FROM BREATHLESS TO BRAVERY...
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"
There are few moments in our lives that take our breath away. These are the moments forever etched into our memories. We've had many of those breathless moments with our first son, Colby. After a few weeks of feeding failures as a newborn, we slowly began to realize Colby was unable to swallow effectively. This would be the first of many more to come in what felt like an avalanche of discoveries that eventually led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. That moment of realization with the doctor took our breath away! He explained that this was an umbrella diagnosis of sorts that covered multiple lifelong disabilities like seizures, muscle spasticity and weakness, speech impairment, intellectual delays, and more. It was in that moment we felt as if the avalanche had finally buried us. After digging our way up and out of the shock of emotions, we began to pray and seek out some kind of help or rescue for our son.
From praying pastors to internet research, and early intervention therapies...we tried to leave no stone unturned. Sleepless nights, doctors appointments, and varying stages of greif became our new norm for the first 7 years. We knew our lives would be forever changed, but at that time we had no idea what to expect. We continued to hope and pray for what we thought was the best possible outcome for Colby, but now we can see that our idea of "best" and God's are usually two very different things. Our victories and milestones together were eagerly celebrated and somewhat "smaller" than we had hoped for, but far more meaningful than we could ever have imagined. I can still vividly remember one of those heart-pounding, days...
Colby was three and still unable to speak when we visited a local library for a childrens story time. He was called out from the crowd and asked to come up and assist the reader by holding the big book and to turn the pages at the sound of the bell. I was excited for him, so I went up with him to assist in what I thought would be his big debut! All was well until that bell. Suddenly, Colby froze in wide-eyed fear. He was breathless and his face turned red. I reached for him and he made a beeline for the door. He was terrified! As I quickly and apologetically made my exit to catch up with him, all of my efforts to console him seemed futile. So, we both just kneeled in the stairwell hugging and crying for what seemed like an eternity. I think I was as scared for him as he was of that bell. Later that night at home, Colby took my hand and pointed to a ball on the floor and said, "BAW!" He said his first word! It was as if he somehow knew how scared I was for him and he needed to show me that he wasn't. It was as clear as it could be. So we all immediately sat in a circle and started rolling a baw back and forth smiling and laughing everytime he said it!
It was somewhere in those younger years I began to notice a quiet determination growing in Colby's eye's. Through years of therapy and many surgeries, he never even thought about complaining or giving up. His sleep seizures struck fear into my very core, but he would awake from them and look at me courageously and say, "it done. I wan eat." To him, it was nothing. In his mind, it was simply another challenge he had conquered. Regardless of what happens in one breathless moment, he has bravely moved right on to the next.
Now, here we are today, watching him press on with the inner strength of 20 men. All these years later he's a shining example of courage and perseverence. Colby decided he wanted to try to be in the highschool marching band, so he auditioned (we held our breath again) and was accepted! We never imagined we'd be watching the same child who could barely walk for 5 years march himself onto a field filled with noise, as part of a prestigious high school band! He plays the cymbals. Although his part is small, it is mighty!
We experienced our most recent breathless moment as we recieved word that our band has been invited to perform at CARNEGIE HALL in NYC! The city that boasts "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!" As we read through the plans and the itenerary...we realized this moment was made for Colby. Can you guess which day they chose? Wait for it...February 25th. Colby's birthday! YES LORD! We are breathing again and our days are filled with praise. Please join us in granting Colby his biggest birthday wish yet and help sponsor his trip to New York. He's come so far, but he's going even further! Please donate and give him a chance to "be a part of it" because he can. We want the world to see the possibilities for children like Colby. Help us celebrate his journey from breathless to bravery. Thank you and God bless you. We are forever grateful for your investment into his life. This promises to be his best birthday ever!
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