Monday, May 26, 2014

In Honor of Memorial Day...

....we are hosting our first T-Shirt Giveaway!

In order to enter for a chance to win a free t-shirt...

1. Leave an encouraging comment for Jeremiah and the family on this post.

2. Share a link to this site on your social media sites so your friends can be introduced to Jeremiah and his story.

If you know Jeremiah, he hates being the center of attention, but one good thing about his story is it sings of God’s faithfulness, provision, and healing power. That is why we want you to share his story. Fundraising is a far second!

I'll be announcing the winner of the t-shirt tonight at 8:30pm CST. So GO! You have 12 hours!

Update From Ashley!

Some of you may have already seen through Instagram and Facebook that Jeremiah had the opportunity to participate in the Valor Games Southeast last week. This was not an event we had been planning on attending but rather one we found out about two weeks before it started. Since it was fairly close and it should be completely paid for, we thought it would be good for Jeremiah to have the competition practice. 

Last Sunday we were still debating on whether we wanted to go because we found out earlier in the week we would have to pay for our hotel room, and we did not know if we would be paying for our food as well, since I was going with Jeremiah. 

We decided to go and headed out on Monday to drive up to Durham, North Carolina. Gabe went with us to the event and it was great for him to take part in it. One thing we learned though from having him go with us is that Gabe won't be going with us to the Warrior Games in Colorado. The days were too long and after the first little bit of watching Jeremiah, he lost interest. Any takers for Gabe sitting this fall?? :) 

When we arrived, the hotel staff said that our room had actually been covered! They gave us tickets for breakfast all three mornings and passed out warm cookies. The room being paid for was a big, unexpected blessing! The Valor Games staff was also super helpful and went above and beyond to make the athletes feel special. They also ended up having lunch for all of us each day and the hotel had a delicious dinner for us each night. 

Day one of the Valor Games had the competition at the University of North Carolina in the basketball arena. That arena was HUGE! They had sitting volleyball, boccia ball and air rifle going on all day. Jeremiah competed in air rifle shooting on Tuesday morning. He did a great job and felt like he really improved his score from when he shot at the Air Force trials in April. It was a different competition than the trials because they did not have classifications or categories and because it was in the arena with the rest of the events. For those who don’t know, during air rifle competitions, the room must be quiet with little to no sound. Even the clap is supposed to be a polite, golf type clap and you can only clap for a quick second after each competitor’s score for the round that is called out. But like I said, Jeremiah did a great job even with all the noise and distractions. 

 The second day of competition was in archery, indoor rowing and table tennis. These events took place at Duke University. The part of the campus we saw was beautiful! We also had the opportunity to meet Coach Mike Krzyzewski, head coach for Duke’s basketball team and a chance to check out the Duke Athletics “Hall of Fame”. 

Competition for the indoor rowing and table tennis were held in the basketball arena and archery was right outside. Jeremiah competed in archery in the morning and indoor rowing after lunch. He shot his recurve bow, used the arrows he had fletched in Air Force blue and white and shot rounds at both 10 yards then 25 yards. Jeremiah did great in both rounds of shooting. He finished up in 3rd place at 25 yards shooting against both recurve and compound archers. For the Warrior and Invictus Games, he will only shoot against other recurve archers. After lunch, we headed into the basketball arena for Jeremiah to try out indoor rowing. In indoor rowing, you are racing against other athletes for 500 meters. He also did well in this event. We think Jeremiah’s time was 2:05 but did not see his placement against everyone else. 

The final day's events were held at a beautiful park not far from our hotel. Jeremiah competed in hand cycling against a lot of other athletes. The course was a tough 9.3 mile ride, up and down hills as well as over some man-made speed bump covers. Again, Jeremiah did pretty well, finishing up in 8th with a time of 54.35. After the race was over, a lovely black snake slithered up onto the course right next to me. No thank you! One of the men caught it to get it out of the road but Gabe kept wanting to touch it. Such a boy! Once the excitement from the snake died down and all the other events were done, we had a delicious BBQ lunch and headed home.

It was a super busy few days but I am glad we had the chance to be a part of the Valor Games this year. It was a great time for Jeremiah to train, we met more great people and learned about more resources available to Jeremiah. Another event we learned about is a training camp taking place in Warm Springs, GA this next week. When we heard about it being so close, Jeremiah jumped at the opportunity! Hopefully it will be a good time of making new friends and training. 

