Sometimes words can’t express how grateful I am that people are joining our cause and donating to our group. To think that we have been able to provide a Christmas to 31 people over 6 families in the last two years, absolutely blows my mind. Generosity isn’t dead and I am honored to not only be so closely connected to a cause I believe in, but now closely connected to the people who make this all possible.
It’s an amazing feeling to know that people are donating because they want to. It has always bothered me a bit that all I could do in return was say ‘thank you’, so this year I have started a new element to Friends With Hearts. I want to feature one donor a month and share their special story or message. To use it as a way to not only say thank you, but promote the special person they are.
For our first Featured Friend post, I want to feature the story of a close friend of mine: Frankie.
To say Frankie is an inspiring person, wouldn’t be giving him enough credit. He is someone that consistently blows my mind everyday. Frankie has been a very generous donor for the last two years, when there was a time he maybe shouldn’t have donated and took care of himself (as you’ll see in the video below).
Frankie was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta.
Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI and sometimes known as brittle bone disease, or “Lobstein syndrome”) is a congenital bone disorder characterized by brittle bones that are prone to fracture. -Wikipedia
To think that some of us (including myself), make excuses that we can’t accomplish certain things in life because we aren’t “able to do it”, should view Frankie’s story as one of inspiration and motivation. Here is a guy who stands at 4’2″, wasn’t supposed to walk, has endured over 80 major surgeries, drives, writes music, plays shows, releases albums, etc, etc, etc,…. the list could go on and on….. and yet, he doesn’t see the condition he was born with as any sort of obstacle in his life stopping him from doing the things he wants to do. He has already spent more time in hospitals than most of us will ever experience in our entire lifetime, and yet he always has a smile on his face and is one of the most caring people I’m honored to call a friend.
I hope you will take the time to watch Frankie’s story and visit his links that are posted below.
One story that never made it to video but I would like to share with you, goes like this:
When Frankie was 2 years old, the Doctors told his parents that Frankie would never walk and that he would be in a wheelchair for his entire life. This was something that Frankie’s Mom wasn’t going to let happen. She forced and motivated him to keep trying. He would get out of his wheelchair, take a couple steps, fall down and break his legs. He would have to go in the hospital until they healed and he would try again. The same thing would happen. Fall down, break bones, back in the hospital. After a few years, Frankie was now motivated to keep trying himself. He saw everyone around him walking and wanted to join them. So the journey would continue. Get out of the wheelchair, take a few steps, fall down, break bones, have surgeries. During the times with casts on his legs, Frankie was able to crawl….. he would crawl until he was 9 years old. And then something happened. After years and years of trying to walk, falling down, getting back up, falling down and back up….. Frankie built the muscle in his legs (which Doctors said would never happen) to walk. His days in a wheelchair were over. Today, Frankie walks with the assistance of two small crutches. He defied the impossible.
My hope with sharing his story is not only to say thank you to Frankie for being a huge part of Friends With Hearts and share his music, but to spread his story to people living with Osteogenesis imperfecta and to parents that have children living with the condition. Please look at Frankie as a face of hope. A face that it is possible to have a great life and the only thing holding you back is yourself.
Thank You Frankie.
Below are a few photos from a photoshoot we did with Frankie. Huge thanks to Katie Gentile from The Factory Hair Studio for doing an amazing job on his hair for these images.