BENEFITING: OUTDOOR MINDSET
We all live for something, we are all driven by something, we are all affected by something.
My name is Allen Gardner (Broski) I am a Professional Triathlete and I race for Outdoor Mindset. I am creating this Fundraiser for Outdoor Mindset to continue it's path on creating an Outdoor resource for people that suffer from Neurological Challenges. I myself do not suffer from a Neurological Challenges but my cousin Alice does. Her life was forever changed by her first seizure at the age of 1. With having seizures on a regular basis doctors were stumped. She has had two brain surgeries with limited success. She now has a device implanted in her brain to help prevent seizures. She is unable to do things most people take for granted such as driving. Now Alice is 24, she has seizes yet is thriving and smiling everyday. She actually just got married! Congrats Cuz!
By helping Outdoor Mindset in their journey to help people with all types of Neurological challenges I can help people like my cousin enjoy the Outdoors and realize their independence once more. Please HELP the Broski Project by Donating to Outdoor Mindset.
PRIZES...PRIZES...! Thank you to my sponsors, for Everyone that Donates to the Broski Project
you will be entered to win the following!
1) $200 in First Endurance Nutrition
2) $200 in First Endurance Nutrition
3) $100 Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy Gift Card
4) $100 Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy Gift
MORE prizes to come!
(The raffle will begin when the $3500 goal is met)
All donations go directly to Outdoor Mindset and will be helping encourage and inspire people with Neurological Challenges. OM gives hope BACK, to people that have lost in some ways the independence they once had. This issue is very close to my heart having two family members and three friends that suffer from Neurological issues. I often take for granted things that they are unable to do. I am very blessed with being able to train at the elite level for Triathlon and blessed to be healthy. I want to do everything I can to help people who can't, I want to inspire people who lost their inspiration, I want to bring people back from the realization of diagnosis to the understand they are still special, loved, cared for and wanted. You are changing lives by donating.
This is my cousin Alice, This is why this issues is so close to me.
My name is Alice, and I have been asked to share my story with you because it may possibly be an encouragement.
I am 24 years old, I am married, I love dogs, I love to laugh, and I have epilepsy.
I had my first seizure when I was 13 months old, and was diagnosed with a seizure disorder when I was about 2. I suffered from grand mal and complex seizures, but my doctors told my parents that they would probably stop when I turned 8 or 9. They didn’t. My neurologists tried various anti epileptic drugs, and some of them helped for awhile, but eventually they would stop working. When I was 12 years old, my doctor referred me to a specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York city, where I was admitted for tests to see if I would be a candidate for brain surgery. In February of 2002 I had surgery for the doctors to place electrodes in and on my brain, and the following month I had a partial resection of my left temporal lobe and hippocampus. I was discharged with high hopes that I would never have another seizure again. But when I went home, I felt terrible, and things only got worse. A week later I was back in the hospital for my surgeons to check out my incision that was draining, and was sent me home again. Two or three nights later my parents heard me sobbing in my room and called the doctor, who instructed them to take me back to the ER. It turns out I had gotten a staff infection, so I was admitted again; this time my surgeons opened my head to bathe the scull piece and area in cleaning fluids and antibiotics. My parents, grandfather, and aunt came to help sit with me around the clock, while neurologists, cardiologists, and infectious disease doctors sent me off for a bunch of tests. Eventually I was discharged again, still hoping that this would be my cure.
My doctors had told me that if I went a year without having a seizure, it would be a really good indication of having had successful surgery. But sadly, one week before that anniversary, I had a seizure. My family and I were devastated.
The tests started all over again to see if I was a candidate for a repeat surgery, where doctors would remove more of the surrounding tissue. I had that surgery in the summer of 2003, with the hopes again that a successful outcome would make my life different.
I wanted to be like my friends who were NOT in special ed classes. I dreamed of driving , working, and going off to college. I hated when my parents worried about me and had to tell people about my chronic condition. I lied about how I got the scar on my head, and wouldn’t talk to anyone about my epilepsy.
After the surgeries I continued to have seizures for about 3 years, but then they seemed to stop. I was able to get my driver’s license, graduated from high school, got a job hostessing at a restaurant, and started classes at a community college. Life was good! It seemed like I was on my way to health and happiness.
In the fall of 2008 my seizures returned, and they were worse – more frequent, longer, and usually grand mal. I was taken to the ER one time, and was found face down in my yard on several occasions. I had to stop driving, working, and had to quit college because of difficulty with learning and memory. I was angrier than ever to have these things taken away from me after two years of good health and independence.
Our family had moved from New Jersey to Delaware in 2004, so when doctors recommended another proceedure, it was performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In May of 2010 I had a vagal nerve stimulator put in, which was supposed to help reduce the frequency and severity of my seizures. It didn’t seem to make much difference.
I became very angry with God and didn’t understand why he had let me go a couple of years without seizures and then have them come back very severe. I quit going to church and was using his name in vain. Everyday I just kept thinking “Why God, why me? Why wont you stop my seizures?” You see, I had been raised in a Christian family, and I had been taught to trust God. My parents, family members, and friends had been praying for my healing for years, and my health had only seemed to get worse. I believed God existed and that He could heal me, but I felt like He didn’t love or care about me since He hadn’t stopped my seizures.
God began to change my heart in the fall of 2010, and he used my mother and my aunt to help me see things differently. My mother also has a neurological disorder called spasmodic torticollis, and it was beginning to dramatically interfere with her lifestyle. My aunt was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. Both my mother and aunt are devoted Christians, and they spent hours with me talking about God – His character, His purposes, and His ways. I watched them walk through some very difficult times, and I admired the way their faith in God was not shaken. I wanted to have the same kind of faith, hope, peace and joy that they experienced in the midst of their difficulties.
I started going to a Bible study with my mom and soon became a leader in the children’s program. I was teaching Bible stories and truths to toddlers, and in the process became saved! Because I had gone to church all my life and had been baptized in 3rd grade, I thought I was a Christian, but it was not until I really spent time studying the Word of God that I sincerely understood what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
After that, I returned to church and started volunteering in various children’s ministries. During that time I realized that I needed to trust God with all areas of my life . He taught me so many things, and I am no longer angry at Him, and don’t ask him why he won’t heal me. I still have seizures every month, but I know that He loves me and has a plan for my life.
I don’t know why God has chosen to not stop my seizures, but I do know that He created me and I am to trust Him. I also believe He wants me to tell other people there is hope. He has given me many opportunities to tell people that they can have a satisfying, meaningful life even if they have a chronic illness. In July of 2011 I went to India on a missions trip, where I met a family in the hospital with a son who has seizures. I was able to talk to them. I have talked to several different groups and shared that even though I still have seizures, I am happy and content. It would be nice to be able to drive and be more independent, and get a college degree, but I have accepted that it just is not Gods plan at this point in my life. I am convinced that He wants me to reach out to other people with neurological problems and witness to them.
Do you want to have peace, contentment, purpose, and joy in your life, too? I would suggest you use the acronym “JOY” as a guide.
J = Jesus. Trust Jesus as your personal savior, and have the assurance of not only eternal life in heaven, but also a full, meaningful live on earth.
O = Others. Go to other trusted family members, friends, doctors, or counselors for the help you might need.
Y= Yourself. Take care of yourself! Be as healthy as you can be by eating right and getting regular exercise. Make friends. Take up a hobby.
Following this pattern has literally saved my life – spiritually and maybe physically. It has taken me from anger to joy, disappointment to contentment, selfishness to selflessness, lack of purpose to purpose. It worked for me, and I believe it will work for you, too.