I am sorry we did not let anyone know about this event beforehand. I tend to be a bit paranoid to let the world, aka social media, aware that we are away from our home. Yes, we do have someone staying at our home watching all our animals, but I still do not like to say anything about being gone. And as much as we would have loved seeing friends at some point on this trip, these events keep us running the whole time and I don’t know when we could have gotten away. At this particular event, the security was a bit funny and they would not let me or Gabe in the area with the athletes on day one. I made sure to get a name badge on day two so no one would think we were hobos off the street. :) Not every event is like that so if you would like to know more about coming to watch an event or to see if we could meet up, let me know! I will call or email you with more details. We will be in West Point, NY and Colorado Springs, CO before either of the games this fall. 

Thank you so much for all the support! We are excited for all the things to come this summer! 

Ashley & Jeremiah

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Jeremiah For The Gold T-Shirt Days!

Through the next four months we will have several Jeremiah For The Gold T-Shirt Days! This will be a fun way to rally the troops to show support for Jeremiah.

The first T-Shirt Day will be Tuesday, June 10th. This will mark three months until the beginning of the Invictus Games. Throughout the day, while wearing your t-shirt, we hope you will post pictures of yourself with a message of encouragement to Jeremiah in the caption to Instagram and Facebook. And remember to use #jeremiahforthegold! June 10th will be here before we know it so GO BUY YOUR T-SHIRTS!

Other Jeremiah For The Gold T-Shirt Days:

Sunday, July 27th - In honor of Jeremiah's 29th birthday.

Saturday, August 16th

Wednesday, September 10th - In honor of the Opening Ceremonies of the Invictus Games.

Sunday, September 28th - In honor of the Opening Ceremonies of the Warrior Games.

Thank you for taking this journey with us!

                                                                                    Have a beautiful and intentional Sunday!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

T-shirts, Instagram, Training, Oh MY!

It's been a busy week!

The t-shirts have been ordered, we've raised over $500, and we are making lots of fun plans. But that is just the extra stuff! The most important thing is how is Jeremiah doing in training?!?

 Jeremiah reports that training is going well. He completed 14 miles on the hand cycle in 1 hour 6 minutes and 14 seconds. He has a time trial race coming up that will be 9 miles and he "wanted to see how hard he could push it."

He has been training in air rifle at a first class facility in Ft. Benning, GA with a former Olympian. His trainer has high hopes for him and he will be shooting in the Nationals Competition in June to see if he qualifies for the USA Para-Olympic Team!

Jeremiah is also having a lot of archery practice with the arrows he made himself!
Ashley says keeping up with everything Jeremiah needs, in order to get ready for the games, has officially turned into a full-time job; an exciting one, but she stays busy!

One of the most exciting things that has happened this week is the response we have had from complete strangers being touched by Jeremiah's story. Making God's name famous throughout the earth one person at a time.

We've also set up an Instagram account for Jeremiah (@jeremiahforthegold) so all you IGer's can follow his training progress before the games. Ashley has posted several great pictures already so go follow him!

Ok, so let's get down to business...After tallying everything up (gear and equipment for Jeremiah, travel expenses for Jeremiah and Ashley for training leading up to the games, and travel expenses for extended family members to the games) we are looking at $11,000***. I'll be honest, that number scares and excites me. In fact, as soon as I saw it on my calculator I took a deep breath and said out loud, "Okay, Lord...Let's see what you do."

I don't have to tell you that is a TON of t-shirts (if you haven't purchased yours yet click here to find out how), so Ashley and I have been brainstorming with some friends and what we are cooking up is pretty, stinkin' exciting! We'll have details on one of the ideas tomorrow, so stay tuned! Like I said, it's been a busy week, and Gabe thinks so to. For those who don't know us, this is my awesome nephew, Gabe and even though he is a big 5 year-old, today's training with Daddy was exhausting!
From our family to yours, have a beautiful and intentional weekend!

***UPDATE*** Most of you know that in order to take donations electronically via PayPal or GoFundMe these sites charge a fee which is a percentage of the amount raised. For our $11,000 total need this ends up being just shy of $1,000 so we are editing our amount to raise to $12,000. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

There Once Was a Boy

There once was a boy who loved the Lord and prayed to receive Him as his Lord and Savior. He had a sweet spirit and forgave others quickly. He made others laugh with his witty sense of humor.

There once was a boy who grew into a teenager, always looking for an adventure. He was dedicated to those he loved. He had a servant’s heart and he worked hard for everything he got. He loved the outdoors.

