“No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank
Life Leadership has truly created a movement with its Life on Life Initiative. Individuals from all over the world are looking for ways to give and serve in their communities in order to make a difference in society. This most recent story has deeply touched my heart and is evidence that Life Leadership is making dreams come true and is inspiring people to reach out to those hurting in such remarkable ways. Here is the story, written by Life Leadership Member, Lynn Burns:
Life Leadership Members Raise Money for “Red’s” Dream Tunnel
In October of 2015, Ryan “Red” Johnson, a 9 year old boy from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, was diagnosed with DIPG, a very aggressive form of brain cancer. The doctors gave him 6 months to 2 years to live.
During the time of Ryan’s diagnosis, he was playing football with the Lake Geneva Badger Youth Football league. In previous years, Ryan had been coached by my husband, Keith Burns (who had given him the nickname “Red” because of his red hair).
Once we learned of Ryan’s diagnosis, we immediately thought “What can we do to help?” Shortly after, Jesse Johnson, Ryan’s father, posted a “Bucket List” of dreams Ryan had. One of the items on his list was a “run-through” tunnel that is used at the start of football games. Ryan wanted his name to be on the tunnel for his Badger teams to use in his memory and honor.
We learned that the final cost of the tunnel would be $5,000 so we decided this would be the perfect Life on Life project to put together in order to raise the funds needed to help Ryan see this dream. Initially, we set up a Facebook page along with a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds. Then, we decided to organize a “Pasta Dinner Fundraiser” to be held on Wednesday, January 20th.
As a team we were able to purchase all of the food, provide baked goods and loving hands to prepare and serve the meals to those who came to support Ryan. We had a great turnout from Life Leadership teammates the night of the dinner.
We were able to raise $900 that night, along with $150 already raised through the ‘GoFundMe’ page. We are excited to see this dream come true for Ryan. As a Life Leadership team, we are already working on other ideas to help raise more funds for this project. Jesse Johnson, Ryan’s father, was very grateful for the support and effort we gave to this project. He has been overwhelmed by the amount of support he has received for Ryan.
“It was a blessing to be able to help a special young boy and his family work on his dream. Despite all that is going on in his life, his beautiful smile lights up a room.” – Becky Chovan (Life Leadership Member)
After the pasta dinner, we decided that the heaping leftovers would be a great additional outreach to the community so we donated the remainder of the food to the New Life Lodge (a sober-living facility that provides assistance to families and individuals in need), in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
“It was amazing and wonderful to see the participation and hard work of Team Freedom Builders working for a common goal for a precious boy to achieve his dream.” – Diane Fitch (Life Leadership Member)
“The event was fun and many of us were blessed to meet “Red” for the first time that night. There were also moments of tears when we reflected on the battle he is facing. This little bit of Life on Life work we did to make a difference helped our team see how important what we do actually is. Ryan is living his dash and leaving a legacy and is a great message for all of us to live our dash.” – Dave Chatmon (Life Leadership Member)
(If you would like to support Ryan “Red” Johnson and his family, you can do so at this GoFundMe link!)