Posts Tagged ‘A Little Help From My Friends’

A Little Help From My Friends (for Olivia Grace Armand)

In Giving Back, Pursuit of Happiness on January 6, 2010 at 12:28 am

We’ve all seen flocks of geese flying in a “V” formation across the sky. Most people probably don’t know why they fly in this pattern. I didn’t either until I was given an inspirational postcard years ago by a mentor that I have great respect for. Though I don’t have the card anymore, I still find it inspiring to watch the “V” formation as it passes overhead because I remember the teamwork message.

Today while driving, I saw a “V” formation off in the distance.  Usually I just marvel at the precision, and then the moment is gone.  However, today was different.  I didn’t just see the “V” formation passing overhead; I actually watched the teamwork taking place right before my eyes.  It was truly an amazing sight to behold.

The leader of the “V” formation feels the same resistance and drag as if it were flying alone, which is why the leader keeps rotating.  The benefit of the formation is that the flock increases its flying range by an astounding 71% in comparison to flying alone.  This is because the flapping wings create uplift for the next goose in line.  As fatigue sets in, the tired geese rotate to the back of the formation.  All the while, the geese in the back of the formation honk to encourage the geese in the front to maintain their speed.

Should one of the geese get injured or sick, two of the other geese will follow it to the ground to offer protection until the injured goose can fly again or dies.  They will then launch out and try and join another passing flock or try to catch up to their own flock.

Although teamwork is a nice buzzword that people tend to use in the business world, the reality is that it true teamwork (where each team member acts selflessly for the greater good) is not all that common.  However, it does exist in the world.

If you’ve been following my story, you know that my good friend, Trish, recently lost her daughter, Olivia, to a very rare disease called I-Cell.  When Olivia went into the hospital, a number of us checked in with Trish on a regular basis to see how Olivia was doing.  Through Facebook updates and e-mails, we all monitored the situation as if we were going through it ourselves.  And to some degree, we were.

Olivia Grace Armand (affectionately known as “Cookie”), touched all of our lives in ways that are difficult to put into words. When she passed away, a piece of each of us did as well.  At our age, it is not uncommon to have lost a parent.  I’ve been through it myself when I lost my father in 2001.  However, the loss of a child is something that most of us have not experienced until Olivia’s passing.

Right now, our friend Trish is hurting.  Like the geese, we want to offer her whatever support that we can.  She is an amazing woman, but she does not have the strength to fly on her own even if she wanted to.  As she mourns the loss of her daughter, she still has to take care of her son, Mikey, who, unfortunately, suffers from the same disease as his sister, Olivia.

Both Mikey and Olivia (before her passing) have spent countless days getting various treatments in hospitals.  Through it all, Trish recognized that the nurses that helped take care of her kids did so with tireless dedication and compassion.  The world needs more people like this, and Trish wants to help make it happen.

In her darkest hour, Trish has somehow mustered up the strength to start the Olivia Grace Armand Foundation. This foundation will provide scholarship funds from “The Cookie Jar” to inspired nursing students or nurses who want to further their education in pediatrics.  Annual fundraisers will be planned to help keep “The Cookie Jar” filled so that Olivia’s memory will live on for many years to come.  Trish has asked me (and some other friends) to help her with the foundation.  I am truly honored to do so.

If you would like to help Trish “pay it forward” to those who dedicate their lives to helping others, please consider making a donation to “The Cookie Jar.” I realize that the tough economy has tightened most household budgets, but any donation would be greatly appreciated.  I believe that we can all make a difference even if we only gave a dollar or two and help spread the word so that others can do the same.

If silly videos on YouTube can travel the world through sharing, there’s no reason why this message shouldn’t as well.  Please share this with your friends and family, and ask them to do the same.  You have my permission to copy and paste any part of this post that you want to use!

Donations can be mailed to:

Olivia Grace Armand Foundation

c/o Caprise

130 Sedona Way

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

To read Trish’s entire story, check out her website:

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