Post Seventy Seven – We got our 501c3!

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Boy did I ever drop the ball with the blog.  Life got busy — like REALLY busy.  But, I’ve stuck to my two weekly games of squash.  I can’t live without it.

My Bulldogs finished the season 8-5 with a Liberty Bowl win against TCU.  My Bears didn’t do as well with a 4-6 season.  Unfortunately, the men’s squash team isn’t faring too well either: 3-7 with losses to every conference school to date (Harvard and Dartmouth are coming up).

Now to the important stuff – my brothers foundation.  We got our 501(c)(3)!!!  

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This is a move in the right direction because we can finally start going after bigger money to build transplant patient homes.  Here are a few reasons why my family and I are doing this:

  1. 123,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the US
  2. Another name is added every 10 minutes
  3. 21 people die every day waiting for a transplant
  4. One organ donor can save 8 lives and change the lives of 50 others
  5. All major religions in the US support organ donation
  6. A patients income, race, or social status are NEVER taken into consideration in the allocation process

So, as you can see, this stuff is important.  Every patient and their caregiver needs a comfortable place to live in while waiting for their transplant.  And we, at the Jeffrey C. Evans Foundation, are going to build places for them.

There is zero doubt that I will be attending Brown to get my masters in Healthcare Leadership for the sole reason of helping my brothers foundation and to serve EVERY transplant patient nationwide.

 

Post Seventy Six – A “W” and a “L”

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It was a GREAT weekend for my Dawgs.  We beat South Carolina 28-14 in Columbia.  I know this wasn’t a big game in the grand scheme of things, but after last weeks heart break to Tennessee and the loss to Ole Miss…let’s just say Georgia needed a solid SEC victory.  I’ll take our 4-2 record out for a drink.

Now just what in the hell is going on with the Bears losing to Stetson 31-21?!  I’ve got to be honest here people…I had never heard of this school.  And to make it worse, it was a home game!  1-3 this early in the season is not good.

Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)

Post Seventy Four – Update On The Foundation

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I know at times this blog may present itself as a place where a guy banters on his hobbies – namely squash, travel, and college football.  But, the purpose of this blog is really two-fold: to document how my family is creating a grassroots non-profit to help organ transplant patients and my (never-ending) journey to Brown University.

So let’s chat about the foundation.  For starters, it’s not easy.  My Mother, who does it full-time and usually by herself, is working herself to the bone.  We’re currently organizing another fundraiser, so donation items have to be sourced and LOTS of planning is necessary.

We also have a non-profit consultant flying from Seattle to Atlanta to meet with us for a weekend.  The truth is we have NO idea what we’re doing most of the time and we need the help of someone who has “been there, done that”.  What we’re good at is working hard and supporting one another.  Creating a non-profit is identical to starting a business…no walk in the park.

We’ve had conversations with other non-profits that are in the organ transplant community and continue to do so.  It truly takes a village.  Why reinvent the wheel?  It makes sense to talk to people who understand the emotional toll this takes and who are a few steps ahead of us.

We’re still in the process of getting our 501c(3) filed…a process that seems to take FOREVER!  We’re also figuring out how to create our Board of Directors.  Lots of people genuinely want to help, but you learn who’s really committed when push comes to shove.

Suffice to say we’re looking forward to spending time with our consultant, Liz.

I can’t wait for the day when our foundation is firing on all cylinders, I’m enrolled at Brown, and my parents have a team that supports them.  I guess it goes back to the old saying, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)

Post Seventy Two – Football is Back!

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College football is back baby!!!  This is my favorite time of the year.  Here in Georgia it finally starts cooling off (OK, so maybe not yet) and there’s something to do every weekend (albeit sit in front of a television).

Brown opened their season with a 35-27 win over Bryant.  I didn’t watch it, but I did follow it live on the net.

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My Georgia Bulldogs are looking good too.  We’re 3-0 (North Carolina at The Dome, some no-name cupcake at home, and a last second barn burner versus Missouri on the road).

Up next: Brown vs. Harvard and Georgia vs. Ole Miss.

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I’ve been playing squash twice a week.  Wednesday’s at the Driving Club and Friday’s at the Atlanta Athletic Club.  First off – I’m obsessed with squash.  I fall asleep thinking about it and watch tons of YouTube video’s.  But, this game will take the life out of you if you’re not physically ready for it.

Since I started playing regularly several months ago my achilles, hips, and back have hurt.  This is in addition to the normal wear and tear on your muscles.  And if that isn’t enough, my shoulder and chest muscle hurt now too.  I took last week off on account of it.

There are smarter ways to get back in shape than squash.  I suppose it didn’t help that I was lifting weights too after years of rarely stepping foot in a gym.  Anyway, there has been a hefty price to pay for choosing squash as my exercise of choice.  I can’t wait to play my weekly games with nothing but sore muscles.

Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)

Post Seventy One – Building a Coalition

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From the beginning I believed we needed to build a coalition in the organ transplant community.  I’ve been a “connector” my entire life, so this plan of attack came naturally.  When you put a bunch of passionate and intelligent people in the same room great things happen.

Those of us in this world have a bond that is near impossible to explain.  Keep in mind that I never had an organ transplant.  My brother needed a heart transplant and didn’t receive one in time and that’s why this blog and my journey to Brown exists.

So I reached out to a few folks and as expected, I heard back quickly.  Kelly Perkins was one of them.  Get this — Kelly had a heart transplant and afterwards climbed several mountains; including the Matterhorn in Switzerland, Kilimanjaro in Africa, and the Grand Traverse in Wyoming!  That’s a massive accomplishment for anyone…let alone someone with a heart transplant.  As I write this I’m shaking my head…truly amazing.

I worked in Jackson Hole for two summers in college.  In fact, I worked there with my brother in 1999.  The Grand Traverse is a MASSIVE undertaking.  10 summits!  I’ve dreamed about doing this since I was an 18-year-old kid.

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Kelly was kind enough to reply to my request to personally meet her (which I plan on doing shortly).  It’s time to bring all the players together, all the ideas together, and change the world.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)

Post Seventy – Disney World

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I spent this week in Orlando on business.  Other than working 16 hour days, I got to visit Disney World on the company dime.  I only had a few hours to play, so I crammed in as much as I could.  If I can offer one piece of advice – take advantage of the FastPass.  I got to the head of the line while everyone else waited for 30+ minutes.  It’s like flying first class.

So what does a 37-year-old man have to say about Disney World?  Well, probably the same as a 7-year-old boy.  It’s the happiest place on earth.  I loved every second and for a few hours I completely forgot about everything (except for the fact that my wife and kids weren’t with me).

Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)

Post Sixty Nine – Reality

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It’s looking like it’ll be a few years until I can start at Brown.  When I started this journey (after being accepted) I had my own business, had time to do this, and was on the way to make enough coin to pay for it in cash.  But, life happened.

On the other hand, the reason for grad school is solely for my brothers foundation and if we’re being honest, the timing isn’t right.  Even if the stars aligned and I was going to start next year, it would be best to wait another year or two until the foundation is running on all cylinders.  My objective is to get as much out of the program as possible.

So I’m going to wait and that’s fine.  As with all things in my life, the timing has ALWAYS been perfect and is rarely on my timeline.

I’ll continue to do what I’m doing (writing, following football and squash at Brown, and making friends at the University).

I am 100% committed to being “The Graduate at Brown”.

Sincerely, The Graduate (at Brown)