As 2014 comes closer to a close a lot of us will find ourselves looking back and thinking about the things that we saw and did over the last 12 months. For me that process always ends up including the people and events that inspired me in that time.
Last year at this time I wrote a post that including Ashley Gibson and her Life Is Sweet Project, Dave Grohl’s South by Southwest keynote, the passing of my Gramp, Movember and more… and so this year I would like to take a minute or two to share some of the things that inspired me in 2014.
Recently 2 ladies that I shared the halls with at Port Hope High School were diagnosed with significant and scary diseases that we are all hoping we can find a cure for.
Cheryl Heycoop has spent the last 10 years of her life working hard to help people… and now she needs some help of her own. Cheryl has been diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma and has recently started chemo treatments – everyone who knows her is sending their love and hoping for an effective and speedy recovery in her fight. You can read about Cheryl’s journey in her very brave blog here -> FullOfGrace.ca
In the same time period Kimberlee Moran has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve known Kim for a long time, she is smart and caring and full of love and faith – and I know that she will give everything she has, not just in her own journey, but to everyone who has been touched by MS. Kim was a big part of the recent #StopDropSelfieForMS hashtag on Twitter and Instagram and is currently selling adorable prints that aim to inspire so she can facilitate the work needed to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. Check out her blog here -> InEverything.ca
The world is lucky to have these two beautiful young women in it, and it’s a better place because of them. I am inspired by their strength, courage, honesty and ability to be amazing people in the face of very difficult times. This is me sending all of my love, prayers and support to them.
2014 was also inspiring in the month of November. For a 5th year I was lucky enough to work with some amazing people on a Movember campaign that raised over $3000 to help fight men’s cancers and mental illness. Our #MoChaKaTO karaoke fundraiser was fantastic once again. We auctioned off a foosball table, we raffled off great prizes, we sang songs and we surpassed any expectations that Sean and I had for the event. I was and continue to be inspired by the community of friends we have cultivated and their generosity and love.
Another charity movement inspired me in the summer of 2014 as the Ice Bucket Challenge tore through the internet. I’m super proud of all of my family members who participated and donated funds for research. My dad, step-mom, brother, cousins, cousin’s children – there were a whole bunch of us – and we did good! Whenever family can inspire, I am a happy boy.
This year I also got to spend more time than ever talking to and writing about musicians and their music. Hearing them talk about their careers and lives and families and dreams inspired me to work even harder at this whole writing thing and push myself to create better content, come up with new ideas and attack 2015 even harder than I did 2014. Thanks to Brett Kissel, Tim Hicks, The Reklaws, and Trinity Bradshaw among others for playing a big part in my year. And another thank you goes out to the PR teams for all of these artists as well as the team behind Boots & Hearts (we love you Laura) for getting us in and giving us access that makes all of the work seem like play.
Life is no short supply of people who are doing amazing and inspiring things, all you have to do is let yourself see them and be drawn in. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many of them and to feel even just the slightest connection makes me feel both extremely lucky and capable of doing better in my own life.
Thank you to everyone out there in the world that continues to do amazing things. If you are working on a campaign for a charity you love or are connected to – or you are trying to raise awareness for a cause – or you want to share someone’s story — Please leave a comment with a link so I can check it out!
2014 has been an awesome and inspiring year – let’s do it again in 2015.