I suffer from regular bouts of depression. I have ever since I became physically disable in a snowboarding accident in 1999. I broke my neck and bruised my spinal cord. My prognosis was grim but I wasn't dead so I wasn't giving up. I defied all the odds & I made an incredible physical recovery!
Mentally I didn't do quite as well. I struggled with depression and a constant voice in my head that begged me to kill myself. The feeling and voice had been there for so long that I assumed it was a normal part of life. I was shocked to hear from my friends that they didn't constantly think about killing themselves.
In 2014 I had the most amazing break through and it happened at Day on the Lake!
Day on the Lake is Arizona's only adaptive water sports program. It is put on each year through the efforts of the Barrow Connection and the Barrow Neurological Foundation.
Day on the Lake provides the only opportunity for people, like me, affected by neurological disabilities to participate in a variety of water sports under the supervision of trained Physical Therapist and Medical staff.
Day on the Lake was started more than 20 years ago by my good friend Jo Crawford. Jo had been my recreational therapist for the 5 months I was recovering in the hospital.
After I went home she kept tabs on me. Year after year she would ask me to water ski. Year after year I was too afraid to try. In 2014, after 15 years of asking, I finally gave in.
That one day of skiing changed my life! My mind was open in a way I had not experienced since my injury! Life was great and living could be great too! I decided to start really living the only life I had to live.
I wanted to do stand up and improv comedy for as long as I could remember. I started improv classes and Wellbutrin the following week and I haven't stopped.
I told Jo about my new life. She told me that what happened to me at Day on the Lake happens to 2 out of 3 first time participants.
I wanted to give back to Day on the Lake. The event had given me the gift of comedy. I wanted to use that gift to benefit Day on the Lake.
I asked Jo if I could produce a night of comedy to benefit Day on the Lake. She was thrilled! During that meeting I learned 2 things.
1. Day on the Lake cost $45,000 to put on each year.
2. Jo had to raise that money.
I asked her what would change if she did not have to raise that money ever year.
She told me that she would be able to spend all of that time recruiting new participants.
For every 3 new people she gets to come out, 2 will leave and change their lives!
I told her I'd figure out how to raise the money, but I asked her to give me 5 years.
Year 1 I raised about $3000.
Year 2 is just getting started. This year I'm asking for help!
I'm hosting another stand up comedy show on March 28th at Standup Live Phoenix Tickets are $20 all ticket proceeds go to benefit Day on the Lake!
If you can't make it out to the show but you believe in changing the lives of people affected by disabilities please give.
Thank you for your generosity!
Standup Live Phoenix
50 W Jefferson St
Full Dinner Menu and Bar Food available
*The show is at a comedy club & there is a 2 drink minimum.