Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Chance to Dance

So let me tell you how it all started... I had this chick I followed on Instagram.  And she is a youth director at a local church.  She posted the verse one day "But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. Luke 14: 13-14

She went on to write, "This verse has always intrigued me.  I always think about this verse when I'm at a party of something.  I really do wanna do this some day."

I responded to her post with this..."Let's throw a party.  I know plenty to invite."  She said, "I am so not joking.  Can we please?"  And I said, "It's been started.  How does June 14 look for you?  We're on it.  We need a good name for our "dance".  Been discussing with our teens here and they are fired up."

She said, "Oh my gosh. oh my gosh. oh my gosh!!  I need your number.  I wanna talk.  I am so very excited!"
And so it was born... A CHANCE TO DANCE.
Brandi and I planned to meet the following Monday (Brandi is in the hot pink hair below.  I brought a few folks from my team, in particular, the talented, Emery Thibadeaux who is graphically a genius, and the rest as they say is history!
The date stuck!  June 14th rolled around, and we had 150 people at the event.
Many of the employees of MMPT were there to dance with the kiddos.
And Brandi had volunteers from the WM Baptist Church youth group there to act as peers/ friends to our teens and young adults.
Everyone who came had to pay $5 at the door, as we wanted it to be a legit dance.  We had tee shirts made up and all went away with one.  We also sort of made it a neon theme.
Below are Shelbi and Craig from MMPT.
And this is Sam, whom I have worked with since she was about 8 months old! I was the one her mama (in the first photo of the blogP called the night her 31 year old husband had a sudden and shocking heart attack.  I have very special relationships with many of my patients and their families.
This is Trey.. and he is dancing just about as hard as he can dance to Michael Jackson, his favorite!

Michael is special to me too.  One of my first patients.  He aged out of the program I once was able to treat him through, but he still comes every single week to MMPT for us to work with him.  Everyone loves Michael. In this particular picture, it's Madison loving Michael.

As often as we could, we would lift the kids out of their chairs to let them dance with us in an upright position.  I think they thoroughly appreciated it!
These are the times it is cool to be a PT.  I was teaching those young students how to lift a person with a disability carefully to not hurt themselves nor the kid/ teen/ adult.  And they were operating soon like old pros!

Here's Josh.  Been knowing him since he was born!  He grew up on my street as kids.  And now, he is 34 years old!  Crazy!!
This is Patchez, our OT in the pediatric department in our WM clinic.
And it was really cool to have the boys from MMPT hanging out with the other dudes who were our guests!

You can see the entire album of pictures, here.  And I also have a ton of photos and videos which I have not yet uploaded.  I hope to do that this weekend.

You can check out our MMPT blog post all about the dance, here. Emery put a blog on our site.  It was one of those nights that you say, "I'll never forget".  It was beautiful.  It was inspiring.  It was just plain awesome!!



Crystal said...

That's awesome and warms my heart!
Y'all are amazing!

Beth E. said...

What a touching post, and Brandi is such a wonderful young lady. A Chance to Dance...this is what it's all about!

Jerelyne Nemanich said...


kimybeee said...

you truly use your gifts with joy!!! the looks on the dancers faces shows it all!!!

MegGlennon said...

This is awesome. I hope this will happen again someday, I only wish I was close enough to take part!

p.s. I'm a daily MoJoy reader since the days before MoJoy, all the way back to CaringBridge. I think this is my first comment. For shame! Thank you for sharing your life with us :)

Mama J said...

You are blessed with the knack to just "make it happen". What a blessing this was to those who attended and participated. What a great idea!

Zhohn said...

Y'all are amazing :)

Y'all definitely use your gifts, and that is priceless. I bet there isn't a person there (worker or patient) that will forget that night. May God bless all of you!

Sharidrew said...

What a blessing you are! I had tears as I read this post as I could just feel the joy. You really make a difference in the lives of people you encounter. Thank you for sharing. I too wish I was close enough to take part. I would give you the biggest hug ever. (Unless getting a hug from a stranger would freak you out! HA)

Have a Happy Friday!
Hugs from Missouri,

Hallie said...

Awesome event for these special kids!!!

Holly said...

Ok, you made me cry in my coffee! But it's a good cry! You and your team are a powerful force of grace in this world! We are all better for knowing you! Keep up the good work!

God bless,
Holly & JakeDog

jenny said...

Mo, I think this is your best post ever. It must've made God so happy to see all of you having so much fun together. Wish I lived closer so I could be a part of this. Joy, joy, JOY!

MaryH said...

Thank you, Mo. Love this. Reminds me of the days I spent at a summer camp for kids/teens/adults with Cerebral Palsy. Some of the best times of my life. Camp Quiver River! So special to the "campers" but more special to the counselors and staff.

MaryH said...

P.S. Oh, we used to have a square dance about 4 times a year at the Center in St. Louis. We had a square dance caller and it was amazing what he could "call" and how everyone loved those square dances. There were wheelchairs spinning and dosey doeing. I forgot how special that was until I saw this post.

Becky said...

you see an opportunity and you take it. That is what makes you so special. Becky

snekcip said...

...and THIS is why I adore you so much!!! I was waiting for these pics to make it's way to the blog!! I enjoyed each and everyone! I love watching GOD connect complete strangers to connect and create something so beautiful as this. LOVE IT!!

charlotta said...

This made my heart so happy and tears streaming down my face (in a good way) My Uncle, who I was very close to growing up was made fun of so bad and to see these Angels helping give Joy to someone who just wants to be normal makes me believe in human nature again....<3 I believe everyone is put on this earth for a purpose and you dear Melanie was put here to create Joy, pure Joy that can't be bought but can be felt.

Lisa said...

Just beautiful !!!

Anonymous said...

You are such an inspiration!!!!

Granddad said...

Of all the things that you have done for others, this is the most special of all to me. I think "A Chance to Dance" is an amazing idea and you are truly blessed and will be blessed.

Nana said...

I agree with Granddad. This is most special and will always be remembered. You are awesome..

Patricia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patricia said...

you have got to be the coolest person on earth!!!