Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Little Help From My Friends: Kate McCullough

It’s time for “A Little Help From My Friends.” Kate McCullough and I met while working at a TV station here in Las Vegas. She was a producer. A damn good producer! She left the business to try something new, and she’s loving her job at the Nevada Donor Network.

That's Kate on the right!
That’s Kate on the right!

I’ve been bugging her to write me a blog, and recently, she did! Kate has become one of my very dear friends, and I find the blog she wrote to be very inspiring. You know I’m a  huge believer in social media and how it affects the world. Enjoy Kate’s post!

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Three Little Letters, One Big Message

Dayna asked me over a year ago to write a guest blog. At the time, I had recently changed careers. I left news for a job in the organ donation industry. It seemed like a perfect topic. My job is filled with inspiration. So I started writing. I wrote about the amazing people I had met in the first few months. I wasn’t happy. I changed my concept. Still not happy. It didn’t feel right. I was unable to finish. So I bailed. I have owed Dayna a blog for a long time. And today I finally found the right inspiration… from a young woman I never knew.

#Inspiring
#Powerful
#Beautiful
#Amazing

Each of these words is one I would use to describe a social media movement that started in my hometown of Erie, PA… a movement that started with a tragedy. A few weeks ago, a high school classmate of mine lost her 18-year-old daughter to an epileptic seizure. I didn’t know Alyssa and I didn’t know her mother very well, but I do know that I have never been more amazed by what this family has accomplished in such a short time.

It all started with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Alyssa was planning to try her first one, but never got the chance. Right away, her parents decided that was how they would honor her memory. They went to a local Starbucks and paid for a bunch of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. All they asked in return was for her initials #AJO be written on the cups. It worked. The hashtag started spreading fast. Her parents created a Facebook page, AJO Forever in Our Hearts, a place for people to share their tributes. In just days, the page had reached 20,000 likes. Pictures of pay it forwards in honor of #AJO flooded the page. There were pictures being posted from our hometown and other cities in the U.S. – not long after, pictures from all around the world were being shared.

Jamaica
Jamaica
South Korea
South Korea

I have watched on Facebook as this movement has grown and inspired people worldwide. Family, friends, even strangers were all getting involved in the movement. When I saw this video, it really hit me just how much power is behind that those three little letters. #AJO – a movement that started in Erie, a city most people have never heard of, went global in just days. Turning this kind of negative into something so positive… simply amazing.

London
London

My hope in sharing Alyssa’s story is for others to pay it forward in her honor. Take a moment to learn about epilepsy. Pay the bill for the person behind you in line. Any random act of kindness – do it to honor this young woman and keep her memory alive. Every action, big or small, gives comfort to a grieving family. #AJO

Busy Busy. Pause. Remember.

First off, thanks to everyone who has been listening to me co-host mornings on 100.5 FM KXNT, I am really enjoying it. I realize that I love to talk and ad-lib, so this new outlet has been really fun. I also like having more of a voice in the community that I love so much. I’m continuing as a part of the team for now, and will update you if it becomes long term. The show airs from 6am to 9am if you get a chance, please tune in!

Last weekend, I was super busy, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I hosted the PRIDE Vegas parade with Chris Saldana on Cox Cable. We had a blast. I attended the KXNT Health Fair. I also took some time to myself and enjoyed a little shopping. I have been extremely money conscious lately, so shopping always takes a back seat.

In the middle of it all, my iPhone died. I got the deadly APPLE sign. The sign that stays put on the screen. The sign that tells you, your phone will not turn back on or restore itself. I tried to restore on my own, but my laptop doesn’t have enough memory left, so I got ready, rushed to the Apple store before the parade on Friday expecting the worst. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised. The staff at Apple in the Fashion Show Mall was great. They restored my phone to factory settings, and because I have my iCloud turned on for most of my apps, I restored that too. It took a while. The 27 minute estimate was wrong. The clock was ticking, I had to make it to the parade and be on TV by 8pm. The guy helping me unplugged my phone, restored it to a regular phone, taught me what to do, and said, “go go go.” They were all pulling for me to make it to the parade on time! I made it. And, when I got home, the phone restored exactly back to way it was…. phew. Thank you Apple!!! Thank you staff.

This week in the news, the Syria updates have taken over my mind. Not only has it been our focus on the radio, but I’m learning a lot. I’m learning from the reporters at the White House, the survey analysts, and the military analysts. CBS News has a great staff.

Talking with people and reading their comments, I realize nobody wants a war. Of course. Trying to understand and wrap our heads around what “could” happen is unsettling. I remember when Desert Storm began. I was just in High School at the time. I was cheerleading at a basketball game. They stopped the game and an announcement came over the loud speaker. We were going to war. I’m not sure if I knew exactly what that meant or how it was going to impact me at the time. Now that I am older, I certainly do.

I just thank our military every day. Covering stories through the years, I realize that they not only put their lives on the line… they leave the ones they love and who love them back. It’s heart wrenching. I just can’t thank them enough. I hope we can all remember that, and honor these brave men and women – daily.

And, to think… I was worried my Apple iPhone crashed.

Shame on me.

Thank you.