There is always a calling for something…a time of sadness, reflection, uncertainty and life change. I never dreamt that our mission, our cause, would be center of these changes for others. It is our hope that through our passion in loving others, along with resources provided, we will be able to continue to offer assistance to a multitude of firefighters and their families over the years to come.
I found myself a few short weeks ago trying to understand the path in which we were going…the mission and fire within my heart. I was reminded that nothing is certain; life changes in a blink and accidents happen. That is why we do what we do…if we are talking with someone about what we can provide, it may very well be a tough moment in that one’s life. It is our hope to be strength when strength fails and a comfort in darkness.
Many have asked who we would be benefiting this year. I would like to take this moment to explain how this process works. Our primary fundraiser currently is our Annual Firefighters Ball. Meaning, in order to operate throughout the remaining calendar year we must continue to raise funds. The Firefighters Ball will continue to take place with or without a particular recipient. Case in point: The McKitrick family. No one can even fathom or imagine when a life change will occur and, honestly, I don’t think we could handle it if we did have an idea.
I had the pleasure of meeting Austin McKitrick, Lewisville firefighter, and wife, Kelly McKitrick, following the 2015 Firefighters Ball. We met in passing as the event ended. Austin participates in our opening ceremonies. Words were exchanged and encouragement towards our mission was passed and we all went our separate ways. I am forever grateful when I have moments such as this…it’s what I dig for when my going gets tough. Fast forward to a warm May 5th evening…that is when I first came across the story of a tragic accident that had just occurred on Lake Ray Hubbard. No names. No details. Just a very bad accident. I was driving home the following day when I received a text from a board member from our foundation asking for the story to be shared for the firefighter and his son who were involved in the boating accident. I waited until I got home and responded with “Of course!” At that point, there was no name associated to the accident, let alone it being a firefighter. I immediately went to view the story so it could be posted and shared. My heart sank. Headlines read “McKitrick.”
Aiden is a typical 4 year old, full of life, boy! It is Aiden who needs our help. Aiden sustained life changing injuries as a result of the accident. Little Aiden suffered severe abdominal lacerations as well as amputation of his leg. The financial road ahead is where we can hope to bridge a slight gap for this family. Things to consider when thinking of this family’s needs: wheelchairs to grow with Aiden, prosthetics as he grows and a list of other necessities once little Aiden gets home. Help me in rallying around this fire family. Help me in making our mission statement true. “No Brother Battles Alone”