The last week has been the most humbling and incredible week of my life. Last Saturday, my birthday, I planned to head to Seattle with some friends for dinner after delivering holiday food baskets to families in need with my grandpa. Three of my friends claimed that they needed to be picked up at our school because of a basketball game. All lies.

It was pitch black dark as we pulled into the parking lot. The only thing I remember is hearing hundreds of voices chanting my name. A few months ago, an influencial teacher at our school asked a thought provoking question at a club meeting. “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Jokingly, I answered that I would drive a car if I could guarantee that I would not injure myself or others. Days later during our Homecoming coronation assembly, I noticed the little tea lights lining the walk way for the homecoming court. I told my friend sitting next to me, who had also been in the club meeting when that important question had been asked, that the lights looked so pretty with the lights out.

After collecting myself enough to get out of the car and face all of those people, That one amazing friend told me that they had created a opportunity for me to drive. With the help of hundreds of students, faculty, parents and other community members, they ran Christmas lights around a set course. In places that didn’t have lights, students stood holding those little tea lights that I thoughtlessly noticed two months earlier. They secured the use of a Driver’s Ed car with a second break and gas pedal on the passenger side to ensure I didn’t get myself into a sticky situation. After removing my high heeled leather boots, I took the wheel with the Driver’s Ed instructor by myside. I took three laps around the track with students constantly cheering me on. I wanted to cry tears of gratitude the whole time but had to focus on the road!

I was beyond humbled. That’s the only way to describe that day. Brooklyn and her friend Adrian had an idea and they simply made it happen. Their kindness and love spread around the school and community to make this experience come together. The overwhelming sense of love and support from all of those people is something I will never forget. Adrian and Brooklyn will forever hold a very special place in my heart. God had His hand over this whole thing and he truly deserves the glory for this. The most important part of this is that this event may have been created for me but is certainly not about me. This is about community and focusing on the ways things CAN happen and not why they won’t work.

On top of the overwhelming emotions of just this experience, the media has latched on to this story. Already, there have been two TC stories, a front page newspaper article, radio interview and much more coverage by news stations around the country and one in Europe. Again, I feel nothing but humility and love. I hope that this incredible event can inspire others to follow through with ideas to bless people regardless of how absurd the idea may seem.

God Bless every one of you and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
Let’s spread this love and kindness as we approach the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Everett Herald Newspaper link:

KING 5 News link:


About Ali S

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8 Responses to Birthday

  1. Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience Ali. You are a light in the darkness!

    • Ali S says:

      Thank you Mary. I really appreciate the kind words. I feel the same about my classmates and everyone who made this amazing experience happen. Figuratively and literally, they are my lights in the darkness. đŸ˜‰ Merry Christmas!!!

  2. smalls149 says:

    Hi Ali… A friend of mine sent me the link to your blog the other day and I was hooked almost instantly by your writing. You have a spark in your voice that grabs attention, plus a great attitude that a lot of people can (and will) learn from. It wasn’t until you posted this most recent entry that I realized you and I share an acquaintance… Matt Mrozinski, the photojournalist from King5 that shot your story. He and I were working together the day after he was with you and your friends and I could tell it had made an impact on him. So strange that a few days later, someone else would send me your link. Small world.

    • Ali S says:

      Hello there!
      Thank you so much for the kind words. It certainly is a small world!! Matt and Joe are phenominal guys. They are so kind and compassionate and willingly put up with a bunch of crazy teenage girls. It was really an honor to work with them.
      Thank you so much for reading my blog. Your support really means the world to me.
      God Bless

      • Do you mind if I post your link on my blog? I’m trying to build a blogroll of people like myself who choose to “do life” on life’s terms, pushing forward despite all the challenges we face. I’m a quadriplegic trying to start a support website for guys in situations similar to mine. Oh, and my name is Kenny.

      • Ali S says:

        Hi Kenny!
        Go for it!! I really feel that people need to know how fulfilling and productive a life with any disability can be. The more awareness the better! đŸ™‚

      • I completely agree, thanks Ali!

  3. Joe Palano says:

    What an uplifting and inspirational story! I wish there more people like you in this world. Keep up the good work and always put your trust in God as I do.

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