Nick and I wanted to share with our For Impact Community an update on Tom’s health. Tom was diagnosed with ALS in May of 2014. Those familiar with this disease know that it is progressive and degenerative, attacking nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
Tom is not able to use his voice and body in the way that we are all familiar with – jumping on podiums or doing 1,000s of push ups with the boxers at Notre Dame – but his spirits are good!
Our Founder & Chief Spirit Officer – affectionately known as O.G. (The Old Guy) – is no longer able to be involved in the day to day operation of the For Impact mission, but he continues to challenge us, support us, and inspire us.
I search for meaning in all of this (often) and take comfort in knowing that ALS does not define my dad’s life. To “Live Like O.G.” is an aspiration and a reminder for us all:
O.G. lives life fully. Every day.
O.G. is generous – with his spirit, his time, his energy, his resources, his counsel, his adventurousness – beyond any person I have ever met.
O.G. invests more in experiences and people than material possessions.
In O.G.’s world, there are no problems. Only solutions.
The word “no” is not in O.G.’s vocabulary.
He (along with my mom) is supportive, encouraging, down to earth, creative and fun.
O.G.’s positivity is infectious and he embodies every motivational phrase he’s ever said or written:
Wealth is an Abundance of Things we Value. You can’t take it with you.
Say yes! Focus on your strengths. Live to Give. Give to Live.
Don’t wait. There is no such thing as the “perfect” time to start something.
Be the Change. Live. Love. Laugh. Learn. Leave a Legacy.
Tom has been a Champion for the For Impact Sector for over 40 years. He has devoted his life to motivating and coaching thousands of Development Professionals. Along the way, he has helped to transform the language and attitude of GIVING. We have begun to reflect his living legacy here at forimpact.org. You’ll notice some big changes in the next month, including the most comprehensive For Impact Learning Library to date.
Share your O.G. Story
Recently, Tom was honored by the University of Notre Dame, where he has been the Boxing Coach since the mid 1970s. Hundreds of the men and women he has coached showed up to sit with him and share their stories of how he has impacted their lives. (Read more here: Longtime Notre Dame boxing coach, ref honored)
If you are one of the many that Tom has inspired, now is your chance to let him know.
Take a few minutes and tell us how Tom/O.G./Coach has influenced you using one of these themes (or a theme of your own):
Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and (with permission) we will share at FI.org in the coming weeks and months. Include your name and address and we’ll send you some “Live Like O.G.” swag.
Thank you for reading. Tom, Nick, and I look forward to hearing from you.