BENEFITING: Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, Inc.
ORGANIZER: Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Oct 14, 2017
Growing up, sports was my life. I was extremely competitive in everything I participated in. Whether it be soccer, basketball, track, baseball or football... I always wanted to be number one. Fast forward to my freshman year in high school, I was a heavily recruited athlete out of Twinsburg OH. I had a passion like no other to play professional football. I even had a letter from Joe Pa (Paterno) from Penn State asking me to play for them. Sophomore year I came out firing on all cylinders ready to meet the challenge... Unfortunately, that challenge ended abruptly through a series of hits I incurred on the football field. I could tell something wasn't right but couldn't describe it. It was like a never ending migraine and feeling spaced out. My family doctor was the team doctor so needless to say, he cleared me and stated it was just a simple concussion. If it wasn't for the love of my mother and father to get down to the bottom of what was wrong, things could've been much worst. I’m forever grateful for parents who believed in me.
8 doctors later, a doctor by the name of Dr. Cohen at Rainbow Babies and children figured out what the issue was. I was born with a rare condition where your cerebellum presses down on your C1 and C2 vertebrae. The actual term is Chiari one malformation decompression. 15 years later the hits I sustained on the football field triggered some serious side effects.
1995 I went in for surgery around Thanksgiving and by the graces of God, family and friends walked out on my own a week and a half later (I hated hospital food... That's honestly why). At the time, my mother wanted to be close to me for support. The Ronald McDonald house welcomed her with open arms. In a time of need, RMDH opens up their hearts to those who need it most.
For those wondering, through much pain and perseverance, I fully rebounded and even went to districts that year in shot and disc for Twinsburg. I wasn't going to let a little ole surgery get in the way.
Going forward, my life has been filled with blessings. I've always heavily been involved with giving back as much as possible. Whether it be through fund raisers with my Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, or church related functions... I have a passion for giving back. My grandparents came to this country with next to nothing but a dream to not only provide for their family but give back as much as possible. They were devout Catholics and believed in helping ALL people in times of need. I’ve taken this torch throughout my life and challenge myself often to do more.
This kind of event is much bigger than me or the participants... It’s about helping others who are truly in need of it. Ronald McDonald house is a rare non-profit in the fact close to 100% of all proceeds actually go back to the people who need it most. Between helping throughout the year via one of the committee's I serve on through the Union Club (Emerging Leaders) to this yearly fund raiser, I'm committed to helping children have a fight and give comfort to their parents. Any donation (I mean ANY size even if it's $5) goes directly towards a family in need. Please open up your heart to helping this cause I'm very passionate about.