They say when you run into hard times, that's when you know who your real friends are. That's when your family steps up and you realize how important they are. How true. Having this happen to Finn, to our family, has been horrible without a question. But, it has also helped me realize how many people care. It's pretty amazing. Knowing what a strong support system we have makes a bigger impact than I ever could've imagined.
Most recently a friend from work asked if she could design shirts for Finn. A simple gesture, or so I thought. I assumed she would put together a little logo for me to bring into a screen printer and get some shirts made for our immediate families. Boy did I underestimate my girl (sorry Ashley!). On Wednesday she offered to design something. On Thursday she sent me a link to the design. Except it wasn't just a design, it was a campaign page. She put together a site with different styles and all profits would go to Finn and his big fight. Within 24 hours we had sold 150 shirts. All from one little FB post. Every time someone purchases a shirt I get a notification with that friend or family member's name and the quantity that they purchased. Every notification gives me another reason to smile. It's not the financial help that makes me happy, it's being touched by the people who are joining Finn's army. Friends from elementary and high school, old coworkers, friends of friends, nurses, doctors and family will all be displaying their support right on their chest, right over their own heart. I am truly amazed that so many people are interested in joining our fight. I hope I can some day return the feeling they are giving me. It is one of the best I've ever felt. That is needed more than some extra money in the bank account right now. As of writing this we are almost at 250 sold! Jeff wants to create a collage and hashtag showcasing all the truly thoughtful people who have come together to support our little bub. Thank you, you know who you are and so do we.
My work has gone above and beyond anything I could have imagined. They have allowed me the flexibility in when I work in office vs. remotely so that I can be available for Finn. My team has supported and loved us through some of the darkest days. A group of people cooked so many meals for us that I had to go and buy a deep freezer to house them all. We are so grateful! Each night we have a home cooked meal without the shopping, cooking and cleaning. This provides us the luxury of spending time together. Until I started living off vending machine food and takeout between the hospital coming and goings I never knew how much a homemade meal meant. It's a luxury that we didn't have anymore and HI has given that back to my family. These guys are all pretty good cooks too!
I've received a lot of people asking how else they can help. The food is such a wonderful way to support us and the shirts are perfect, but people want other options. We chose not to do a Go Fund Me because they take some of the proceeds. They have a business to run, I get it. But when people are in need, every cent counts. For us, we have been lucky enough to have solid insurance, a great support system, excellent employers and a stable financial situation. Jeff and I agreed that we would prefer that any money people want to donate go to those who help others in our situation. Maybe those who don't have supportive work places or the amount of people we do rooting for them. For anyone who is compelled, I would encourage them to make a donation to any of the following places in Finnegan's name.
The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester has been especially important to us on this journey. Asher absolutely loves going down there on the weekends and walking to the hospital do see his "yittle brudder." It makes our home away from home a little less bitter and a lot more sweet. We are surrounded by families who are going through similar hardships. We have a kitchen, fully stocked pantry, play areas, a bed and shower to go home to. We have a home base. This sad yet amazing place is funded completely by donations and run by volunteers. We've all seen those little cardboard houses filled with aluminum pop tabs laying around. They helped fund $12,000 last year for the Rochester house alone. If you see one of these, drop your pop (or beer) top in there, it likely was set out by someone like me. Someone who benefited from that gift and wants to give back in any little way possible.
Today I am so grateful for all of my dear friends, family and coworkers. They have lifted me up when I was the lowest I could go and given me hope. The emails, texts, FB messages and love mean more than anything these days. When it's dark, really dark and scary, notes, the t-shirts, and the food all give me light. Thank you to all who have made a pretty horrible situation just a little bit brighter. I hope if I can't ever return the favor I can at least pay it forward when we are on the other side of this ordeal.
May 16, 2017