Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our Great Comebacks Extravanganza!

Oh my word.  There are no words!

Ryan and I just experienced the most redeeming, lively, purposeful, and inspirational weekend. 

Read along here and here to catch up.

As a part of Ryan's award with Great Comebacks, the sponsoring company Convatec flew us both out to Greensboro, NC for a weekend of filming, celebrating, and sharing.

Over a two day period Ryan's story, along with 5 other regional winners, were captured by a professional film crew to document their journeys.  Each of the regional winners stories will be debuted next month at a national conference in Nashville to encourage other IBD and ostomy patients, nurses, doctors, and caregivers.  

So excited to see it!!

Monday morning, the film crew sat Ryan down and informally "interviewed" him about his journey and recovery.  Then they pulled me onto the set and I got to brag about my sweet husband, retell parts of his story, and share about how our 2012 trauma inspired me to go back to nursing school.

We'll have the short video to continue to spread and use and hopefully spread some love and education wherever we are called.

The grandness and far reaching influence that will come of this weekend, video, and award just too much to even describe!  It feels surreal sometimes.

This experience just left us in total awe of how much purpose manifests when you seek the Lord and unashamedly share your story.  That is one thing I learned during our time in North Carolina...our Crohn's story is not to keep for ourselves.

Whatever your story may be, it can be redeemed and used for God's glory. #truefactyo

It's a gift that our story was chosen. Ryan's suffering and sickness was so severe and unusual that it caught the attention of a huge company and professional film crew--enough so that they would want to capture the past hardships and current triumphs to impact others and inspire them to persevere on.

There is no one like my husband or his unique Crohn's/ostomy experience; this opportunity is one we feel undeserving of but deeply grateful for.

We will share all publications when they become available but for now here are pictures of the truly unmatchable trip...

Husband pre-dinner enjoying the 80 F weather and lush, green scenery

Hey!  We had a delicious dinner Sunday night-pecan crusted trout for me and a meaty lasagna for Ryan.  The next night we are at Luck 32, an upscale south comfort food restaurant.  I literally gained 30 lbs.

This is SUCH a fun picture to share.  I feel like it looks so 20/20 ish :)  I won't say I hate being on camera...but I also haven't seen the footage and hearing my own voice on camera is always awkward.  Anyone else?

Doing his thing.  He shared with such sincerity and transparency.  He is so great!

Slightly blurry but I had to document this breakfast to remember.  It was complimentary but was one of the best breakfasts we've ever had.  Homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, fruit and more.  I want to be southern.

The O Henry Hotel was hands down one of our best hotel experiences ever.  It's comparable to The Brown Palace if you are from Colorado.  So dang classy.

All the regional winners representing!  Their stories are insane.  Some were in comas, some have two ostomies, some document nearly 30 surgeries...but they are all thriving now! From L to R:  Jearlean, Ryan, Stephanie, Rolf, and Amy

After filming at the hotel we went to the Convatec plant.  This is the sponsoring comeback behind the Great Comebacks organization as well as a ostomy and wound medical supplier.  This was their hall of ostomy equipment--the old technology was so ghetto!

More filming...

Ryan and Jearlean.  She is so warm and kind.  She models and runs a website called OstoBeauties.  So inspiring!

Ryan and I in the factory before his tour and more time on camera.

I wish my description could capture more of the moments and experience this weekend.  We were smiling ear to ear all weekend for the purpose, redemption, and unique opportunity we were in the midst of.  

From the suffering of 2012 to the jet-setting adventures of 2014...my husband is overcoming and is rocking life out hard.

The Lord is overwhelmingly good.

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Colossians 4:5

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