If you’re questioning whether there is good in the world or overwhelmed by challenges and adversity, I would like to share something that may provide you with some comfort and inspiration. I am inspired by this group here. There are also many other people who have partnered with this group who are tagged in this post on United Patriot Missions’ social media that I am acknowledging as well. Let me explain why.
Included in this group is Veteran, Cancer Survivor, and Janesville Police Officer Justin Stubbendick. On a call for service in the City of Janesville, he met a man named Jonathan Barthel who had severe injuries after being attacked. Justin helped save Jonathan’s life, and they became friends. Justin saw firsthand Jonathan’s will to live as he sought to overcome his injuries. I had the honor of being present when Jonathan surprised Justin with the news that after 5 years of rehab and perseverance, Jonathan had been approved to again fly aircraft as he had done prior to the vicious attack that nearly killed him.
Justin and Jonathan saw this same will to live and thrive in a young boy in their community named Isaac Johnson. Isaac was 2 when he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer. He is now 4 years old and has endured 1 bone marrow transplant, 2 stem cell transplants, and more than 30 rounds of chemo and radiation. Their allegiance to the family was immediate, and they have tirelessly sought to serve and support this family through it all.
Recognizing that Isaac was a future Janesville Craig High School Cougar, the Principal of the school Dr. Alison Bjoin, the School Resource Officer Foster, and three amazing Craig students joined Justin and Jonathan to help. Claire Mikkelsen, Taylor Salmon, and Sam Smith have worked tirelessly to rally the entire student body of Craig High School and the entire community around the Johnson family as they have grappled with the challenges of facing pediatric cancer. These young people’s efforts and passion has been awe-inspiring. It is comforting and exciting to know what is possible when we take a little time each day to build one act of good on the other. Each moment and action builds upon the other and soon the momentum creates something larger than we may anticipate.
This team’s collective efforts have raised more than $10,000 dollars for the family to help them with their medical costs. This team helped not only raised awareness to a family suffering in their community but mobilized that awareness into an entire community’s actions that have provided practical results, lifting the family’s spirits in their time of need with contributions of time, energy, and resources.
They are a credit not only to themselves and their school, but to the State of Wisconsin and the entire Nation. They have created a world that comes to the aid of the suffering and created a reality where life is valued beyond words. They did it in the hallways of their high school, the neighborhoods in their city, and in the social media where we share our lives. I am honored to stand in their company, to have observed their brilliant work, and to have created an America I am privileged to experience. What will you do today to help alleviate the suffering in your community, in your workplace, in your homes and hallways, in yourself? What kind of America will you create in the precious moments of time you’ve been given?
United Patriot Missions takes all of our actions during this mission to serve Isaac and his family in honor of Sgt Dan Thompson, who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan in February 2009.
To learn more go to @IsaacStrongWisconsin or @UnitedPatriotMissions on Facebook or www.unitedpatriotmissions.org