You can do something a little different…with a contest!

Something a Little Different ... With a Contest Attached!
You probably already know that we at WGATJ’s love to consume 5-10 minutes of your web browsing time by posting reviews stuffed with tangents and non-sequiturs, absurdity and randomness. We also like to add snarkiness to our thoughts on the latest TJ’s item. Today is a bit different. While I cannot speak for Nate but Russ, Sears and I have a soft side.

This week marks the birthday of my granny. This is my granny, standing over there with my nephew, a few months after his birth. It was one of the few “good” photos I could find. This week would have been her birthday, so it is more accurate to say it was. She died last May, after a close to 30-year battle against multiple sclerosis. Because my granny was my grandmother, I have the privilege of living with my family in a small apartment she built. She was there for me almost every day. She instilled a lot of things in me – she taught me everything I knew about Scrabble, and she taught me what it means to be a devoted fan of the Philadelphia Phillies, which wasn’t always the easiest in the post-Mike Schmidt/pre-butt-kickin’ years.

She taught me so much more. I can only recall her walking with a cane or walker and her ability to move on a motorized wheelchair. She took me along on her scooter to get ice cream. Slowly, her MS began to affect her strength. She was then wheelchair bound. Next, she had to go to bed. Then, she went to a nursing home. Finally, she was confined to a bed. It can be hard to watch someone you love so deeply go through this. My granny did. And she did it without asking questions, complaining, or even wondering “Why me?” Without self-pity and without questioning. She was focused almost entirely on what she had: a strong faith, a loving family, news and updates, Harry Kalas on Phillies broadcast. Her life, but also her way of living, has shown me how to love, trust, be strong, and what the Sunday School Sunday School lyric, “(we) may be weak, but He is powerful” really means. While I still love her and miss her very much, I now know she is free from the chains of her body and can dance and laugh and watch over her family.

In honor of my granny’s memory and legacy, this June I will be participating in the Western PA Chapter of the National MS Society’s BikeMS Escape to the Lake. This is a 135-mile bike ride benefit that lasts two days. Although it is a crazy event, which I’ve been training to do, it is not about my participation. It’s about funding research that will help find a treatment or preventive for this crippling disease, which affects more than 7000 people in Southwest PA. It’s about providing the equipment and treatment they need to live a normal life. It’s about being part of something that shows MS patients and their families that there is a community that understands the trials and pains of the disease and that cares for them.

With these current events and times, there are many great causes out there vying to get your money. But this one has struck me so I ask you to consider supporting my ride. The link at the bottom of this article is my personal fundraising site. This page also provides more information on what I’m doing. Consider it. Any amount you can give will make a difference. I mean, seriously. Even if everyone gave $6, I still told you not to waste the turkey meatloaf muffins. That would be a huge impact on the world.

This is to entice you (this part of the contest comes in …), everyone who donates gets into a drawing and the winner can choose from literally any Trader Joe product. As long as I can find it, I will review it. Nominate your favourite, something you’re interested in, or something else that is just plain awful. I will review it. It doesn’t get any worse than those meatloaf cupcakes. This contest ends at the end this month. I believe donations are still accepted up to the first weekend of June.

Anyway, we are grateful for your interest in our blog and this particular entry. We also appreciate you considering donating to this cause. We can end MS together, once and forever.

Peace,

Russ

Fundraising webpage link: Click here