The Invictus games are taking place in Toronto. We had the privilege of meeting about 20 members of TEAM USA at an event arranged by CAF. These particular individuals are grant recipients. What a great privilege it was to meet the athletes and their families.
I wish I could say I took the above picture, for obvious reasons, but Sharona (right) was kind enough to share it with me. She and her friend, Amy, reported that Prince Harry was very kind, friendly and funny.
Sharona was an active young mother, when she was diagnosed with MS three years ago. She is a woman of quiet dignity and grounded by her faith. In addition to competing in track, she homeschools her daughter and enjoys volunteer work in her community. Adam (right) was there w his family. A single leg amputee, Luke competes in triathlons. He is studying to be a mental health counselor and plans to work with service men and women with injuries.Meet Martha. At 54, she is still vibrant and competing! A paraplegic due to polio, as a child, she has single handedly reared two children and is fully independent. Cheerful and so appreciative that CAF is agnostic, when it comes to age, she has played wheel chair rugby and participates in shot put competition!Dillon, it seems, is involved in an endless stream of sports. Warm, kind and competitive, Dillon speaks with quiet intelligence. He used his grant to pay for specialized coaching. His mom is a photographer whose goal is to set the disabled before the public until there is greater acceptance and caring.
It isn’t possible to share each story here, but as you can see, each individual is so very special. They are not takers. They are givers. They are not crippled by their disabilities, they are enabled by them to ‘pay it forward’, and they do….consistently.
Today we are in Niagra Falls. This afternoon we met with CAF grant recipient, Margaret, and her boyfriend, Francois. Both are single leg amputees. Margaret is a serious and successful competitor in swimming and has been so since childhood. She met Francois, scuba diving, when she noticed a prosthetic on the deck of the boat and began looking for its owner! Francois said Margaret gave him great hope because she had learned to live fully as an amputee.
I have to confess….these two brought me to tears, as we parted with them. True treasures, they too, give and give and give to others….including to us. They, like all the athletes, SO appreciate the work of CAF and it’s contribution to their lives.
We ended the day in this incredibly beautiful place. The rainbow over the falls reminds us that God always keeps His promises. He has proven Himself faithful to these dear people we’ve met and He will to you as well. The only thing He asks is that we trust Him.