I would like to take this time to honor Ray and Shelley. Though not related by blood, they have, over the years, become an extended part of my family as well as the families of many others. All while raising two children of their own, which is where the story truly begins.
While in high school their only son Randy was diagnosed with a brain tumor. This family could have chosen to become angry or remain frozen in their grief, but instead they chose to fully experience and appreciate the time he had. His body may have been sick, but his heart was not, and his family made sure it was full before his time here was finished. He and his family and friends looked at every day as an adventure, filling the hours with skiing, sailing, camping, and much, much more. As time passed the disease progressed and his abilities changed. However, quitting living was never an option. His family’s mission simply adjusted and adapted to his limitations. If he wanted to experience a particular activity, they found a way, even if they had to build their own equipment to make it possible.
Sadly, Randy lost his battle with cancer. However, almost 25 years later, a program for physically disabled and disadvantaged teens that bears his name continues in his memory today. Over the years they have traveled hundreds of miles and helped hundreds of young people understand that it is our spirit that truly defines us and it is capable of great things.