Sometimes in life, you find yourself in a place you could never have imagined. That was the case for myself, Gavin, Brittany, and Natalie Germain. Our journey of survival seemed so unbelievable that one day I opened my computer and started writing. I encouraged each one of our kids to do the same as well. Describing the underlining elements that transpired for our family over the last few years was an unraveling of emotions along our path of healing.
On Thanksgiving 2017, we shared our notes and writings, as well as Annette Bruchu's writings. We were all amazed at the in-depth detail each of us wrote about and the true feelings shared. The words showed an incredible perspective of events as they unfolded. The writings were phenomenal. We started connecting the events from the previous years as we continue to do so today, together, on this journey called life!
Today, we live in a society that is not perfect. Sometimes hearing and reading the honest, heartfelt words on paper about personal experiences is a path of acceptance and healing. It's all about how we face and overcome our shortcomings. Sharing our story may inspire you. We are using our experience to reach out and touch other's lives. There are lessons to learn from every story. It's through writing and over time that we have been able to understand this amazing world we live in today.
Five years ago, around this very same time, my family and I were sitting at the U of M hospital in Minneapolis, MN, awaiting to hear about the outcome of Michael’s double-lung transplant surgery. It was an unsettling time for us. There are times in life when the outcome of a situation is fearfully unknown. Unknown what tomorrow will bring. What rattles us in the ultimate loss of control we feel in those moments. You realize your living from moment to moment. We rely on the people in our lives and our faith foundation because without them, fear sets in – fear of the unknown. So at times, we find comfort in prayer.
If someone had told me that a glimpse of what we were experiencing at that time in our life would be magnified on a global level, exactly five years later, I wouldn’t have believed it. But yes, our 5-year celebration, March 17, 2020, was the first day of practicing social distancing and staying 6 feet apart due to the worldwide pandemic – coronavirus. All businesses that people could gather at are now closed, and we are asked to stay at home to prevent the spread of this virus.
My family understands the importance of distancing, with Mike having a double lung transplant and is highly susceptible to the spread of any virus with a suppressed immune system, we get it. It brings us back to a time in our lives where we had to be very careful when Mike was extremely ill, welcoming people into our home. Not exactly known, always worried about germs. Our focus was and is today on anyone that could bring viruses into our home at such an unsettling time in life.
The photo shown here was taken in 2019, our second year of raising money through sponsorship. The sign in our picture pays tribute to and honors the lives of a generous family whom we mention throughout our book, The Larson Family, who have and continue to touch our hearts. In donating on behalf of her family members who have passed, Stacey Larson has unselfishly given. Through all donations, the money raised goes back into the hands of the families who are in dire need. Helping many families to cover everyday expenses as they are navigating through the transplant world.
These are some generous people who have supported my family and me in helping us in giving back. 2018 was our first year of participating in Hope Chest News Annual Golf Tournament, which takes place towards the latter part of July. It's a fun event raising money to support prior and post-transplant patients and their families. But it is also truly a grateful time to meet other recipients and their families. Hope Chest News is dedicated to Supporting Lung Transplant Patients and their Families.
The money raised through this annual event goes to helping pay any financial need. We understand the needs first-hand as our organization consists primarily of lung transplant recipients or approved candidates at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center and their family members.
HOPE CHEST NEWS also sells the LUNG t-shirts, seen in the photos, as an additional way to raise money in support!
This is Hope Chest News's largest fundraising event. Proceeds raised are given back to the families in need.
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING by using the link below.