He lives with his mom, Rosa, age 25, in Santa Maria, CA.
I don't know how she's paying for Ivan's treatment, but she can't afford transportation to/from the specialized treatment necessary, which is at UCLA Medical Center.
|Ivan, Rosa, Dwights|
Fortunately Angel Flights West coordinates transportation for people with serious medical issues but insufficient means to get to the treatment.
I volunteered for the flight - Ivan and Rosa were perfect passengers. They'd done this before.
Volunteerism takes many different shapes and forms.
I can't change Ivan's retinoblastoma. I can't ease Rosa's fears for Ivan's future. But I do what I can, and in this case I was able to fly Ivan and Rosa from Santa Maria to Santa Monica so they could make their chemotherapy appointment.
Look at Ivan in the picture - looks like a normal 2 year old to me! And he acted like one - full of spunk, energy, and that smile... he loves flying.
We can look at others in the same way.
Rosemary helps injured workers in Australia get their dignity back first by providing sustenance, then providing, essentially, occupational therapy by getting them to "work" at her volunteer center.
She does more for the injured worker population in Australia than anybody simply by showing that there's people who care, and providing a path to return to society.
Some find fault in Rosemary's actions. She's not militant enough. She's just supplying groceries. It's just a waste of time...
Wrong - Rosemary, at once an injured worker herself, understands the deep emotional damage that a work injury can have, and how hard it is to return to dignity, to find that new path in life.
When I got back to my home airport the line guys fueling Forty One Mike asked about my Dwight Johnsons.
Dwight, as you likely know, is a double amputee, the result of two separate industrial accidents 18 months apart, who decided to give people something to look at other than his prosthesis, and has made a business out of his shoes.
The line guys were delighted to get Dwight's contact information. Maybe Dwight will make another sale, maybe not. But for sure, there's a couple more people that have a little more education about the work injured, about a return to dignity and a new path in life.
There are countless other stories of people thrown a curve in life, others stepping in to assist (volunteers or professionals) and new lines in the map of life drawn, and followed.
Sometimes it is the system. No doubt there are times when the system lets people down and there is misdirection.
But more often it is the person.
The person can't always choose the system.
But the person does have a choice how to react within the system.
One last thing - if an injured worker needs transportation, there are volunteers who will provide it, and they're only a phone call away...