"There are two ways to journey through life. You can march...or you can dance."
Those are the words than caught my eye as I stood on the card aisle of the grocery story last week. I couldn't imagine more perfect words for the purpose. I wiped the tears that had begun to well up in my eyes and progressed to the check-out counter.
You see, as a member of "the media," it's easy to become desensitized to the stories that air on a daily basis. We see horrible and wonderful stories come and go through the air waves and headlines, so for the sake of not becoming jaded, we're forced to somewhat block emotional attachment. However, in my few short years of being a News Producer, there are a few horrible and wonderful stories that clung to my soul.
Of course, the true producer comes out in me. I'm going to share the most timely of those stories with you right now. :)
Kody Lucas is a Central Georgian living with a brain tumor; a stage three Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain tumor, to be exact. When diagnosed, doctors gave Kody two years to live. It's now been four years, and Kody even graduated from high school--a day he didn't think he'd see.
As if that isn't a remarkable miracle in and of itself, that's not the reason I want to share his story.
I want to share Kody's story because of the 960 lives he's saved.
I was first introduced to Kody through a story by one of our reporters, Michelle Quesada. I was immediately inspired by Kody's spirit. While he had the most remarkable survivor and fighter tale, it was never his focus. Michelle's story detailed how blood transfusions help Kody gain strength while in the hospital fighting against cancer. That's where Kody discovered a calling: to hold annual blood drives.
Every year since his diagnosis, the teenage boy (now 19-years-old) has chosen to celebrate each year--that could easily be his last--by holding a birthday blood drive bash.
Kody's impact over the last three years?
960 lives saved
Over 40 gallons of blood donated
Now comes the more solemn news...
On October 13, we reported that hospice recently entered Kody's life. The news brought tears to my eyes because of the inspiration Kody and his story have been to so many people...including myself.
Kody's family reached out to our station and let us know that there is one thing that helps get him out of bed each morning--greeting cards. Not "get well" cards, but "thinking of you" cards are what brings a priceless smile to his face.
So they asked that we air an address for people to write to Kody, and of course, we did. I've already sent my card to Kody.
Here it is below:
It was perfect.
I realized that if I could bring a smile to the teenager's face just by letting him know that his story mattered to me, I'd do it a hundred times over.
I've never even met Kody Lucas in person, and if it weren't for our reporter Michelle following his story, I'd have never heard his story.
But I can promise you one thing: it's one I'll never forget.
So I have a request...
Please send Kody a card of your own!
Could there be anything more simple to put a smile on someone's face?
Here's the address. Please spread the word.
Let's make sure Kody's mailbox is full to capacity every day of the rest of his life!
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up."
1 Thessalonians 5:11a
Meet Kody Lucas: