Make it Happen Monday: Pay it Forward

30
Jan
2012

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Pay it Forward”…but what we might not realize is just how big of an impact it can have on someone’s life.  Today, we share the story of two cyclists who had their lives changed forever and are so grateful that they continue to Pay it Forward.

I’ve been thinking of putting up a Make it Happen Monday post on this subject for a while, but it wasn’t until I interacted with a couple of cycling friends on Twitter when I realized how this one was going to come together.  It all started by me asking my twitter followers, “What’s Right?“.  What I received back from @MomCycFan and @twittyboyd, left me totally inspired.

Julie’s (@MomCycFan) Story:

One year ago this morning (January 11), I was hooking my husband up to a dialysis treatment. We were tired, weary, not wanting to get out of bed and much less leave the house.  We had to go face the nephrologist that afternoon and hear more bad news as always.  We were dragging and life was most definitely not good except we were alive and our kids were healthy.  At 4:45 pm while I was making dinner the phone rang.  In two minutes our lives turned upside down for the better.

A parent or family member of a 18-year-old child had made the selfless choice to donate their loved one’s organs in death. We drove 300 miles to Stanford and at 7 am January 12th, 2011 my husband was given the gift of life. He received a new kidney and pancreas from the 18-year-old. He was no longer dependent on dialysis and insulin to live.

How can you receive such a selfless gift and not be changed? Now we live everyday trying to Pay It Forward and honor the life that saved a life.

Marty’s (@twittyboyd) Story:

August 2009,  new to twitter and at home recuperating from cancer-preventive surgery, I got a funny tweet from a stranger saying he was my cousin and loved my twitter handle. We shared the same last name. He discovered me thru comments on a @lancearmstrong picture. 

Cancer connected us (architectural background, cycling and soccer coaching too!).  His father has cancer and at the time I was lucky to prevent the disease, but my mother in law was fighting lung cancer.  It had been a difficult two-year span for my family and topping it off with other life issues that come with grown children and step- families. My husband and I were so fragile.  I needed to be strong to keep our family together. 

Talking to this stranger, I will call my guardian angel, gave me back my strength and perspective needed to tackle the challenges ahead. 

My mother in law lost her battle with cancer, but through my conversations with this stranger, I was able to help my husband and kids through the grieving process, not to mention mine.

I feel so grateful that I take advantage of every opportunity I get to Pay It Forward:

  • Letting that person in the checkout line behind me with fewer items go in front of me; 
  • Helping a fellow cyclist stranded on the road; 
  • Kind words being the first priority no matter how bad the situation is;  
  • Paying for a stranger’s coffee behind me in the drive thru; 
  • Thinking before I speak;
  • Encouraging and motivating others………

Those are few of the things I practice now without hesitation.

I’ve been blessed by a guardian angel I consider now a best friend.  He may say he doesn’t know how he helped, but that is what makes it even more special. He is not aware of his gift.  He is an angel.

Do you have a story of how someone changed your life for the better, or one in which your acts forever changed the lives of someone?  Please share.

Enjoy Your Ride
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21 Responses to “ Make it Happen Monday: Pay it Forward ”

  1. Pamela on February 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

    How did I miss this? Martha and Julie are two of my favorites. Great post, all 3 of you!

  2. Eric Hutchins on February 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Like a whole lot of other people love the “Make it happen Monday posts”, (even if I don’t get to read them until “what has happened to the week Wednesday”) The two stories are wonderful, and the people that wrote them also are, I have had the good fortune of some twitter interaction with them and it is AMAZING how few characters it takes to get an impression of people. Good people are drawn to this site, it does not suprise me at all knowing Darryl.
    Keep it up, everyone, including the great comments.

  3. Sampson on January 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I should have read this post this morning.  I could have used the extra inspiration to get my week started, but am so feeling inspired right now.  Well done, Marty and Julie.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Sampson, it’s never too late to kickstart your week.  Glad to hear that you’re all fired up and inspired and I am so happy that I was able to share the incredible inspiration of Marty and Julie today.

  4. BarkEater77 on January 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. – Bradley Miller. Compassion may be out greatest strength.

  5. Bob on January 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Great stories! Thanks Darryl! And, especially Thank You, Julie and Marty!  Insprired me to put this up on my blog: http://bobaroderagbrai.blogspot.com/2012/01/pay-it-forward-w-blood-andor-platelet.html

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Hey Bob, I’m so happy that today’s post (and the stories from Marty and Julie) inspired you to write your own Pay it Forward post.  Thanks for sharing it, my man.  Nicely done.

  6. Joel Phillips on January 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I read a statement like, “I was hooking my husband up to a dialysis treatment” and I can’t help but to think how lucky he is to have someone like that in his life.  I continue on and see another person comment, “I’ve been blessed by a guardian angel I consider now a best friend.  He may say he doesn’t know how he helped, but that is what makes it even more special”, and I wonder if she knows how her genuine kindness is as bright a beacon in this universe as any star.  They both talk unselfishly about actively “paying it forward” when, in fact, I’d imagine that’s how they’ve always been living.  You see Julie, I believe the wonderful gift you and your husband received was the universe responding to the goodness you both share with everyone around you.  Marty, I’ve already said you have the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen, but in them I also see honesty, strength, determination and courage…all of which a guardian angel possesses.  I am quite confident in saying you are just that to those you hold closest to your heart.

    Darryl I love these types of MHIM posts, the human spirit is one of the most magnificent wonders of our universe and the power to influence change that each one of us posses is simply awesome.  Although we have the ability to affect change, true change comes from within and it’s those that make us realize this who stand out in the crowd.  You asked us if we have a story of how someone changed our life, someone who stood out in a crowd…Yes, and it features my wife.  It’s about how she helped me understand and, even more importantly, how to trust love…She is a smile and open arms, when in the past I’ve only know a closed door.  She said it was ok for me to dream and helped me find the self-confidence to make them come true.  Her support is undying and her happiness comes from helping others find theirs.  The very essence of the message in “Pay it Forward”.  I wish I could say it comes as naturally for me as it does for her, but there are dark parts of my past that still cloud my thoughts and sometimes actions, which is where Loving The Bike enters the story.  From the stories and comments posted here I find inspiration, motivation, information and just about any other positive “ation” word you can think of, to help resist those temptations and continue to work on being the best I’ve ever been.  

    Beyond 2-wheels, pedal and a chain…Loving the Bike is just as much about Loving Life, that my friend is where change begins… 

    • Marty on January 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Joel,
      You are an inspiration and I’m so touched by your comments. Actually, I’m speechless and humbled.
      Marty

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      You are so on the money when you say that Marty has the kindest eyes you’ve ever seen.  I went on record last year as saying Marty was my pick for Sweetest girl on Twitter, and I absolutely feel that way for sure.  Her eyes and everything about her just oozes kindness and I am so thankful for having her as a friend.

      What can I say, Joel.  I am incredibly humbled by your words and I can’t even begin to tell you how great it feels to hear what you say about our Make it Happen Monday series.  It is as much therapy and reminders to me as it is a source of inspiration to others.

      I am looking forward to hearing more about your story when you’re ready, but for now I am feeling like a Trillion bucks by reading what you’ve wrote.

      Thanks Joel.

  7. Heather on January 30, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    What a wonderful post.

  8. Blake Jr on January 30, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Jule and Marty are role models and people to look up to.  I really enjoyed reading their stories today and it was a very good reminder of what matters most in this world.  Thank you for an inspiring article.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      You’re very welcome, Blake…so glad you were able to check out the beautiful stories from Julie and Marty.

  9. Jennifer on January 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Now this is something worth waking up for on a Monday morning.  Thanks to all of you for inspiring me this morning and sending me out the door with a smile on my face and the right kind of attitude.

  10. Julesmpg on January 30, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thank you Darryl for sharing our story. We hope to pay it forward for the donor family by honoring their child’s life with a life well lived. We hope to help others facing challenges that seem insurmountable.

  11. Mark Beaconsfield on January 30, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Thank you Julie and Marty for sharing your stories. It brought a tear to my eye. It shows how a simple act of kindness can have a huge effect on somebody elses life. If only more people acted this way the world would be a much better place.

    • Julesmpg on January 30, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Mark. The kindness of a stranger can truly change lives. Our donor was only 18 yrs old. We try to live our lives fully to honor the life cut short.

  12. Darryl is Loving the Bike on January 30, 2012 at 8:54 am

    It’s amazing what goodness one simple tweet can bring.  I am so honored to share these stories today and I have huge respect and admiration for Marty and Julie.  I have been lucky enough to spend some time in person with Marty, and hope to meet up with you, Julie, one day as well.  Your positivity, kind soul, and inspiration is something that I know will spread around the world…..actually, it already has.  Thank You.

    • Julesmpg on January 30, 2012 at 9:13 am

      I hope to meet up with you also. Thanks for sharing Marty and my Marty’s story. I’m so grateful for your friendship and support. Together we can all make a difference.

  13. Koifla on January 30, 2012 at 7:03 am

    All cyclist need to be organ donors.
    We are organ harvest in the making.

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