In 2018, Van Stone was living the American Dream. Beautiful family, beautiful home, and a great life full of adventure and experiences. But that all changed on December 21, 2018 when Van slipped on a staircase in his home. That seemingly inconsequential misstep nearly took Van’s life and resulted in a traumatic brain injury changing his life’s path and life’s paths of those closest to him.
I met Van in the summer of 2021 when the once gifted athlete came into our Dawg Nation
offices. He was accompanied by his amazing caregiver, Therese Saurber, who had set up the meeting. A nervous and intimidated Van needed a little coaxing but was soon smiling and laughing. I watched Van’s eyes light up when Michael Freeman
asked our new friend if he’d like to skate again. At the time it seemed beyond unlikely, but that’s what taking chances looks like. Today Van skates weekly with our Hockey Heals group and has even played in a tournament! His laugh and smile light up the ice and his mere presence enriches all of our lives!
Last night I was Van’s date as he treated me to the Broncos/Vikings game from his amazing seats only 13 rows from the field. For one night it was just a couple of friends enjoying a night out and rooting on the home team! Not sure there’s much better than that!
Life is uncertain, life has no guarantees, life is precious and life is always worth living to its fullest. This is a week to be thankful for friends and family, to be grateful for the ability to lift others when they need it most, and it is a week to reach those who need it most.
Be thankful, be grateful, be humble and be kind. Happy thanksgiving week to everyone!