Pay It Forward: How Kindness and Generosity Can Change Someone's Life

Imagine your world turning upside down in slow motion. You’re used to going to work in the morning and coming home to your family at the end of the day. Everything seems normal…until it isn’t.

You start to notice that your muscles are stiff and sometimes twitch. Eventually, you can’t hold yourself up like you used to and find yourself falling down. You body is failing you.

The doctor helps you understand what’s going on. She tells you you have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. There is no treatment. There is no cure. You can just expect the symptoms to get worst until you are completely paralyzed. And to top it all off, ALS substantially shortens your life expectancy.

How do you feel learning about this? You would have a right to feel #angry. This is an injustice. You’re a good person. You don’t deserve this. But alas, being angry only robs you of the precious time you have left on this planet and you want to make the most of your time. You want to work as long as you are physically able, to play with your kids while your body can still intentionally embrace them, and spend quality time with your spouse.

So let’s assume you’ve had some time to process this diagnosis and are adjusting to your new life. You accept that there is no going back, but as you face the challenges ahead, you need help and a lot of it.

A friend of mine and a fellow psychologist by the name of Dr. Marc Bennett has been facing this exact scenario. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2013. He provided for his family until he couldn’t keep up with the physical demands of his job. In addition to having emotional and physical stress, this created financial strains on the family.

If you’ve ever struggled emotionally in your life and sought the help of a therapist, you can appreciate how much someone in that career gives to their clients. That’s what Marc dedicated his professional life to doing: bettering other people’s lives.

Think back to all the people who have crossed paths with you over your lifetime who in some way have really moved you. When you think about them, you may wish there was a way to pay them back, but that's not always possible. Instead, consider paying it forward.

How you can help:

  1. Marc’s neighbors established a GoFundMe campaign to help Marc raise money and improve his quality of life. Because he is now in a wheelchair full time, he needs ramps to get in and out of his house and car. Please reach into the depth of your heart and donate what you would want someone to donate if you were in Marc’s position. He needs to raise $75,000 and in the past week was able to raise nearly half that amount. Keep it coming!

  2. Share this blog post or Marc’s GoFundMe page link with your family, friends, and contacts on Facebook and other social media to spread the word.

My wishes:

  • I want to see Marc’s two boys grow up with fond memories of their dad. Let's give them as many of those while we can.

  • I want to help Marc’s wife Allyson find peace from her hectic life of working, taking care of her sons and husband, and running the house as best she can. Your donation can help take some of the financial pressures off her already heavily burdened shoulders.

  • Lastly, I want Marc to have ease in his daily life with the accommodations this fundraiser will be able to give him. He more than deserves it. We all do.

With your help, we can move the needle on this record. I am grateful for your support and I know Dr. Marc and his family are as well.

I dedicate this blog post to the Bennett family and hope it brings them the funds and support they so desperately need.

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