There once was a boy who wanted to help sick people get better so he went to school and got a job at a hospital. He was good at what he did and everyone respected the boy.

There once was a boy who grew in his love for the Lord. He mentored other boys younger than him and those boys grew in their love for the Lord as well. He memorized entire books of the Bible at a time and his family was proud of the man he was becoming.

There once was a boy who met a girl and fell in love. He pursued her and won her and on a night in September, on a farm, with a rainbow painted across the sky, he married her.

That first year was full of changes. The boy decided he wanted to follow in his daddy’s footsteps…in his uncles’ footsteps…in his granddaddys’ footsteps, so he joined the Air Force to fight for and defend the country he loves.

The girl was sad to be away from the boy for so long but she was proud of her husband and she supported him in her gentle and quiet way.

There once was a boy who became a father to his own little boy and all was right in the world.

There once was a boy who went to work one weekend and four days later an ambulance rushed him to the hospital. He was miserable with a headache and wasn’t acting like himself. It turns out that when he was on the base he received orders for several vaccines that made his brain sick. The doctors didn’t know how to keep the sickness from spreading so they put the boy who loved adventure into a helicopter and sent him to a hospital three hours away that was one of the best for sickness of the brain.

The boy was sick for a long time. Some of the time he slept and never woke up but the girl rarely left his side. She was torn between being with her husband and being with her son, who was three hours away, and she lived this way for 54 days.  

When the boy finally woke up he couldn’t hear anything and he couldn’t do a lot of the things he used to be able to. The boy fought, he fought, and he fought. He was finally able to walk again, write his name again…he was able to do a lot of things again but he still couldn’t hear.

There once was a man who fought his way back to work. It wasn’t the same kind of work but he was a proud man and he wanted to provide for the woman and their son. But then the man got sick again. The doctors changed his treatment and he got better a lot faster the second time.

The man couldn’t walk the same after that and he still couldn’t hear. It was hard for the man to live in a world where he couldn’t hear so he had surgery.  That surgery changed things for the man. He could communicate with the world now and he started to look happier.

The man got back in the wood working shop with his dad. He started talking about going back to school. He went on vacation with his wife and son. Life was different but it was his life and he was thankful to the Lord that he still had one to live.

There once was a man who came to terms with his illness, who looked forward to getting his wheelchair, and who decided to go back to school to finish up his Bachelor’s degree so he could go to Seminary. You see, the man knew the Lord would use his illness if he let Him…so he did.

Sometimes in government there is a lot of red tape to go through so finally after a long time the man was medically retired from the Air Force and began receiving all the benefits he needed to take care of his family. So the man and the woman got to buy a house with a great back yard for their son; a back yard with a creek that would be great for any little boy who likes adventure.

There once was a man who refused to let his new life in a wheel chair mean that he couldn’t do all of the things that he loved and he was invited to compete in the Air Force Wounded Warrior trial games. He trained hard and he did well. After medaling in several events, with the woman right by his side, he was told he won a spot on the Air Force team for the WarriorGames.

But that is not all…

There once was a man who was invited to go to London to meet a prince and finally fight for his country…in the Invictus Games. The man would be one of 300 competitors from 13 countries who would swim, cycle, run, throw, shoot, and most importantly heal.

There once was a man who knew this was his chance to bring the message of God’s loving kindness and faithfulness to the world stage. He was excited to train harder than ever before so he would be able to fight harder than ever before.

There once was a family who wanted desperately to support the boy who loved the Lord, made them laugh, made them proud, and taught them all how to fight. There once was a family who wanted to be in the stands to cheer the man on to share in the amazing, once in a lifetime chance that the man had been given. This would be a chance for the family to heal too.

There once was a community of Believers who had seen the man and the family through four and a half years of tragedy and loss. Who had given of their time and prayers and money to support them. Now the man’s oldest sister is asking that community to give again, but this time through a season of life, joy, and restoration.
There once was God…who promised to work everything…everything out for the good of His children. Even through all the tragedy of the last 4 ½ years He remained faithful…remains faithful.

There once was God, who made the boy a promise…and the boy believed Him.


Hi, I'm Kathryn, Jeremiah's oldest sister. I'm so glad you stopped by today! If you are unfamiliar with my brother's story or if you need a refresher I hope you will take several minutes to read about it here.

We are now in full fundraising and support mode! If you are interested in pre-ordering a t-shirt in support of Jeremiah you can find out how here.

I hope you will come back often to hear how Jeremiah is doing in training and all he is learning through the process.

Have a beautiful and intentional Saturday!