Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ribbon Cutting at Covenant Heart Lab 3 Waiting Room

I can't tell you why, but this post has been one of the hardest to write. This year has been tough for me  with work, health issues, and trying to get life into balance. Then just when you think everything can't get any crazier you get some news that reaffirms you belief in the path that you are on. To me this news is that special kind of news that if you talk about it you might find out that it isn't real. The reality is that for the longest time I did think that was going to be the case, but as usual God has a hand in the timeline of things. He has a path and a plan for me to follow, and as much as I try to not follow he keeps bringing me back to where he needs me to do his work.

Let me start from the beginning. In 2010 I raced the Buffalo Springs 70.3 for the first time, and had greatly improved my performance from the year earlier in Oceanside. This was also my second year racing 70.3's, and after the first anniversary of losing my Dad. Well in all of the coolness that always surrounds Mike and Marti Greer, the race directors for Buffalo 70.3, they offered me a roll down spot for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships. During this time I was the Chair for what was at the time the Heart and Vascular Board for the Covenant Foundation. We were trying to figure out ways to help fundraise for renovations for the cath labs themselves, and the waiting room associated with them. One day over coffee with Valerie and Scott of the Foundation staff I asked if it was possible to use this race as a fundraiser. That meeting over coffee spurned a letter that was was sent out, and in 12 weeks we raised $26,105.00 towards the waiting room renovations. In our wildest dreams we never believed that we would raise that amount of money!

In some of the original plans we had all hoped that we would be able to name the waiting room after my Dad, but instead something even more special happened. It happened with a casual meeting with a guy named Eddie Dixon that leases one of the buildings that I manage in my day job. The first time we met I swear we talked to each other like we were long lost friends, and I think that I am safe in saying that we both feel that way.

(Here is a link for you to read more about what all Eddie has done, Eddie Dixon.)

 To me Eddie is just one of the coolest guys to talk to, and once we usually start talking we will go for awhile. It was a long time before I really understood how well known and respected he was across the  world for his sculptors. To me he is just my friend that I drop by when I can to share a few stories and laughs.

Well one day I am telling him my full story of getting healthier, about my Dad, and finally about the fundraising for Covenant. Right then Eddie offers to sculpt a relief depicting my Dad that could be displayed in the waiting room. I had never been more humbled that Eddie would offer such a wonderful gift to honor a man that he had never met.

 I am so proud to announce that this Monday, August 26th at 3:00 pm Covenant is holding a ribbon cutting for the the newly renovated Cath Labs, and Heart Center 3 Waiting Room. I have been asked to speak at the ribbon cutting and we are going to unveil a donor recognition piece that will include the relief of my Dad, Jimmy Don Everett.  If any of you can make it by Covenant this Monday it would be an honor to have you there.

This is a very special honor for my family, but my hope is that it will turn into something that can help so many more people. This room is just like the many waiting rooms that we have been in over the years (just a lot newer). Our hope is that this room will be full of comfort and solace for those that are worried and praying for their love one to come out better. Not only because of new finishes and furniture, but it will have the image of a man that fought heart disease for so long. It will be attached to a story about the son of that man that knew one of the last gifts he gave his son was the knowledge that he had to do everything he could to not let heart disease win.

Eddie Working on the Relief of J.D. Everett