Written by Emergency Reporting team member Luke Goldstein
When I think about the term “First Responders,” I imagine the bravery, character, and sense of duty the title carries with it. More than a job, it’s a calling to put down everything and do what you can to take care of others. At Emergency Reporting, I’ve been incredibly lucky to find a job inside a company that takes their mission of supporting First Responders to heart. Now, we have a chance to emulate those same characteristics by responding to one of our own.
Andrew Liebel, a developer here at ER, was recently diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). If you're familiar with ALS, you know that this is a devastating diagnosis, especially for someone as young as Andrew (who is younger than 30 years old). I found out about Andrew's diagnosis through an email sent company-wide and the impact was immediate. I just stared at the screen wondering if I could force the words to rearrange themselves into something else, anything else. Mind you, this isn’t because I’ve known Andrew for years; in fact, before this I had only waved hello in passing around the office.
What I saw was a young man with a fiancée and two young children. This family was now staring down a future cut far shorter than anyone planned. My own father passed away when I was five and I retain no memories of him whatsoever. I became determined to not let that happen again, so that was the starting point for our “first response” to Andrew. I saw that Andrew had mentioned on another fundraising effort that the one place he wanted to go with his family before not being able to move around as easily was Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. I decided that this dream was one that needed to come true, so along with others, we built the entire trip itinerary and made a plan to raise the money to fund it.
The trip will take him and his family to Orlando for ten days where they’ll stay at one of the Disney Resort hotels. Four days of their trip will be using Park Hopper tickets to enjoy everything Disney World can give them. Then two days will allow them to venture over to Universal Studios Orlando to find out if The Wizarding World of Harry Potter can outdo the Mouse House. That is what your donations will help cover if you choose to help out. You can use this link to get to the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/memory-making-trip-for-liebel-family
We strive every day to build a platform to help our First Responders, which is an effort gladly taken, but now it’s our chance to give back to someone who helps maintain and grow that platform. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for anyone who is able to donate to the GoFundMe page.