Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tommy Van Zandt

The other day Marc asked me if I was interested in going to a fundraiser thing with him for this Friday night Oct. 9th. I immediately asked, "well what is it for and how much?" He began to tell me the story about this man, Tommy Van Zandt.

This is his story:
Following a devastating ice storm in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Tommy fell from a ladder while cutting tree limbs and suffered a severe neck injury leaving him paralyzed at this time from the shoulders down.
Washington Regional Medical Center became the scene of many long days filled with countless friends and deep prayer. After Tommy’s initial surgery and lengthy hospital stay in Fayetteville, he was transported to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver, Colorado which is world renowned for treatment of neck and spinal cord injuries. His therapy at Craig has been an incredible blessing. Tommy is now spending most of his day in a highly specialized wheel chair that provides him with some freedom and mobility. He is also working on weaning himself off the ventilator with the help of a diaphragm pacer intended to help promote independent breathing.
As Tommy’s homecoming approaches tentatively on September 10, new hurdles have been set for the Van Zandt family. Tommy and Robyn have two sons: Ross, age 17 and Jack, age 14. At home, Tommy will require 24-hour care for at least the first few weeks and daily care will continue for months, even years. This will put an enormous financial strain on the family. Insurance will cover very little of the home care expense. In addition, during this transition period, it will be a while before Tommy can return to work at Sage Partners, the Fayetteville-based commercial real estate company he co-founded and co-leads.

For some reason this story has really impacted my heart, as well as Marcs. I know for me, it made me think that I too could have been in this same exact situation as this family.
Marc spent a whole day up in trees, trimming limbs while helping others out after the ice storm. He could have easily fallen just like Tommy. It also encourages me to see the attitude of his wife. She has a whole new role of being his caretaker for the rest of their lives. I can't imagine how their lives have changed since February. It definitely makes me have a heart check of thankfulness and dedication. Through all of this, Tommy still gives God all the glory and is singing His praises. What an encourager he is to so many people.

All that to say, Marc and I are thrilled to be attending his "Nite out" event. People have a put a ton of time and energy in to making this a great night for this sweet family. I wanted to try and help get the word out.
The nite will consist of food, drinks, a band, and a live and silent auction. The auction items are incredible. To purchase tickets or to see more details about this Friday night, you can go to:
and if you would like to read more of his story, you can go to their blog,

Tickets are $100 each, so if you are looking for somewhere to give, this would be a great opportunity for you! Maybe we will see you there! Hopefully we will see you there!