During the Help Our Kids Radiothon there are things that happen when the microphones are off. Things that happen that change what happens when the microphones go back on.
At about 3pm on Day 2, we had just gone through a real slow period for donations. The phones were quiet and we were falling behind our pace to hit our goal. As a matter of fact, we hadn’t had a donation in almost an hour. I was getting tired and frustrated. I had just turned off the microphone where I had just gone off on a rant about how disappointed I was that so many people were not donating. Expecting others to donate. It was uncharacteristic, but we had just shared a couple of really emotional stories. It was draining and all emotions were magnified.
I sat, dejected. Waiting for the phones to ring. I sat there while Tom played a song back in the studio. The song was ending and It was time to ra ra the troops again. I’m thinking “What can I do this time to try and make people call”. I was running out of gas. We, Dana Amy and I, had been on the air for 2 days. Drained.
As I pick up my headphones, out of the corner of my eye, I see this little man come bouncing over to the chair in front of The Cool 101.3 Broadcast Booth. He hopped up on the chair, positioned himself in front of the microphone and said “Hi”. I said “Hi… who are you?” He said “I’m Keith”. And I said…”What’s your story Keith?” Without missing a beat he said as upbeat as possible..”I’m waiting for a kidney”. At that moment… my heart sank. All of my selfish poopiness about not getting any donations absolutely disappeared. This little man (Who we all thought looked like a mini Randy Jackson from American Idol) is WAITING FOR A KIDNEY! And not only that, he is such an upbeat kid, he changes the entire atmosphere in the 10 yards surrounding our broadcast booth. Everyone feels it. He proceeds to tell us how he is waiting for a kidney transplant and appears to not have a concern in the world. He understands his condition and even explains the port for his daily Dialysis. (He had a hole put into his upper chest so that they can filter his blood everyday. It’s like a faucet.) It doesn’t scare him. He knows what it does and why he needs it. I am amazed at the courage of this little boy. Maybe 5 years old?
The rest of the interview is a blurr. I have no idea what we talked about. We wrap it up and he hops off the chair and off for another interview on one of our other radio stations. Off to share his energy with the rest of the world!
Keith’s story was more than I could have ever imagined. Instead of me trying to raise money to help change HIS life, he in fact had changed mine. I was boosted with a new found energy that would carry us the rest of the way to a record Radiothon total.
Odd how things work. As we prepared for the Radiothon, we were told to keep an eye out for special moments and make the most of them. There always seems to be one every year. Unplanned moments that change everything. If you heard the interview, you might have felt it to.
That is the power of the Help Our Kids Radiothon. I can’t wait for next year!
Thanks for everyone’s support and donations for the children at A.I. duPont Hospital For Children. And Thanks Keith!