Oceans of Opportunity

Since 2008, this Blog has been a communications priority providing shorts, op-eds, and bramblings that communicate our evolution to ‘a new life in the sea’.

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Today was our local fire department’s ‘Fill the Boot’ day to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy research, awareness, and community support. As I dropped in my handful of cruddy change from the cup holder in my truck I couldn’t help but reflect back on our work with Matt Johnston and his Diving a Dream project to help realize his dream of becoming the world’s first ventilator dependent diver.

At the time of Matt’s journey kicking off – about 15 years ago – his dreams of overcoming the challenges of Muscular Dystrophy to submerge underwater were all pie in the sky stuff…to say it was a ‘dream’ is an understatement.

But he did it…

And today, 15 years since kick-off, his achievements still stand alone. That speaks to just how pioneering the project was, and is, and should tell us all that there is so much more for us all to pursue in improving our quality of life.

Matt Johnston, the world’s first ventilator dependent diver. Matt overcame complications of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to achieve the impossible.

Until meeting Matt, I hardly knew what Muscular Dystrophy was and certainly had no personal connection to the disease through family or friends. I’m still far from an expert, but know enough to realize that it is one of those not yet curable diseases that has significant impacts on the individual, their families, and community. Like so many deserving causes out there, we depend on the handfuls of change in the boot or bucket to inch a path forward. So, when #filltheboot day hits your town, please do contribute what you can – it all helps.

Of course, our world shouldn’t be like this – trying to improve the survival of humanity through buckets of change. Isn’t life worth more than that? We have the power to fundamentally change this worldview, but yet it stands mostly still, awaiting for the Matt Johnston’s of the world to shed light on something so far out there that it nudges the rest of us ahead with some fresh perspective just a little bit.

As I get off this morning soapbox, just consider this – don’t get hung up in the cause of the day. We’re bombarded with all kinds of headlines, but the biggest impacts can be made by rolling up your sleeves and getting involved in the causes that impact you directly. Those are the ones you have a vested interest in, and will see through to make a positive impact.

In close, support the cause, #filltheboot, but don’t forget about those taking bold steps either. Lending some higher risk support to a pioneering force doesn’t always pan out, but when it does…it’s for the benefit of us all.