By Michael Wells
Four years ago today I wrote the following brief message in my CaringBridge blog:
Today, (July 30, 2010) at 5:13am our beautiful loving Brady was pronounced dead. Please allow Sherrie and me a little time to compose ourselves. I will do my best to let you know the “arrangements” as quickly as possible.
Now I ask each of you to hug everyone you love, pray for our baby’s entry into heaven and think only GREAT thoughts for our Brady.
As in everyone’s life, so much has happened in the past short 4 years that I’m not sure where to begin? Out of our loss, Hugs for Brady Foundation (HFB) was created and I am incredibly proud of what my wife Sherrie has accomplished with it. Our foundation has raised nearly $800,000.00! A truly remarkable accomplishment when you take into consideration the largest individual donation to date has been $15,000.00. HFB is a true grass-roots organization and has thrived because of the amazing efforts of Sherrie and our 500+ wonderful volunteers. With these funds we have been able to sponsor more than $400,000 in research projects at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Also, funding the region’s first sedation-free MRI project at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
The Hugs for Brady Foundation is dedicated to research while continuing to comfort the children who are suffering the horrors of this disease. In the past 4 years, we have helped families defray expenses; along with supplying TVs, thousands of toys, video games, and are currently remodeling both of the children’s game rooms at Robert Wood Johnson Bristol-Meyer Squibb Children’s Hospital’s Hematology / Oncology unit.
Thanks to an incredibly generous and anonymous donor, we have delivered more than 10,000 bouquets of flowers to the 6 local hospitals, as well as spreading awareness of this hideous disease. We have supplied custom built “Brady Buggy” wagons to virtually all of the children’s hospitals in New Jersey and have placed wagons in Maine, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Tennessee.
Finally, Hugs for Brady has developed into one of the state’s largest sponsors of blood drives. In 2013 ATT was the only entity to collect more blood than HFB.
All of these wonderful accomplishments would never have happened if it wasn’t for all the unbelievable volunteers and my incredible wife Sherrie or as she likes to say, “Brady’s Mom.” It is an awesome example of how one person can indeed change the world.
With that being said, there isn’t a day that goes by without the incredible sense of loss, I will always miss my son Brady.
So once again; I ask you, “…Hug everyone you love and think only GREAT thoughts of our Brady,” who I am sure is looking down from heaven with his beautiful smile.