Bryson Pruitt-Smith passed away on July 21, 2015 from a form of brain cancer known for short as DIPG, but not before leaving his mark on the world. To know Bryson, was to love him. And it didn't matter if you only "knew" him through the internet. Bryson reminded us to dance, to play, to laugh, to live...and most importantly, to love.
For the last several months of Bryson life, I helped his mother Lily by pressing fresh juice from organic fruits and vegetables for his feeding tube. I did not get the honor of meeting Bryson until he wasn't speaking much, but he still made quite the impact on me, that will undoubtedly, last for my lifetime.
The community also inspired hope in me during his journey. I saw women offer their hard to pump "liquid gold" aka breastmilk, without hesitation, when Lily said she was in need of more. I watched as mothers decided to take donations for a carrier so Lily would be able to carry Bryson around. Within hours, they had the several hundred dollars needed. Many moms were only able to donate 10, but it added up quickly! I listened as people in my community donated over $10 thousand dollars in just 2 hours when Y107 ran an Uptown Funk Marathon in Bryson's honor. I stood side by side with hundreds of people during a candle light vigil to show Bryson, Lily and the rest of their family that they were not alone. And today, almost 2 years later, I still am a witness to the blessing of love that Bryson left us.
It is because of that message of love, because of Bryson, that I would like to pick one family a month to donate $200 worth of Paleo freezer meals to! I was going to only take families whose children are dealing with ongoing medical issues; however, Lily being the amazing soul that she is, suggested that I take anyone who needs it, because "life is sometimes hard for all of us". And I couldn't agree with her more.
If you know someone who could use a freezer full of healthy food, please fill out the form below*. I will choose one family (or person) each month. And please, no matter what, keep loving and laughing and dancing in honor of Bryson! #BrysonStrong
*All applicants must live within 60 miles of Columbia, MO.