A Lending Hand- #FlintStrong Chicago Cubs

A Lending Hand

 

I could go about my normal ways writing another article that readers kind of, sort of, already know about; but they read the entry any way’s to come away with some more enlightenment on the specifics of the topic. This subject however should be tackled and addressed in a manner that should have the reader feeling confident, strong, and most importantly hopeful.

Some people in this world are born with a motor that never needs to be refueled; they just keep on going without any outside motivation or any end incentive. Those people thrive off of the fact that they know they’re doing what has to be done. Same for organizations as well. I’ve found that the most successful businesses are the ones that aren’t in the market for the dollar sign. The companies who thrive the most are the ones who truly care about their associates, as well as their guest’s. Now, the idea is simple, right? To me it surely sounds like it is. However, the trait is not portrayed frequently.

February 21, 1999 my grandmother had passed away from cancer. I was too young to comprehend as I was only two years old. As I grew older I would become all too familiar with the most aggressive word in our modern language: cancer. Following my grandmothers passing, an uncle ad two of my aunts from the same family were all diagnosed with cancer as well.

Now, Stuart Scott said it best when he remarked “When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.” Taking those words to heart my family and I didn’t want to go through the normal routines of everyday life hoping one day everyone would be okay.  Most of my family has been Cubs fans for years, especially those who were diagnosed with the illness. Knowing what they’ve gone through and that they’re Cubs fans, I didn’t want to sit around doing nothing without at least trying to create something special for them to beat cancer. So, on April 30, 2013 I started a hashtag on twitter called #FlintStrong, the original tweet contained our story and a mention to the Cubs. So each time the hashtag was tweeted, peopled would also contain the Cubs handle (@Cubs) so they would be notified, and hopefully take notice of the story and make a dream come true.

Thanks to the overwhelming support of my friends, strangers, and loved ones the hashtag was tweeted over 1,000 times in a matter of two days. Yes, the Cubs took notice of this trending hashtag and reached out me. I was so overwhelmed with the support I couldn’t thank everyone enough, and still to this day I can’t. But, most importantly I was so excited for my family.

Remember when I said people who have a self-driven motor are the most successful? That also organizations that truly care about people are also the most successful? Well, after back-and-fourth conversation with the Cubs Public Relations; I had finally met both of those. Kevin Saghy one of the Public Relations staff members, is easily one of the hardest working and is the most sincere person I have ever met. He and the Cubs willingness to help a family out that they had never met, was and is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced.

Thanks to Kevin and all of the wonderful people in the Cubs organization my family was able to go onto the historic field that is Wrigley. As we step foot onto Wrigley, like surround sound noise, pictures of our family lit up around us on their screens around the park. The amount of joy that struck and surrounded our family was undeniable.

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Being so helpful, sincere, and amazing that the Cubs organization is they’ve inspired me to do much more in everything that I have done so far in life. With the type of attitude that Kevin and the team has had through everything, it makes me push myself to be in a position to give back, or pay-it-forward; and that is exactly what the Cubs as well as Kevin stress the most. Just because you received something awesome, doesn’t mean you get to accept it then sit and hope for more, this world should be compiled with others giving back to their communities, families, and most importantly each other.

I was able to catch up with Kevin not too long ago as he and the Cubs are in town for Spring Training, we had a chance to talk about everything he and I accomplished together two years ago. Still to this day, I’m working hard trying to pay everything forward to once again be in a position that Kevin and the Cubs are in to simply say that you did something great for someone else. I truly believe everyone should be striving in their life not only for personal success but also to be in a position where you can open handily grab someone else and help them out.

 

Thank you every so very much for all the wonderful support surrounding #FlintStrong,

 

Thank you to the Chicago Cubs for everything they have done for my family and I,

 

finally, thank you Mr. Saghy for not only inspiring me throughout life but also inspiring all that surrounds you in all that you do.

 

In loving memory of Aunt Diana Marie Flint Vetter May 11, 1963 – June 27, 2013

About Joey Liberatore

Program Director of 88.7 The Pulse. Sports talk show host, “The Sports Mafia”