On my morning swim today, the ripple in the water made me reflect on the ripple effect of the actions we take. Taken by choice or forced upon us, we never really know the impact we have on others. We lost our son 7 years ago to cancer. He was only 13. We decided to take a tragic loss and make it positive by founding the 12 Oaks Foundation, an independent charity that grants funds to kids in families with cancer to pay for their sports or extracurricular activities. In 6 years, we have gone from helping 20 kids to being on track to helping 160 kids this year. The kids we have helped have gone on to college sports and major musical performances. Who can only guess where more of them will go and the impact they may have on others.
October 8, 2016 my son would have turned 21. On October 9, I will compete in the Louisville Ironman. I will do this dedicating all 140.6 miles to different people who have been touched by cancer. While I am doing this to raise funds for the foundation, I am also doing this to inspire others who have had loss and challenges. There is life after loss. I know the ripple effect can be profound and I hope others can glimpse at a future after a significant loss.
What will be your ripple effect? As a director of a foundation but also as a financial planner, I see ripples all the time. From making small and large charitable gifts, having protection for your family, taking amazing family trips that create memories – these all will have impacts on those you love. So set crazy goals, set small goals. Just set goals, make them happen and wait for the ripple to occur!