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sometimes-4.jpgSometimes you miss the boat completely. Sometimes you screw up everything so badly that you are convinced there is no turning back. Sometimes you wish you didn’t need to ever get out of bed again. And sometimes, you realize that maybe you are somehow making a difference. And sometimes you have moments when you realize that it is totally worth it.I was a massive baby. I was one ounce shy of 10 pounds, my mom was a teenager and I am sure she was probably feeling like she did not bargain for this. But there have been times when she has talked about how much pain giving birth was and then she said it is like you can’t even remember it once you see that baby and you realize that it is worth it all. Sometimes, that is what following through on a dream can be like.sometimes-1.jpgThe first year we ever did Hero Holiday in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) was a wilder year than we could have ever imagined. We were in the middle of trying to relocate our organization to another city, we were in the middle of a massive building project for our headquarters because we were desperate to have a place to work out of that was suitable, and we were always facing a new financial challenge every minute of every day as a small charity. We did a lot of things wrong, did a lot of things right, had a lot of amazing people around us that supported our passion for change, and managed to frustrate others who couldn’t go there with us. But I will never forget what happened at the very first school in Canada that we talked about Hero Holiday in.We were in North Bay, Ontario, and in the middle of our high school presentation we stepped out and invited the students to join us for something that we believed could change their lives; something that we believed could change the future of our nation. We invited them to consider investing in helping others through humanitarian work and joining us in the Dominican Republic to build some houses for people that were desperate for adequate shelter for their families. At the end of that presentation, our team stood back, awed by what we saw: hundreds of students lining up to sign up their name for more information on how to get involved with Hero Holiday. It was the point of no return. We were in it to win it.sometimes-3.jpgSomewhere along the road that year in Canada, we were at an event that Rana attended. We stood on that stage and challenged the students to consider joining us on our first ever Hero Holiday. As we finished the presentation, Rana turned to her friend beside her and said, “I am going to join those people.” And she did. That summer as she was a part of our Hero Holiday teams in Dominican Republic, Rana had the chance to work alongside of one of our doctors and learn about all the possibilities that exist with providing health care in the developing world. That year she went into university, with the intention of getting into Med School.sometimes-2.jpgIt took Rana a while to get into Med School. She was turned down by many, and had to continually push to write more tests and conduct more interviews. But this last month, I had the privilege of being the first person that Rana told about getting accepted into Med School for this coming school year. I was so proud. And as I hugged her and told her how excited I was for her, she said, “I am doing this because of what happened in my life with Hero Holiday. You guys gave me the chance to realize what I can do to make a difference, and it is because of that that I am going into Med School now. It inspired me to want to be a doctor in the developing world.As I type these words, I am reminded of all of the Ranas in the world: so full of potential and wanting to make their mark on history. And when you get the chance to see it happen, it is always worth it. You are going to make a great doctor, Rana.For all of you Ranas out there, the ones who know that if they are just willing to hang on to what they believe they can do, on behalf of all of us in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), I want to say thanks. You make it worth it for us – all the time.Hero Holiday has changed our lives because each of us has realized that we can be a part of something incredible. To find out more about Hero Holiday and all that we do in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute), check out“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” ~ Winston Churchill

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: June 6th, 2010