Week 4: FL
WE GOT TO RING THE BELL AGAIN!! Another match has been found! There is no better feeling than knowing that donors we are signing up are matching with patients who need transplants! We are even more inspired to keep registering more donors because we need to be ringing that bell EVERY DAY.
Florida was epic, to say the least. We were in a new city every day, starting with Tallahassee where we (ironically) hosted the coldest drive of the year so far at Florida State University. Who knew Florida could be so chilly? Things warmed up as we headed down to Gainesville and hosted a drive at University of Florida. We registered 143 Gators to the Donor Registry, and had a great time getting our first sunburn of the tour! Thanks to the UF Fiji chapter for helping us out!
We worked with another great Fiji chapter at University of South Florida the next day, and then got some much needed “email time” at a cool coworking space in Ybor City in Tampa. We had a rejuvenating weekend in Naples, FL and then headed to Boca Raton. Brady McLaughlin (pictured below hugging Sam), is a 4 year old who is fighting severe aplastic anemia just like Sam. We hosted a drive in his honor at Florida Atlantic University with the help of Brady’s awesome big sister Kaitlyn. We signed up 140 heroes at FAU that could potentially be a match for Brady or another patient in need!
As if this week was inspiring enough, we then got to meet the amazing St. Thomas University softball team. These ladies heard about what we are doing and have been supporting us and this mission for months now. It was amazing to meet them in person finally at the profit share night they held to benefit our efforts at Chili’s on Monday night. The next day we held a drive with them in Brady’s honor at St. Thomas University that was, in one word, AMAZING.
They had music, signs, free hot dogs and cookies, and a ton of energy making the drive at STU the BIGGEST DRIVE OF THE TOUR SO FAR! They signed up an incredible 340 donors and were the most positive, hardworking team we have ever met! Thank you to the players, coaches, administrators, and students who made this event so special and inspiring! We are HUGE fans of this team and school and feel very lucky that they chose to join us in our quest to find donors. And they are just getting started! The softball team is going to host even more events as the year goes on to continue to raise awareness and find heroes.
Florida! Way. To. Go.