lord, who came to show their support and lend strength to our family and I believe they KNOW as deeply as anyone else can, the depth of strength is takes to watch someone you love more than yourself, struggle and be vulnerable, and yet, there they were, offering their strength, and help to us. I was touched SO deeply by their presence and support.
Another moment that stands out clearly was when 2 of the 3 men who were first on the scene at the dock from the Medics First team, arrived to introduce themselves. I am sure I made a fool of myself, hugging them each several times and thanking them for saving Danielle's life. We talked about that day, and were able to laugh a little... remembering this moment; after Danielle had been loaded into the Ambulance, 2 of the team got in the back with her to try to keep her alive... before they could close the doors, they felt someone bumping them from behind... they soon realized that Jeff was NOT letting his baby girl out of his sight! Of course there was no room in the back, so Jeff sat up front... I can laugh now, (it's only taken 3 years), imagining the confined space, and my 6'8, 200+lb husband trying to squeeze himself in there too. OH, how I love him!
The Run/Walk stayed right on schedule, Nelson's Catering donated an incredible lunch, raffle prizes were won, medals were awarded, and Danielle was relaxed and seemed to enjoy every moment of her special day.
The weather was perfect, we honestly could not have asked for things to have run more smoothly... I am sure you are wondering... how much was raised? Enough to provide Danielle with another 7 MONTHS of protocol from the International Brain Research Foundation! These doctors are not content to accept that Danielle's brain is permanently damaged, and only offer medicine in the form of maintaining her current state... they are providing protocol to promote healing, to allow the undamaged areas to be exercised, they are on the cutting edge. I honestly believe they are creating the protocols that will be used as the standard for future brain injuries. YOUR support is allowing Danielle to receive THE BEST!
THANK YOU! Each and everyone of you! Everyday since Sunday, we have walked to the mail box and walked away shaking our heads in wonder, your love is still being poured out, more donations, cards with messages of encouragement, many have sent PayPal donations via the www.prayfordanielle.com website. I hope you can imagine our gratitude... and just when you think you can... you have not imagined enough, DOUBLE IT! You have Blessed us time and time again.
THANK YOU never seems to be enough, please know we see God's hand in all of this, He is working through you. ~Lynell
Photos from the 2013 Run/Walk for Danielle.
Special Thanks to Jeff Stauffer!
READY... SET... GO!
RAFFLE & CLEAN-UP
SAVE THE DATE:
5K Run/Walk for Danielle
September 14, 2014
Follow Danielle's recovery on Caringbridge.org or her Facebook page.