I am SO ready for fall because it's my favorite time of the year. Things around my house are started to get ready for our Annual Fall Farm Festival. For those of you who don't know my husband operates Maple Grove Farm located on 17 beautiful acres in Collierville. We have a summer camp, children's parties, weddings, banquets, and more.
On Saturday, October 20 from 11am-3pm we will host our Annual Fall Farm Festival. The festival is to benefit the Paul A. McDaniel Foundation for stroke and organ donations. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the foundation. We will have many activities for the children to do. There will be a hayride, petting farm, moon bounce, zip line, playground, face painting, pumpkin patch, games/prizes, and concessions.
The foundation was started in 2008 after Paul McDaniel, only 22, passed away due to several massive strokes in both hemispheres of his brain. My husband and his older brother, Ben, wanted to create this foundation to raise awareness about strokes and organ donations.
I remember that September 14th like it was yesterday. Tim and I had received a phone call saying that Paul was found unresponsive and being taken to the Med. After sitting in the ICU waiting room for hours the doctors took us into a small nice room in the hospital. Here they told us that Paul's brain had hemorrhages and he was on life support and there was nothing they could do for him. Of course as his family we were not happy with and had another doctor come in. This doctor told us that Paul had a massive stroke in both hemisphere of his brain and that their was nothing that they could do for him. We then called everyone who knew Paul and told them what had happen and that they needed to to come to the hospital and say their goodbyes. That night two wonderful women from Mid South Transplant came and talked to us about donates Paul's organs. We all thought that this was the perfect way for his legacy to continue. The next day they took Paul off life support and harvest his organs and tissues. Through the donations he passed on the gift of life through vital organ and tissue donations. He saved 4 lives and gave up to 80 people a chance for a higher quality of life. We actually have the pleasure of meeting Paul's heart recipient two years ago. It was such a great felling.
As if this was not enough for my family to go through, on August 18, 2010 a sheriff's car was at our gate with horrible news. Tim's older brother, Ben, had went cave diving in Vortex Springs and was missing. We then jumped in the car with a 6 week year old baby and headed to Florida. This was a horrible nightmare for us. We sat there at the springs as diver after diver went down in search for him but no luck. A little more than two years later we have no answers to what happen. I sometimes feel that one day I will just wake up and there will be Ben.
This family has gone through so much tragedy but we all make it through a day in certain ways. For my in laws it is getting to spend time with Calen. For Tim it's Calen and Maple Grove Farm. For me it Calen and work. I believe that God knew exactly what he was doing when he blessed us with Calen.