As I look back over the past year, I am thankful for the joy that has unexpectedly found me in growing RyanShines (our pediatric burn survivors and firefighters foundation).
It was like a bounty of unlooked-for treasures.
I like to call it “A Year of Heroes with a Thousand Faces!”
What’s made the year different for me is that I have found a way through the sizable barrier separating me and firefighters.
I mean, who understands firefighters except firefighters?
But that was not what I was trying to do.
I was working hard to build “trust” between us so that RyanShines could make a positive difference in their lives.
This was my hope, and I’m seeing it grow at little and large fire stations.
I am thankful for their generous open-heartedness, and their willingness to live in a world of death and life to rescue others.
I am thankful that every day and night they risk their lives for strangers.
Bottom line…I am Thankful.
I am thankful for our pediatric burn survivors.
I am thankful for the bond that we have forged.
I am inspired by their raw courage, the way they carry themselves, and the way they let us carry them.
Finally, I am thankful for you, dear readers, for the ways that you encourage us and keep us warm in your prayers.
Thank you for keeping us focused on our mission that “no pediatric burn survivor be left behind and no firefighter be forgotten.”
with love and gratitude,