You can call it god's timing, the universe working, synchronicity or simply that some things are just meant to be. Whatever it is things conspired beautifully to make sure 12yo Jacob gets to see Metallica at Soldier Field, Chicago on the 18th of June.
Timing can be everything. A wonderful group of Pearl Jam fans in the Better Than Nothing group did a fundraiser a little while back and a few hours later we received an application from Jake's mum. Hmmm...this is in Chicago. But we just received a big donation from the States...let me ask the good people at BTN if they'd like their donation to go towards a family in the US. An unequivocal yes set the ball rolling and last night we Skyped with Jake, big brother Cody and mum and dad, Peggy and Mike, to let Jake know.
Jake has Cerebral palsy, and Cortical visual impairment (CVI) and an elder brother who adores him and has played him guitar since Jake was a baby. Neither knew what was going on or why there was a Skype call fixed up. It's Cody who's really got Jake into music, especially heavy metal and way out front of Jake's musical loves are Metallica.
Thanks to the amazing Michelle and Justin a box of Metallica swag arrived for Jake a few hours before our call and we were able to start the call with him discovering he'd been sent a couple of hoodies, a tee shirt for every day of the week, a sweatband and CD. Jake was delighted, Cody bemused, mum and dad were in on the secret.
Then the big news! Jake can wear his new merch to the Soldier Field show! See his favourite band. Boy did his face light up! And so excited by night's end he'd crashed out an hour earlier than usual, worn out and very, very happy.
We're also taking Cody and the big musical influence in Jake's life. It's not always easy or even possible to get enough ADA tickets to keep a family together but this time it worked out just fine and we're taking all four to the show. A cherry on the top for Cody is his favourite band Avenged Sevenfold who are playing as well.
We like to meet whoever we're taking to a show before so we're not strangers on the day and we heard Jake is a huge baseball fan, especially Chicago White Sox who are at home during the run up to the show and we're thinking that's a good place to get to know a 12yo and his family who are getting ready for his Metallica show so we're looking into seeing if that's possible.
Jake, see you soon. Mum says one of your favourite songs is Frayed Ends Of Sanity, well, we're hoping you lose your mind in the best way possible!
Huge, huge, HUGE thanks to Better Than Nothing for your great support and making this dream come true for Jacob and his family.
Michelle and Justin...you both rock and Jake's face was pure wonder as his swag piled up...best dressed kid in Illinois right now :)
For the last year the Foo Fam, a Facebook group with members from all four corners of the globe, has been supporting Given To Live.