On February 18th my world and the world of many people was torn apart. A very good friend of mine, Joey Gormley, age 31, died in surgery. He died due to complications in removing an infection around his heart. He had always had challenges with his biological heart since birth, however the influence that his symbolic heart had on my world and his friends is priceless. Joey took what my parents have taught me since I was young – to be patient, kind, help others when you can, etc – and he essentially “kicked it up a notch.” Joey’s love for life and sharing it with his family and friends was, without question, one part of Joey that I will never forget.
Because of Joey’s impact on my life, and his inspiration, I would like to continue his legacy by doing what I can do to help others.
My goal is to participate and complete two marathons in three weeks (Gettysburg Marathon on April 19th and Pocono “Run for the Red” Marathon on May 17th) to raise $1000 to be split evenly among four causes that directly relate to my friend, Joey Gormley.
Special Olympics of Monroe County (Pennsylvania) – Joey was a Special Olympian, and in knowing Joey over the years, the influence that the Special Olympics had on him, his personality and confidence was immeasurable.
AWSOM (Animal Welfare Society of Monroe [County, Pennsylvania}) – Joey was an animal advocate, who in his neighborhood could be found taking care of the neighbors pets, and especially his dog, Scooby, who he adored, as well as his cat, Lady Gaga, who he loved dearly.
VALOR (Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania) - VALOR Clinic Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to improving access to, and quality of healthcare and shelter for Veterans.
Joey, although not a veteran, was a warrior. He personified many of the heroic values of our men and women who valiantly risk their lives to give us our freedom.
Personally, I teach with Veterans, who I must say, are some of the most wonderful and caring people that I could be blessed to meet. This also includes the fact that two of my Great Uncles fought for the United States in the Armed Forces.
Justin Seiler and his courageous fight – Justin Seiler is the 5 year old son of Mr. Patrick Seiler, a former classmate of mine, who currently is courageously serving our country in the Armed Forces. He is also the nephew of Mr. Rocco Seiler, who I have known through soccer for many years, and is currently my building Principal. Rocco is also a Veteran, who courageously served our country.
Five year old Justin was recently diagnosed with an inoperable malignant brain tumor called DPIG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma). Due to the lack of research and development, there is no real cure, so most treatments needed are clinical and not covered by medical insurance. With your help, we can help Justin and his family get the medication and treatment that he needs to continue his fight.
My hope, with your help, is to raise at least $1000 to be split amongst these four causes. If we would raise more than the $1000, that amount would be split evenly amongst the four groups.
In closing, I thank you for considering this endeavor. I know that money can be tight, however, please remember that even $10, $5, $1 can help to get us closer to our goal.
Even if you can’t donate at this time, I would appreciate your prayers and positive energy to help me undertake this endeavor. I want to honor Joey’s memory the way that he taught me – by giving back to help make this world a better place.