Normally I would start out by saying something witty or give some thought provoking statement to get you guys into the gist of the piece. This time however, I thought I'd be a little more direct. I hope you understand.
Many of the artists who perform at Pickin' For Preemies each year have personal experiences that have led to their selfless involvement. Brandon Rhyder is no different. At the tender age of only three, Brandon's first memories were of pain and struggle for his parents. It was the memories of the loss of a brother and sister to being born prematurely. In those days, the lack of knowledge, medical expertise, and facilities specializing in this area that played a part in such a story of tragic loss. For Brandon, who really didn't understand what or even why these things happen at that time, it has become something that he hold dearly close to his heart. "With Justin being such a great friend, and my own personal experience, it's a no brainier." Knowing Brandon's deeply rooted core of family values, I can understand why he feels so strongly about devoting time to such a cause.
When Brandon shared his testimony for support Thursday morning as we spoke on the phone, I really didn't think much about how his experiences affected me. Then, as I began to put his story to words, it hit me like a freight train. First memories are of seeing your mother and father suffering from such a tragic event? My first memory is pushing around a plastic wheelbarrow in the front yard some random summers day while my father painted the garage. It truly is unfathomable. I had to get up from the laptop and walk away to collect myself. Just the mere idea of such a tragic event can break even the strongest of souls.
With the help of artists like Brandon, Pickin' For Preemies has become an event of truly epic proportions. The funds raised have greatly helped aid in the fight so many families go through. With today's advances in medical science, and technology that is ever-improving, a change has been made. Where once was tragedy, now comes triumph. You the fans, are the key to continuing the success of this event, and your donation be it monetary, or volunteering, or a simple ticket purchase ultimately will ensure the continued stories of success. I'll leave you guys with the look at Justin's story.
Seeing how people can take tragedy and turn it into such a positive thing is simply astonishing. Through what Justin and Casey Frazell endured, and being able to spearhead such a great movement of unselfish accomplishment, truly is heroic. With the support of people like Brandon Rhyder, and his ability to share his story of personal loss, it's hard to not be inspired to help by any means I am capable of. After talking to Brandon, and knowing the Frazell's story, I can completely understand the measure of their resolve. Come this Labor Day, I know where I will be, won't you come join me? This is Texas Red Dirt Roads.
For more on Brandon Rhyder visit: Brandon Rhyder
For info on how you can help, visit: Pickin' For Preemies
Don't Forget, Brandon has teamed with Justin Bent Rail for a great contest, Free Boots!
For information on how you can win visit: www.facebook.com/brandonrhydermusic
and simply follow the instructions. Who doesn't love free boots?
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