Tuesday, March 30, 2010

together we can make a difference.

As usual I was running late.  The pouring rain didn't help and I had been preparing for a busy day ahead. We had been referred by a mutual acquaintance and I already had an appointment that morning so we agreed via email to meet for a coffee at a Dunkin Donuts close to my next appointment.

The rain beat down on my car and I made a mad dash into the shop.   I knew it was her immediately.  This woman, about my age, sitting with a smile on her face, dressed in an adorable bright yellow dress had an unmistakeable aura around her.  While everyone around me seemed braced for another wet, dreary day ahead... she seemed happy to be alive.  I had no idea how true that was.

She told me the story of her bicycle accident and what she had been through.  And as I sat there listening I kept thinking, this was just a little over a year ago? She looks AMAZING.  How does someone recover so quickly? And as I kept listening I realized that this is a person who is a living example of what good can come from tragedy and how life is truly what you make of it. This woman is able to sit here and share a coffee with me because of two things.

She was wearing a bike helmet.

She never allowed herself one minute of pity and focused on how quickly she could recover so she could start making a difference.

I can't do her story justice... you have to hear it from her own mouth.  But she is increasing our awareness one child at a time at how simple it is to ride safely.

Nancy's blog is http://helmetawareness.blogspot.com/ and dreamscapes will be working with her in the upcoming months to help share her story and help her better promote her organization, HABS {Helmet Awareness and Bicycle Safety}.  To date, Nancy has donated over 800 helmets with her tireless efforts and with help from generous sponsors.

It was a story that hit a little too close to home.  Several years ago, my then 8 year old son was visiting with family on the Cape and was riding his bike around the neighborhood.  As he turned into the driveway, his tire caught on an exposed tree root and he flipped off his bike.  Not wearing a helmet he spit his head open requiring 9 staples.  We were at a wedding and had turned off our phone so as not to disturb the ceremony.  When I went to check my messages a bit later, I will never forget the panic as I saw my phone blinking "16 missed calls" and the absolute fear I felt while I listened to each increasingly more serious phone message.  Thankfully, he was fine and has nothing more than a scar to remind us of how in a blink of an eye everything can change.

Nancy was three miles from home when she had her accident.  And it was something she said at the end of our conversation that burned into my brain.  She said, "I never woke up that morning thinking what a beautiful day for an accident."

To find out more on how you can help Nancy and HABS protect the safety of our children and promote helmet awareness, please visit her blog or email h.a.b.s@cox.net.

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