Two months ago, I took a bold step to ask for help
It was something I never imagined doing.
My husband and I just returned from a trip to southern California to visit our family. We drove the 800-mile round trip, breaking it up into 200 miles per day because I get so exhausted traveling by car. By the time we got there I was crying and exhausted, and was starting to face the reality that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate the 4000-mile round trip to drive from Sacramento to Houston for our son’s wedding in early May.
I haven’t been able to fly on a commercial plane for a year due to my increased need for oxygen when flying. I used to fly with my portable oxygen concentrator, but as my lung disease (pulmonary fibrosis) has progressed, the machine doesn’t produce enough oxygen for me to fly safely. My doctor also wouldn’t sign the paperwork the airline needs to board a flight.
We were sitting in our hotel room with our son who had flown in for the memorial service for my husband’s father. He could tell I was really struggling, and he said,
“Are you still going to be able to come to the wedding?”
My heart broke…I knew I couldn’t drive or fly, so I said, “I wasn’t sure.” We all got teary, but he knew I would come if I possibly could. Taking a motor home or larger vehicle wasn’t a possibility because I can’t handle being in a vehicle that long. Taking the train was out because the large oxygen machine I use at home exceeds the weight limit Amtrak allows.
I scoured the internet for other possibilities, because I wanted to go so much. I discovered I could charter an air ambulance equipped with big tanks of oxygen to use on the flight to Houston. A wonderful solution…but very expensive. It cost $39,000 for this round-trip flight, including the plane, gas, oxygen, pilots and a medical person on board to monitor my oxygen levels, plus their expenses in Houston.
Paying for this would be difficult under the best of circumstances. It is especially challenging now, however, because we have spent $50,000 out of pocket over the last three years for my treatments for breast cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. Add to that my having to stop work, and my husband only working part-time to help at home…and you get the picture.
We sold some things on eBay and my husband sold half his theological professional library.
But the cost of the trip was still out of reach
So, I created a fundraiser to see if friends could help. I posted it on social media and let those know who subscribe to my weekly blog. It was a lot of work to do, but worth it because this is the one event I wanted to attend before I’m not able to travel anymore. I was my dream.
My husband and I are blessed to be connected to lots of people. He was a pastor for 30 years, and I was a counselor for 30 years and am a published author, with an online presence. We both taught graduate students for 15 years as well, and have kept in touch with many of our former students.
And you know what? It happened! My dream came true!
169 people donated $39,400 to fly me to our son’s wedding! I just got back! Their generosity and kindness made my dream come true! What an indescribable blessing to me, and I hope a blessing to them as well. It was a wonderful trip, and I’m beyond blessed to have gone. I soaked in every precious moment, and enjoyed the celebration of their wedding and time with family and friends. These are moments I will treasure forever! One very special moment was the Mother-Son Dance. The oxygen I needed was in a bag he wore over his shoulder.
I had to work through the discomfort of feeling vulnerable, and my fear that I would ask and very few people would respond. I pushed through these difficult feelings and put my need out there because it was important…really important.
Pulmonary fibrosis has taken so much from me, and will eventually take my life. I wanted to fight as hard as I could to make sure it didn’t take away my chance to be at our son’s wedding. I knew I would be devastated to not be there, and also didn’t want their wedding day to be tinged with sadness because I couldn’t be there.
I share this wonderful story with you for several reasons:
- To glorify God for His wonderful provision for me through the kindness and generosity of others. I am also so grateful to Him for the many ways He has sustained me these last 3 ½ years.
- To say thank you. So many people gave, prayed, and shared my need on social media, and with their friends. So many people celebrated with me each step of the way, which has been so fun! Here’s a video I made to say thanks!
- To speak to your heart. Someday, now or in the future, you may need to ask for help for a really big need. It may be financial, physical or emotional or relational. We aren’t meant to handle everything in life by ourselves. We need one another, and you are worth helping. Ask yourself: What is going on in my life that I could use some help with?
Please listen to your heart about the answer to this question. If you require finances, consider doing a fundraiser. If you need extra support, consider asking for needed help from others in your life.
You matter. What is important to you matters. The effort to make it happen is worth it, because you are worth it!
Thanks so much for reading about my dream come true! Thanks for being part of my miracle.
I’d love to hear from you. What stood out to you? Is there a goal or dream you want to pursue?
Please share this post with anyone you feel could benefit, or on social media. We’re in this together…