View my EXTRA LIFE 2013 PROFILE !
There are some moments in your life that stay with you forever. Sometimes the moments are good, and the feelings you remember make you smile. Sometimes they aren’t, and they don’t.
I have a lot of these moments. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all do, right? Our entire lives are just little moments pieced together by time. There are single moments that can define the rest of your entire lives, moments that make us the people we are.
When I was ten years old and in the fifth grade, my mother came to my school and pulled me out of class. I sat in the front row and our classroom portable was on the very edge of school grounds; I remember thinking about how far she must have walked to get there. She looked devastated – that’s the only word I can think of to describe her pale skin and red eyes, eyes that searched frantically around my classroom, searching every child’s face until they landed on mine.
I didn’t know what was going on, or what had happened. The other kids started to whisper and giggle amongst themselves, sure that I had gotten into trouble somehow and exuberant at the possibility of a public reprimanding from my mother. My teacher and my mom were talking in hushed tones as I gathered my things and walked slowly toward them. I saw my teacher put her hand on my mother’s shoulder.
My brother’s name was Kasyie Thomas Harrison Zackery. He was exactly 7 weeks (49 days) old when he died. His cause of death was not determined; it was ruled to have either been SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) or some sort of complications due to the meningitis he had been hospitalized with shortly before. The Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida treated my brother, and then took care of my family after his death.
I remember standing outside of my fifth grade classroom while my mom told me, “Kasyie’s gone.” I didn’t understand what she meant but I knew it meant that I wouldn’t see him again; it sounded final, and irreversible. I immediately started to cry. I can’t clearly remember anything else from that day.
Due to the nature of his passing, my family didn’t feel comfortable living in the same apartment anymore. It was too painful for my mother and step-father, and even for my younger brothers and I, although we didn’t fully understand what was happening. We were grieving and in pain and we didn’t know where to go.
Arnold Palmer Hospital is partnered with the Ronald McDonald House to provide lodging for families and parents in need with sick children who are being treated in the hospital. For families who travel from out of town and cannot afford hotel stays on top of hospital bills, the Arnold Palmer Hospital works with the Ronald McDonald House to open its doors and provide a safe refuge with clean and comfortable private rooms, food & provisions and playrooms for other children.
They allowed my family to stay there during the aftermath of my baby brother’s passing, and allowed my mom time to find safe housing afterward. I can remember bits and pieces of our Christmas spent there, but the memories are fragmented. Little moments.
My little brother’s birthday is coming up in a few days. I miss him and regret that I never got to really know him. I’ll never know what kind of person he would have become or what sort of things he would have liked. It’s amazing how much love can fit into 49 days, or how much such a small person can impact your life.
RIP, Kasyie! 10/11/99 – 11/30/99
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, supported by the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation, is a 158-bed facility dedicated exclusively to the needs of children. Located in Orlando, Arnold Palmer Hospital provides expertise in pediatric specialties such as cardiac care, craniomaxillofacial surgery, emergency and trauma care, gastroenterology, nephrology, oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and sports medicine. Visit arnoldpalmerhospital.com to learn more about all of our specialties.
In the US alone:
Every year more than 2,000 babies die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
And did you know?
One in 10 babies who contract meningitis die and one in four are left with after-effects sometimes as severe as deafness, brain damage and amputations
I’m going to be playing these video games for my little brother, because he never got the chance to. I am playing them for all the babies and young children who won’t get to play the next Grand Theft Auto or the newest next gen console. I’m playing so that I can raise money to help other kids and families who are suffering and dealing with things that aren’t fair and can’t be explained.
The money will be donated for a cause and its importance cannot be denied — Helping save the lives of children, and make them better. If the money I raise by spending these 24 hours with a controller in my hands helps in even the smallest way, I’d say that’s time well spent!
One boss fight (and dollar) at a time!
So join me and PLEASE DONATE! Every single little bit helps! If you can only afford to donate $5, only donate $5! I completely understand that times are hard, and nobody would ask you for more than you’re able to give! That said, if you’re the type of person who keeps a rainy day fund, please consider letting go of a little bit to help out kids in need!
So rummage around your couch cushions and old pants pockets for change, and donate! You can do so by clicking here, or the big photo above! All donations are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE and go to help kids! I really appreciate it to everyone who is able to donate! You’re the BEST!
And JOIN ME on NOVEMBER 2ND – 3RD for 24 hours of gaming!! PSN: MustacheCITY
PS — While you’re at it, drop by a few of my friend’s fundraisers as well, if you can spare additional donations! They’re fighting the good fight just like I am, and I know they would appreciate it just as much!