What will having a special needs sibling do “to” a child? I think a better question is what will having a special needs sibling do “for” a child? Allow me give you a glimpse.
I’m sharing this for two reasons. One because my son needs your support on a very worthwhile project, and two because, as parents facing the impossible, I know you’ll love this story.
This is a big month around our family. Several “Milestones” are being reached. Our daughter Krissy, who was born
with Trisomy 18, will graduate from 8th grade — One of many milestones our family was told would be impossible for Krissy. She shares this milestone with her big brother Kenny who will be graduating from Stanford University the day before.
Milestones for me are both joyful and thoughtful and I reflected back to a time before Krissy was born, a day when a doctor we didn’t know told us that because of something called Trisomy 18 our daughter would die and the doctor then proceeded to tell us all the reasons this was a good thing for our family. One of the many things on their list of “why life with a special needs child will destroy your life” was, “Just think what it will do to your other children.”
What will life with a special needs child do to a sibling?
Well, Krissy has four big brothers and I can tell you that all four are turning out to be pretty incredible men. They each have a special and unique relationship with Krissy, she adores them all and they adore her.
Has Krissy influenced her brothers? You bet she has. She’s taught them so many things but one of the greatest things she’s taught them is to believe. Believe in yourself, believe in others, and believe in possibilities.
Kenny and Krissy share a philosophy which is summed up in Kenny’s favorite quote by Walt Disney which hung on his wall his entire 4 years at Stanford: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!”
How fast the time goes. Seems like just yesterday that we took Kenny to Stanford to start his Grand Adventure. And in just a few short days we will return to Palo Alto, to the amazing Stanford campus, to watch Kenny graduate.
What an incredible place to be in life.
Diploma in hand, Dreams in place and the Freedom to Choose. A future that is literally a blank canvas ready to be designed.
Here’s the cool thing: while many graduating seniors are still struggling to decide “what they want to be when they grow up,” (Heck, I’m still trying to figure THAT out!) Kenny has some certainty.
Kenny has always known that one day he would “invent” things. As a child if you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up the answer would be one of two. Either, “I’m going to be an inventor!” or “I’m going to have my own company and make things to help people!”
From the beginning Kenny has been both determined and a self-starter. Both wonderful attributes for an entrepreneur. Someone who has a vision and works tirelessly to see that vision into reality.
Stanford has been an incredible home to Kenny for the past 4 years. The time there helped to expand both his vision and his dreams. As a Product Design major Kenny’s Senior Capstone Project was to design create a new and useful product. (Wow, this was getting better all the time!) But what would it be?
Kenny spent his childhood exploring the outdoors and backpacking with his Dad, his brothers, his Boy Scout troop and pretty much anyone who was willing to hit the trail. So, to find an idea he could really get excited about, Kenny turned to his love of the outdoors. He reflected on days backpacking with his family, of the memories and conversations around the campfire and then to the many long evenings sitting in the dark because either a campfire wasn’t possible, practical or they were simply too tired from the miles of the day to build one!
From those memories came a feeling and from that feeling came an idea: TorchGlo!
Casual and hard core backpacking enthusiasts alike agree that TorchGlo is an incredible idea and with its lightweight, compact and inexpensive design it is a welcome addition to their backpacking necessities list!
TorchGlo is being brought to market through a Kickstarter campaign.
Kickstarter enables young designers like Kenny who have an idea, to develop and share it with the world and “fund” the project through social media and “crowd-funding” to bring it to market.
The Kickstarter campaign is off to a great start but TIME is SHORT and he needs your help to reach more people in order to obtain full funding by the June 18, 2014 deadline.
There are two ways you can help.
1. Share this blog and the direct TorchGlo Kickstarter Campaign link (http://kck.st/1h5B7JC) with every backpacker and outdoor enthusiast you know. Heck, share it with everyone – you never know who they know!
TorchGlo Kickstarter Campaign
2. Make a pledge to back TorchGlo in the Kickstarter Campaign: TorchGlo Kickstarter Campaign
Your help is appreciated!
I love that as a “soon to be graduate” Kenny’s focus is not on simply getting a job and getting by but on designing his life. Instead, following his plan, he is is getting TorchGlo to market, followed up by another useful “outdoor recreation” product and another and another and along the way learning what he needs to know to grow his company!
As for Krissy, she’ll be using her TorchGlo in her “sensory room” attached to a switch so she can operate it herself and it will be used as a handheld night light for her nurses! And on June 16th she will stand with her peers and walk the stage to receive her diploma as she graduates from Middle School.
Next stop High School!