When my sister-in-law rushed my brother Grant to the hospital in October of 2008, he had trouble catching enough breath to even make it to the car. I arrived at the hospital shortly after to find him already intubated and in intensive care. A mechanical machine was breathing for him, and his lungs were filled with a horrible pink fluid. He died just a few hours later.
The official autopsy referred to a Strep A infection that overwhelmed all the organs of his body; however, questions about Swine Flu have recently surfaced, his symptoms being eerily similar. Regardless of the cause, though, I have experienced what the families of 35 million Americans are at risk for as they battle chronic lung diseases.
It has been a little over a year since my brother passed, and my family is still reeling from his loss, but I am finding I can now at least write about it, especially if it can serve a good purpose. So, when I heard about the American Lung Association of Florida’s Cars for the Cure event, I knew I had to be involved.
Cars for the Cure is described as the biggest charitable car show in the Southeastern United States, showcasing 200 cars and drawing 20,000 spectators. Rob Hodgson, CEO of Granny Nannies, a home health care agency headquartered in Longwood, Florida came up with the idea for the charity car show after a co-worker died from lung disease. “It’s free, it’s fun, and it’s a great way to give back,” Hodgson explained.
Sunil Prakash of Classic Audi , the auto show’s presenting sponsor for the third consecutive year, agrees with Hodgson: “People return to this show because of its superior location, superior cars, and a superior cause.”
The American Lung Association of Florida itself is quite impressive, being the state’s leader in working to prevent lung disease and promoting lung health. After researching the association, I knew this was an organization I wanted the Top 5 to support.
This year’s show (6th Annual) will be on February 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Colonial TownPark in Lake Mary. I will be there with my family, enjoying the display of incredible cars, ranging from vintage to luxury. I will also have my brother’s memory close to my heart that day.
Shortly after my brother’s passing, I discovered this song by James Blunt. I found comfort in it. If you are dealing with such an issue in your life, hopefully you will find some small measure of comfort, too.