Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Noah's 501st Legion Fundraiser

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We attended Noah's 501st Legion Picture Fundraising Event at Starfest Saturday. Noah did pretty good with the huge crowds. There were so many people to be overwhelming for anyone let alone a little guy with sensory issues and he handled it like a champ. He didn't even get scared of any of the characters. He lasted about an hour an a half before I think we just wore him out and we headed home for a brief break. It was so nice to be able to see Noah's photo booth and was just speechless at the amount of work that everyone at 501st put in to help Noah. We also got to meet friends from another special needs family for the first time, and our sweet friend Jenny and her beautiful daughter Ari came to visit us. It made the day just magical that so many people came to support Noah and be with us.

We were invited back to the 501st Legion's banquet celebration dinner that evening at Garcia's. Sometimes dinner hour can be unpredictable for Noah, he tends to like to eat and run, so we were a bit nervous if he'd make it through the entire night. But he did fantastic, only getting fussy towards the very end because it was nearing his bedtime. He loved it when there was applause during speeches. We think he thought they were all clapping just for him! He ate tons and laughed lots. He particularly loved the re-fried beans they did with cheese. It was supposed to be an appetizer for Chris and I - but Noah ate both of ours, which was a dream come true in itself to share our dinner with Noah - something he could eat alongside with us safely. Then he moved onto his dinner and then polished off every inch of a cup of ice cream. We sat at the same table with David Prowse, the actor that played Darth Vader in Star Wars, it was the most amazing night we've had in a very long time. And were gifted with an autograph and pictures of David Prowse with Noah. He was such a kind and nice person. Even holding Noah's hand. You simply couldn't ask for a nicer person to meet what a pleasure it was. Who would have ever thought that "Darth Vader" would one day be holding Noah's hand! The things dreams are made of - and how it makes my heart just swell that Noah had such a special time.

Sometimes on the special needs journey you have days where you feel very small, unnoticed, and far a part of the rest of the world. It's easy to feel beat down and alone. Our struggles are many, but not only did 501st Legion Mountain Garrison help Noah with a fundraiser, but they went out of their way to make us feel important and loved. Checking back with us to see if we needed anything or if we were comfortable. It was a room full literally of love. It's easy for me to talk about Noah and his challenges with large groups of people, but not so easy for me to talk about our hardships along the way with helping Noah with things his insurance won't cover. Sometimes there are simply not enough words to thank people for the blessings they have been in our lives. I tried to get through a brief speech at dinner without tears, but it simply didn't happen. Chris and I are simply beyond touched and grateful. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience what we got invited to last weekend. Something we will remember and hold dear to us for years to come.

 Noah at the 501st Legion Dinner

Noah with David Prowse (aka Darth Vader)

All total 501st Legion Mountain Garrison raised $815 to help Noah with his Service Dog. It is more than we could have ever hoped for. A true blessing and gift in our lives. What an amazing, fun organization that moves mountains to help charities and people in their community.

Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.