For those of you who follow us on facebook or twitter you already know about our amazing Wanee experience but I wanted to write a quick blog about the best weekend, ever.
Steve & I as most of you know are always up for a good adventure; and last year we attended the Wanee music festival and enjoyed every minute of it. We knew that it was going to be a lot more difficult this year but we still wanted to attempt it. When we saw the line up we of course decided right away we WERE going to pull it off. Steve & I tweeted Michael Franti a few times; we are both big fans of Michael Franti & Spearhead (if you haven't heard of them---check them out you will love them) letting him know how excited we were to see him perform & asking to meet him. Being the kind soul that he is, he responded that he would love to meet us. Of course we were pumped then! :)
Michael went above any expectations we could have ever had. So after communicating with both his manager & tour manager we had passes lined up & plans to spend some time with him after the show, and that we could venture back stage before to find a good spot for Steve to watch the show. Right away as we walked in we were greeted warmly by Hossain, his tour manager, who told us Michael & his partner Sara were on stage & we could head that way. As we saw Michael & Sara for the first time we were greeted with a smile you'd expect from an old friend with big hugs to go along. They both began to tell us about their experience with catching up on our journey and after sharing some tears they continued to ask more details about our story. We spent the whole 30 minutes before show time talking with them explaining Steve's diagnosis & sharing how we got married. You could tell immediately that they genuinely cared and were touched by not only our story, but seeing Steve & me out enjoying our lives. They invited us to watch the show on stage---which added to the already awesome experience. It was incredible to watch Steve's face light up while watching the show.
Neither of us expected what happened during the show to be a reality. Before I get into that let me preface by saying Michael Franti & Spearhead put on an amazing show---so much energy, they literally brought out the sunshine & had the whole crowd dancing & having a good time. As Michael started playing "Life is Better With You", he then brought us out to introduce us to the crowd. The feeling of having thousands of people cheer on Steve & me as Michael told our story was so overwhelming and amazing. It moved both Steve & me to tears. Looking out in the crowd I saw we weren't alone. It was such an unreal moment to hear someone as well known as Michael understand what Steve & I have been trying to accomplish. We try our best daily to spread awareness & to spread the message of living life to the fullest & loving one another & he worded it so beautifully. What is even better than that is that he was so moved by our story that he shared it with thousands at Wanee. Now, so many new people now have a new understanding of what ALS is & what it does to people. They also got to see Steve facing the hardest thing anyone has to face but still out doing what he enjoys. He even invited us back out to dance with him for the rest of the song. It was so much fun! Just an added oh my gosh moment---the song he dedicated to us---I sing that to Steve all the time. Gooesbumps right. All in all we spent a good 5 hours with Michael Franti & Spearhead, & Sara & we will forever cherish it.
After the show walking through the festival we had so many people come and hug us & tell us how moved they were by our story & people saying that they were so proud to see Steve out enjoying himself. We even had a few people tell us they felt reborn after hearing what Michael had to say & seeing us on stage. It was an incredible moment---and it didn't stop there. Michael then posted our story on Facebook which shared our story with even more people. The response we have received has been overwhelming & has been so amazing. I have to thank each and everyone of you that sends us love & positive words. It makes Steve & me smile with each response we hear of ways we inspire you, so please continue to keep them coming :)
Here is a link to a youtube video of Michael Franti introducing us to the crowd: click here :)
SO about the rest of Wanee---was amazing---thanks to Danny & the guys for helping us with camping. Along with getting to meet & hang out with Michael Franti & Spearhead we also got to meet Artimus Pyle, Warren Haynes, & JB from Widespread Panic. So like I said---coolest day, ever.
Steve & I have been cuddled up behind the computer since Saturday with tears and smiles feeling blessed by what Michael Franti did for us. It is amazing to think that a celebrity would take the time to do this for us and learn about our plight and share it with all of his fans. It continues to helps us have more faith in people and is another reminder of the blessings that still remain in the world. Can't help but think about amazing the world would be if everyone had as big of a heart as Michael & Sara do. Who knows maybe this act will find someone who will in turn to donate the money needed to find a cure. We are still in shock that this happened to us & that we could be a part of bringing so much awareness to ALS. I truly feel rejuvenated & refreshed from this & still can't stop feeling like the most blessed person in the world.
To see more photos from Wanee click here :)
Side note---for everyone who follows us in Pennsylvania please check out this fundraiser my dear friend Kate is putting together for us. If you can come, please do, we would love to see you there! Cinco De Mayo Fundraiser