BYH Adventure 1
27 September to 1 October 2016
Estes Park, Colorado
Brave Young Hearts is excited to announce our first Adventure!!!!
Our young lady's name is Charisma, and she just turned 15 years old on her Adventure!!! Charisma is bravely battling Brain Tumors, Epilepsy, and Chromasomal abnormality. Our young lady and her family went to the YMCA Camp of the Rockies in Estes Park. The YMCA through Dan DeBlasio and Courtney Hill, donated a 4 bedroom vacation home for the whole family to stay in, covered all meals, and offered a $150 voucher for the family to enjoy all of the activities that the Camp has to offer!!! Charisma enjoyed doing arts and crafts, sight-seeing hikes, shopping in Estes Park, viewing wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park, and horseback riding at Jackson Stables!!! In the midst of all of the excitement, Charisma celebrated her 15th Birthday!!!
Happy Birthday To You!!!
Charisma and her family had a great and awesome time!!! A gargantuan thanks to Dan, Courtney, the YMCA, Allen and Julie Jackson, and Jackson Stables for making this Adventure happen, and partnering with Brave Young Hearts!!
What an Adventure!!!
BYH Adventure 2
7 to 9 December 2016
7 year old Carter was born with a rare spinal condition called Caudal Regression Syndrome, and his Adventure was to see the Newsboys in concert and to meet them.
Carter’s Mom tells the story…..
"A while back we started putting an adventure list together for our little guy Carter. It was important to him that we didn't call it a Bucket List, but rather put focus on the adventures he wanted to experience. Out of this grew an extensive list of all the things he wanted to experience.
Top of his list was going to a Newsboys Concert. I (mom) put out on Facebook that we were looking to get Carter to the Newsboys concert and was wondering how people go about getting backstage passes. This lead us to Brave Young Hearts. Oh what an adventure they made possible for our little guy!!
On Wednesday December 7th, 2016 we headed out of Denver, Co headed to Salina, KS for the first leg of his adventure. We were set up in a wonderful Lincoln Navigator rental SUV. Man did we travel in comfort and style! Carter was jazzed about the built in DVD players in the headrests. In fact he may have a new favorite car. When we arrived at the hotel, La Quinta, we were all exhausted from the full day of travel. Immediately we were greeted with big smiles. They had been anticipating our arrival and were so pleased to meet Carter. The guy at the desk went and found all kinds of snacks and drinks for Carter to have up in the room. La Quinta donated a beautiful King Suite room for our family. We felt very well taken care of and enjoyed a great place to lay our head.
On the morning of Thursday December 8th, Carter woke up with great anticipation for the concert later that day. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and headed out to explore the town a little bit. We found ourselves at a bowling alley and got into a competitive bowling game. Of course Carter swears he won! Afterwards we grabbed one of Carter's favorite Chinese dishes and headed back to the hotel for lunch and resting. We wanted to make sure we had full energy for the exciting night ahead!
In the afternoon we headed to the venue and we were greeted by Susan, a manager at the Bicentennial Center. She was also excited to meet Carter and spoiled him with love and attention. She gave us a private tour of the facilities and we got to watch the final set up for the show. All the while Carter's anticipation was rising for what was coming next.
We headed backstage where Carter got a private meeting with the Newsboys band. He was giddy with excitement as he talked with them and had them sign some stuff Brave Young Hearts had sent him with. The band then laid hands on Carter and prayed with him. It was extremely touching for everyone, especially us as parents. The whole time through the prayer, Michael Tait held Carter's hand. Carter couldn't take his eyes off of him and I venture to guess he was in a little shock that this was all happening.
After that we headed out with the band for the Q&A time with other fans. Carter asked his question, which he had been holding on to for weeks. He wanted to know if they would ever consider using a spinning tambourine in their band? Little did he know they would have so much more than a spinning tambourine, when Duncan Phillips would have his entire drum set spinning during one of the concert songs.
After the Q&A we headed to a luxury box where we enjoyed a delicious spaghetti dinner prepared by the Bicentennial Chef. It was yummy!! We then enjoyed the amazing show from this fantastic luxury box. We had a clear view of the stage and lots of space to get comfortable throughout the show. At one point someone came and got us to take us down front and center of the stage. We got to see the band up close in action.
The night ended with Carter's favorite song "God's Not Dead." Carter sang his heart out during that song and we were not sure how he had a voice afterwards.
Overall this experience was beyond anything we could have imagined. From the little details being taken care of, all the way to the epic adventure of meeting Carter's favorite band, it was all in place. Meaning there was nothing we as parents had to worry about. We could sit back and enjoy the adventure right alongside Carter. It was fantastic to watch him anticipate this adventure for weeks beforehand and then see the joy light up as it all was happening.
It truly was a time when we could all, especially Carter, let go of the trials at home and just be in the moment. Soak in the time and build lasting memories together. Our days and weeks are always filled with stress and overwhelming fears at times. The laughter that we experienced together was something that no money could ever buy.
I don't know that we could adequately express our gratitude to all that that made this possible. We are thankful to La Quinta for giving us a warm and inviting place to lay our head. We are thankful to the Bicentennial Center for opening their doors and making sure we as a family had everything and more that we could possibly need. Most of all we are thankful to Brave Young Hearts for granting our child the experience of a lifetime!!!
Thank you for seeing in him a boy needing an adventure to help him continue pushing on through the hard days ahead. Thank you for thinking ahead to all the details, so that we didn't have to think of it ourselves. This is a blessing beyond explanation. We will forever carry these memories close to our heart! Memories were made this weekend that we will forever treasure in our hearts!
Adventure Item #1, checked off his list!"
“I want to write a book about how it is okay to be brave, and to be scared, at the same time.”
When this 7 year old little boy told me this when I met him it brought tears to my eyes!
Keith Gardner – Brave Young Hearts
This is why the special people at Brave Young Hearts are doing what we are doing, for kids like Carter! Carter, it was a HONOR to meet you! And we look forward to reading your book! Brave Young Hearts would like to gratefully thank the Newsboys, Brandi Wagner at First Company Management, Steve Campbell (Newsboys Tour Manager), Susan Trafton-Evers, the Chef, the Bicentennial Center of Salina, and Jessica at the La Quinta Inn and Suites, Salina for making this Adventure a reality!!!
BYH Adventure 3
6 to 9 May 2017
6 year old Ozzie, is battling Rhabdomyosarcoma, and is a life-long Cubs fan. Ozzie’s Adventure was to get to meet the Chicago Cubs when they played the Colorado Rockies on May 8th. The weather didn’t cooperate, the game was called and a make up game was played on the 9th. You guessed it, no batting practice on the 9th. No meeting the Cubs. Sad Bear! However, Ozzie and his family did get a fancy limo ride, had great seats at the game behind the Rockies dugout, and they got to meet Peyton Manning! Prior to coming to Denver from Bayfield, Ozzie did receive a personal letter and autographed picture from Anthony Rizzo, Cubs Outfielder.
Nuthin’ but SMILES!!!
“As a survivor of cancer myself, I know the emotional and financial strain the diagnosis of cancer can put on a family.”-- Anthony Rizzo
Thanks to David Light and the Westin Denver Hotel, Darren Weidenhamer and Sunset Limos, Lance Gerlach, and The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation for partnering with Brave Young Hearts!
*Note: Make-A-Wish will not grant a wish trip if a child has already been granted an endowment from another organization. If your child is awaiting a Make-A-Wish benefaction, please be aware that Brave Young Hearts advises that you fulfill that request first.