Sunday, April 15, 2012

What's in a neighbor?

What the heck is a Blog?? Yep, I googled it after being asked by Jenny to be a guest blogger for the Sal's Pals blogspot. It's a web log, a way to reflect on life. Let's do that. I'm Ron Reeder, married to Lisa and we have 3 boys, ages 9, 6 and 2. Which is why I'm a little late getting this blog in! I grew up in East Toledo, moved to the Bahamas for a few years and came back to the "nickel" in the early 80's. Stay with me. I learned a game called soccer in the Bahamas, and after coming back to the states I continued to play whenever and wherever I could. In the 90's I played for a men's team in Oregon Ohio, which is where I met a friend that knew I was looking for a house. He suggested I come to West Toledo and look on his street, Stannard Drive. Dude, I'm an East Sider, West Toledo! I don't have any friends over there. Fast forward a few years and I ended buying a home on Stannard. It was the late 90's, and I loved all things Chicago, Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks and yes, even the Cubs. On a great summer night, we had the front door open, watching the Bulls just dominate the Jazz and we could hear this cheering from across the street. It was in tune to every big basket the Bulls made, turns out the new neighbors across the street like the Bulls too! The next day I met Rick and Jenny, and we became great friends. Actually, the next season we went to a Bulls vs. Spurs game in Chicago, but I will keep the details of that weekend getaway off the blog! We were young, just getting married, starting a family, it seems like yesterday. I can remember the excitement in Rick and Jenny, getting ready for the baby. Then with one phone call, your life changes. It was Rick, he told me that Sal had Cystic Fibrosis. I sat on the phone speechless as Rick talked with this sense of calm. I don't remember much of that call, but what I do remember is him saying, we gotta do something. Whatever it takes, I was all in. Sal's Pals started with a group of family and friends, all of us ready to do whatever we could. We all had different connections, different skill sets. We learned together how to make this charity what it is today. With Jenny and Rick leading us, providing vision, Sal's Pals has raised over half a million dollars! They are taking CF head on, by generating funds which buy science, and science is buying life. In 1959, the median age of survival of children with CF in the United States was 6 months. Now, it's 37.4 years! I have been fortunate to meet so many great people that are a part of Sal's Pals, all of whom are my friends. I have built relationships with many different sponsors of our events. One phone call and it's food, beverages, golf and more. All of them wishing us success at our fundraisers. I can't thank them enough! This past August, my family spent a week in the Outer Banks with Rick, Jenny, Giana and Sal. From sun to sand, pool to hot tub. Our kids played together, argued with each other (kids do that!) but we made some great memories. What started so long ago has led us to where we are now. I won't stop until there is a cure!