Sunday, August 25, 2013

Because We Can

Remember that letter to the newspaper (link takes you to my original posting about the letter I wrote) I wrote back in late April? Well, what came of that letter became much larger and much more touching than I could have ever imagined. A huge thank you to Vicki Cronis-Nohe for your amazing photography and videography skills. Another huge thank you to Hattie Brown Garrow for putting a friendship into words that I couldn't even begin to describe.

Below you will find the video interview that was done with Marc and Ashton, it's currently up on YouTube and I believe is also viewable through the Virginian-Pilot's "Evening Pilot" app, available only on iPad. On August 23rd, the story about Marc and Ashton was the highlight cover story for the app and it was so cool to get an early read of the story. Made for an amazing birthday surprise since it was available 2 days early! You will also find the links below for the actual story on the Virginian-Pilot's online website, and a link to the photo gallery.

An Unexpected Friendship
The link above will take you directly to the article which will give you access to the video and the photo gallery :)

With all of that being viewed and said.....

Don't believe that you can change someone's life?

You may never know that you, yourself, are missing from someone's life, or that you're missing someone from your own life until you take a chance with a new experience. Sometimes stepping out of the box of everyday comfort can be difficult, but what happens when you do so, may change your life forever. You may change someone else's life forever. You may be the one person who can unlock the windows and break down the walls of someone's tough facade.  Marc did just that, 14months ago. I think I can speak for him and say that what happened in the months since then, was not something he had expected. Nor was it something that we, as Ashton's family, expected. But we are forever grateful and blessed to have been open to change, open to meeting new people and experiencing new things. For without the amazing experiences these two incredible young men have gone through over that time, we would have never realized so much was going on in Ashton's heart that he couldn't tell us.

As I said in my letter to the newspaper four months ago "Thank you to Marc. You've given us our son back. You've opened the doors and windows to his soul and we're finally learning things about Ashton that before we never knew about. You've made me a true believer in the youth of today. With so many horror stories about children with Autism being bullied, it's a true breath of fresh air to see the polar opposite in the loving friendship you and Ashton share. You two make an incredible team and we couldn't be more happy and blessed to know you and your incredible family. Thank you for being exactly the friend Ashton needed at the moment we least expected it . We'll never be able to forget it."

This is all been a blessing; an amazing, beautiful and wonderful experience for all involved, both families and all the friends and extended families of those of us immediately involved. Thank you for letting us share their story with you.

Much love and gratitude,

The McCormick & Leber families

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jenn - My name is Heather Arbeen, and, like you, I was at Surfers Healing at Virginia Beach this year (and the previous 2 years). This year I was representing my organization,, at one of the resource tables. We do a monthly newsletter (August's is here: and I'd love to include the YouTube link in our September newsletter as the theme is Siblings & Friends of Special Needs kids. You can reach me at!


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