Posted by Adriana Carlson
After my brother Colton, lost his legs in Afghanistan, I desperately wanted to help any way I could. My mom flew out to Maryland to be his caregiver as he healed, and my little sister went with her. My two remaining siblings, my dad, and I went to visit whenever we could.
A great organization called Luke’s Wings (www.lukeswings.org) helped us with airfare, but I knew that visiting Colton could break my parents financially. Amputees usually stay at Walter Reed Medical Center for eight months to one year. All of us were determined to him at least once or twice.
So, I started a campaign platform on the website, www.indiegogo.com.
The goal I set for the campaign was to raise $2,000 in 49 days. I figured what would be enough to help us with meals, transportation and lodging for a couple of well-budgeted visits.
Little did I know how much people wanted to help! We exceeded the $2,000 goal within 12 hours! I was bowled over. Our friends and family were so generous, but also complete strangers whom none of us had ever met gave with so much generosity and love.
By the time the campaign was over, hundreds of people had given enough for us all to be able to visit Colton several times during his possibly year long stint at Walter Reed, plus extra for other expenses that arise. We raised $17,701!
After I was scraped off the floor from fainting in shock, I remembered how my dear friends Mikelle and her mom Katherine were helped so many times by the love of neighbors, friends, and strangers. Up until Mikelle was 11 years- old every single one of her wheelchairs was bought with money her mom had fundraised. Back then Medicaid didn’t provide wheelchairs. Many times neighbors, teachers and school mates rally around Mikelle and Katherine when they faced these challenges. People can be so good!
The support and love that surrounded Colton and my family during this emotionally toiling time taught me so much about the human capability and desire for good. The ugliness of the war in Afghanistan, of the evil of hiding a bomb in the ground with the intent of killing and maiming was greatly overshadowed by the prayers, gifts, and love that we received. And none of us will ever forget how the community pulled together and showed us that we mattered, that we were thought about, and that we were loved.