This following article is a guest post from a friend and owner of Bad Dog Deli, Ben Grant.In 1990, a cute little blond girl named Morgan was born.
My name is Ben, and that cute little blond girl is my pain in the ass little sister. As children, we played, sometimes too rough. I can remember a time when Morgan needed stitches because I had accidentally struck her with a stick. We were 5 and 9. There were a number of instances over an 8 year stretch that we fought, hugged, snuggled and acted as what we were, a younger sister and older brother.
In 1997 things changed quickly for our duo, after a number of trips to the doctor and failed diagnoses, we were disheartened to discover Morgan had a tumor growing at the base of her brain stem. Everything changed in our household. I was 10 or 11 and continued with life as usual: school, sports, friends and sleepovers. Morgan was taken out of school for surgeries and treatments, her friends asking where she had gone. The fighting between us changed, the level of energy changed, the times we would sit and play Monopoly together, all changed.
After a battle with cancer and remission, we lost Morgan in January of 1998. She had just turned 8 years old. After a number of years, jobs, relationships, and living arrangements, I found myself back in the state of Maine closer to my friends and family. It was then that I was offered to participate in a crazy event called the Maine Children’s Cancer Program Polar Dip.
The Polar Dip is held each year in February at Sebago Lake. Teams of participants plunge into the icy waters all in support of Maine Children’s Cancer Program. Funds are raised months leading up to the event and go directly to the program, a community that had helped my family years before. Not only does this event support a program that has directly impacted my and my family’s life, the timing is very close to Morgan’s birthday and anniversary of passing. Without hesitation, as a way to give back to such an important cause, my brother Joe and I signed up to plunge!
Since our initial jump in 2011, Joe and I have raised almost $18k with the help of a few special friends willing to jump with us. This year the event takes place on February 14th and we welcome all those willing to participate! If you want to jump, join our team. If you want to help, make a donation. If you’d like to support, come on down to the ice! There is so much that people can do to aid the Maine Children’s Cancer Program and their research.
MCCP was there for my family when we needed it most, I hope that through this event, I can give back to them and aid in their support of families who need it today.
You can visit Ben’s Polar Dip fundraising page HERE. (I donated. Will you join me?)
Benjamin Grant is a Pownal, Maine native and the owner of Bad Dog Deli in Scarborough, where he puts his Johnson and Wales degree to use each day. He prides himself in running a friendly, down-to-earth and delicious eatery. When not at the Deli, Ben spends time with his wife Katie, son Abel and 3 beagles, Johnnie, Molly and Newcastle in their Lisbon Falls home.
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.