Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rides and Smiles 2012

I don't often get to talk about my work what with hospital privacy and confidentiality laws and all.

However, today I got to take part in a very special annual event. As this event was filmed and broadcasted over multiple media sites, I can share some of my own photos and memories of the day.

Homestead Speedway Miami, FL
 Every year in November, my hospital partners with a local auto group to allow our patients opportunities to take high speed rides in 'dream cars' around the racetrack. Last years cars included: a Camaro convertible, Porsche 911 GTS, Nissan Infiniti G37, Mercedes Benz SLK, Dodge Challenger, Ford GT, Audi R8, a Ferrari 430, and a Masarati. Cars are provided by dealerships and individual owners. (This year's included a Spyder, Viper, and Aston Martin, amongst others). Volunteer drivers take our patients (primarily oncology, and various outpatient rehab diagnoses such as brain damage and Muscular Dystrophy) for rides topping 100+ mph.

Needless to say, the day is an absolute blast. This was my second year participating, and I can't begin to express how grateful I am for our community support. As a staff member, it was refreshing to see the patients outside the confines of the medical walls, and acting as simply kids. :

Posing with one of the 'display' models

Topping 100 mph as we approach the straightaway

After the rides we were treated to lunch. The kids ate outside, enjoying subs. While the adult volunteers were given a chance for a very special lunch, complete with a flyover from the nearby Air Reserve Base

Lunch at the Victory Lane Viewing spot

As the kids finished up with their rides, I was quickly grabbed to do an interview for the local news. Given that i had about 30 seconds to prepare, I think it went quite well.

Click here to watch the full video clip

 We ended the day with gift bags for the kids and presented the association with a thank you card.

An absolutely exhausting day, but well worth it. Not to mention exciting that I can finally share real details of my work. Obviously it's not all fun and games. Most days are spent at the hospital, working one on one in the rooms, cleaning toys and delivering movies until I feel like a glorified maid. However, the special events like this make the rest worth it. I love all my patients equally, and certainly had time with all of my buddies throughout the day. However, I was able to spend time with two particular patients that are very special to me, for specific reasons that I won't share here. I have spent more time than I care to think about with them while they were still in treatment and each had specific challenges in their care. To have a relationship where even now, months later, we can all run around and hang out is truly special. I look at each of them and think of the many hours agonizing over interventions, desperately praying to God for guidance and miracles. I have a picture of them from last year's event, framed on my bathroom counter (given to me as a gift by the family), It reminds me each morning that I can choose to make a difference, i can choose not to give up, and to give my patients my all.

Even when I don't feel like it,

      Even when I feel like I am not making a difference.
            Even when I want to think tasks are beneath me.
                  Even when I feel trapped and ask God to give me more.

Even then- I can make a difference, and I do, with the help of God.

Today was a reminder. I may not always see God's plan in things, I may not always be happy with his answers. But I can do good where I'm at, if I choose.

And some things in life are just greater than me.

If nothing else, I remember, I am blessed.

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