“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, American writer and poet.
To say that the launch of my book was a dream come true for me is an understatement!
It is difficult to describe the feeling I experienced when, after three years conceptualising it, I held the book in my hands. Yes, I admit, finally completing such a demanding project is a feat, but, more than that, I recognised this was the culmination of my goal to spread the message of hope in retirement to a wider audience.
It made sense, then, when I looked for an initiative to support with the profits of the book, to find one that resonated with our Chartered and Retire Successfully philosophy. I was delighted to meet with Melissa Green of the Reach for a Dream Foundation. The organisation’s tagline is “Inspiring Hope”, and that’s exactly what it does for the children between the ages of 3 and 18 who are fighting life-threatening diseases such as cancer and leukaemia, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, kidney failure and blood disorders.
The Foundation aims to enrich these children’s lives by making their dreams come true, shifting their focus from needles, medication and hospitals, to having hope. Magical moments – a helicopter flip, receiving a Barbie doll, accompanying the NSRI on their sea rescue boats, meeting a favourite celebrity – enable these children to recapture some of their lost childhood.
Since I have made it my life’s mission to encourage people to achieve their unfulfilled dreams in retirement – and my book distils this notion into its pages – my heart was completely engaged when I discovered the purpose of Reach for a Dream. I wanted to be part of making these brave children’s dreams come true by sponsoring two initiatives: Queen for a Day and Call me Captain Courage.
Queen for a Day
They arrive in style in a fancy car … they are pampered with a make-up session, a manicure and pedicure. The red carpet awaits with a crowning ceremony complete with sash and tiara, at the end, with a real-life beauty queen. Then the celebratory tea party, and a goodie bag filled with reminders of this special day. A professional photographer and a Queen for a Day shirt add to the memories. All this builds the self-esteem and lifts the spirits of girls who are beautiful, no matter their illness or effect of medication.
From now on … call me Captain Courage
Need a reminder that you can overcome anything, including a serious illness? These boys are given just that by winning a medal and certificate of courage for participating in adventurous and fun outdoor activities. They can take time out from their daily treatment and boredom of hospital wards and to spend a day filled with adrenaline and adventure – it could be at a fire station, riding elephants or horses or Harley Davidsons, doing an obstacle course, flying in an aeroplane, zip lining, a 4×4 trail, engaging with wild animals.
I am so grateful to the Foundation for allowing me this opportunity to share the dreams of these precious children, and to all whose support of my book are allowing me to do so.