I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
How do you read story after story of families in need and then try to choose one to win a life changing prize?
I couldn’t do it. As thrilled as I was to award a winner — I wanted to help more!
So, helping more families in need is exactly what we are going to do!!!
Today, we have the honor of announcing the winner of the HP laptop and printer, so graciously donated by HP.
And we are also announcing that Blogs Can Change Lives will be an ongoing outreach of 5 Minutes for Mom.
In the coming months, through Blogs Can Change Lives, we will use the power of the blogosphere to change the world of extraordinary moms, people facing huge challenges, and families in need, through giveaways, fund raisers, and more.
With the generosity of companies like HP and the compassion of bloggers and readers like you, we really can change lives!
In our Blogs Can Change Lives outreach, we will also include some of the incredible stories we discovered through this first Blogs Can Change Lives giveaway with HP. (We already have two picked out and ready to go!)
One of those upcoming recipients of a Blogs Can Change Lives feature is a nominee from our HP laptop contest who received a ton of nominations and support in the comment section — Andrea Roberts from Reece’s Rainbow.
She was also the original winner of today’s prize — which she turned down because she wanted it to go to a family in even more need than her family!
Andrea lives sacrificially, running an incredible non-profit ministry, Reece’s Rainbow, that helps place Down Syndrome children from countries all over the world into adoptive homes in the US. She works completely on a volunteer basis and is also the mother of a Down Syndrome child — the inspiration behind her ministry.
We will be featuring Andrea and Reece’s Rainbow this October, during National Down Syndrome Month.
And now the winner…
The winner of the HP Pavilion dv5t Entertainment Notebook PC and the HP Photosmart C4480 All-in-One Printer is…
Kori, Richard, Jacob and Calob from My Life as a CFer’s Wife.
What makes a woman marry a man she knows has a life-shortening illness for which there is no cure?
For Kori, it was the decision that having at least some days with the man she loved – no matter how numbered – was better than no days at all.
So, eight years ago, Kori, who already faced the challenges of becoming a mom at sixteen and again at nineteen, packed up her two young children, (the youngest was only eighteen months old) and married the man she loved, but knew she would lose, Richard, a Cystic Fibrosis patient eighteen years her senior.
Kori knew her heart would be broken – that Richard couldn’t defy the odds forever.
As the years passed however, Richard – now a Husband and a Daddy – continued to beat his illness, living well beyond the average life expectancy for CFers, even becoming Alabama’s oldest surviving Cystic Fibrosis patient.
As I talked to Kori on the phone today, I could hear her love for Richard, “He is the Daddy in this house. My boys have never known another father. He is their hero.”
But after a lifetime miraculously beating CF, Richard was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Recurrent Colon Cancer. The treatment is not for a cure, but to buy him more time with his adoring family.
As Kori watches her family suffer, she stands strong in her faith, clinging to her God who holds them throughout their agony. Her blog, My Life as a CFer’s Wife, is a testimony to their struggles and their victories in Christ.
In blog posts like, Dirty Water Down the Drain, Kori testifies to the tangible strength she draws from the hope she has in Christ.
Richard’s prognosis isn’t good — he may have as few as eight months, or as much as two years, to live. And while he soaks up his family’s love during these last months, a lot of the day is spent alone, too weak to do the things he loves.
As he waits in a hospital bed or at home on the couch, and his sons go to school and Kori works to pay the bills, the clock moves slowly. This laptop from HP will connect him to the world and provide an escape from the pain and monotony of CF and cancer.
Perhaps the part of this family’s story that haunts me the most is thinking about Richard and Kori’s boys, Jacob and Calob. These boys are losing their Dad — their hero. As the mom of a young son, that thought breaks my heart.
None of us know our future, but these boys know they may very well lose their Dad before they even reach high school. And if that horrible fate becomes their reality, it touches me to know that they will have his laptop – the very place that their Dad played his favorite game of Solitaire, surfed websites and updated his blog.
There is so much suffering that we cannot stop. But today we get to offer one small gift that will change a family’s world.
Thank you bloggers and readers. And thank you HP.
This gift was from all of you – and on behalf of the 5 Minutes for Mom team and Kori, Richard and their boys – THANK YOU! Blogs CAN Change Lives!