I have been asked “Why? Why are you doing this?" Without hesitation, I say the two words that inspired me – "LIAM REDDY."
In October 2013, I learned through a Facebook friend about Liam Reddy, a 2-year-old boy in Florida who was fighting a rare form of cancer. Though I had never met Liam or his family, I felt inspired to join the fundraising efforts that the Reddy family's friends were making to help them.
Once the fundraising efforts for Liam had ended, I found myself thinking about him all the time, and wanting to keep supporting and encouraging him through his treatment and recovery.
I decided that each month I would send him a care package filled with small toys, activities and, occasionally, sweets. I would send the package at the beginning of each month and then would spend the rest of the month thinking about what I could send the following month. There was something very special about this little boy. His innocent smile and his happy disposition warmed my heart. As months passed, Liam’s mother and I became friends and stayed in contact.
Over the summer, I read the book, The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun. In this book, Adam talked about how an ordinary person could make an extraordinary change. As I continued to read the book, I kept thinking to myself maybe now is the time to start the foundation I have always wanted to start, but always hesitated. Then a note came from Liam's mom, a sweet unexpected note that simply described how the care packages put a smile on his face, and how he and his family could "feel the love" in those small packages.
It was then I knew I needed to start the foundation. I needed to find a way to reach these children. How many other children out there were struggling with life-threatening illnesses but didn't have this kind of support? Liam's mom made me realize how a simple gift could bring much-needed and meaningful happiness to a child.
Inspired to do what I could to give back to the community and pay it forward, I decided I would start this foundation to deliver care packages to these brave children.
So when asked what and who inspires me, I answer "Liam Reddy".
It is in honor of my little friend that I have started the Reddy2Fight Foundation.