Lorraine Calebrese and Michael Divitto received the TLC "Heart of Gold" awards at the 2018 Kentucky Derby Gala, and they couldn't be more deserving. Today is Lorraine's birthday, and I would like to share with you her touching speech for those who missed it.
Happy Birthday, Lorraine. You make the world a better place. You ARE the change, and I couldn't admire you more.
6 years ago I started reading a blog on FB.... it was written by a mom I did not know regarding cancer and the horrific treatments her little boy was undergoing. I was so drawn in by the raw emotions that Cindy was able to express in her writings that I followed her to the end of Ty's short life. Little did I know that my following her to the end would be a new beginning.
I grieved the day Ty passed and vividly remember going to the candle-lighting at the bridge in Newburgh. For the first time I saw Cindy, Lou and Gavin in person. In such a time of sadness I marveled at their courage and graciousness.
For 20 years I have tried to do my part in raising much needed dollars in the fight against cancer. As a cancer survivor I have walked beside my mom and sister at cancer events and on the downside I have sadly lost my husband to cancer.
I remember hearing about Mess Fest and the TYathalon and signed up to volunteer even though I knew no one...everyone was so gracious & welcoming and I immediately felt at home! A home filled with people who share a common goal... a home filled with people who wanted to help…
In our home and family, fundraising is just as common as Sunday dinner. We need to teach our children and grandchildren the importance of getting involved. My granddaughter Toni-Anne was only 9 years old when she started fundraising. Madison Divitto gets sponsors for jumping in mud puddles, Riley Damiano started the Blue Lollipop project and a young boy named Sean Callahan started a foundation before he died to give kids in the hospital ipads. These young people have raised thousands of dollars and I am confident that they are the generation that will find a cure for cancer.
So when you see those kids selling lemonade on the side of the road buy a glass, buy a cookie or cupcake from the cheerleaders at their bake sales. Attend or donate to their fundraisers.
Last year, Burt Melcher told us that if you have an idea for a fundraiser - go for it. No endeavor is too small. The foundation appreciates these small fundraisers just as much as the larger ones such as Spirit Day and the SuperTy Bowl...believe me these little fundraisers add up!
The Ty Louis Campbell Foundation needs all of our help in raising money to continue their work to fund research for better treatment so that no child has to endure what Ty went through.