“My experience was simply amazing. For a moment I forgot I was sick, I was just a normal person meeting some very amazing people! This has been the most fulfilling dream ever and I will never forget it.”-Jaye Beadle
Cancer sucks. Always has. Always will. It takes great people away every single day, and you could be in a large crowd and look in any direction and find someone who has lost a loved one or friend to the disease. Cancer needs all the opposition it can handle, and organizations like 3 Little Birds 4 Life makes the lives of those fighting the toughest battle of their lives a little easier. Let me tell you a little about this wonderful endeavor with one goal in mind: Healing the wounded souls fighting cancer.
The name is derived from the timeless Bob Marley song, which preaches the idea of that no matter what happens, everything will be just fine. It’s the idea of hope in the middle of a storm that has suddenly swarmed over someone’s life. It all started with a guy named Guy “Tyler” Gifford, who wore the Marley song and its lyrics like a badge of honor, through thick and thin. Tyler was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, but never stopped preaching the essence of Marley’s words, no matter how bad his health became.
Tyler’s sister, Ashley Swip, gave Tyler one last great experience. A day at Busch Stadium, full of batting practice, meet and greets, and a suite. When Tyler passed away, Ashley wanted to help others get through the hardest time in their lives. She started 3 Little Birds 4 Life not just to help other families, but to make sure that the way Tyler lived his life, full of love and passion, never died.
Chris Shaffer runs the St. Louis Chapter of the organization, which wants to be “Hope, the thing with feathers, in the midst of the storm”. Their 2017 goal is extending their wish giving magic into Southern Illinois and Missouri, hoping to connect more great people with a great cause. Every single good community program starts with one person reaching out to another. Shaffer teamed up with the St. Louis Blues this past weekend to give a family an unforgettable experience.
Jaye Beadle and her husband, Kyle, drove to St. Louis from Texas Friday night. Due to the icy conditions, they didn’t arrive in the Lou until 1:30 in the morning Saturday. Jaye, 37 years old, was diagnosed with cancer. Kyle sent in the forms to Shaffer and 3 Little Birds 4 Life for Jaye’s wish and the night was one to remember.
Picture every single wonderful thing you’d love to do at a Blues game. Jaye and Kyle got to do just about everything you could imagine.
They were taken to their seats through the executive offices, but not before they got to witness one of the pregame activities of the Blues players engaging in a little soccer to get the blood flowing. The seats were located in 115, so Jaye and Kyle could witness all the action from the perfect spot. Louie even stopped by with gifts.
That’s not all. Jaye’s favorite player is the captain, Alex Pietrangelo, and he didn’t disappoint in front of his biggest fan. He scored a goal, but it was the meet and greet that was extra special. “His hug was so awesome and he even gave me the puck he made the goal with and one of his sticks. I can say enough how amazing it was to meet him and his wife,” Jaye added about the experience.
The Blues lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4, but that didn’t matter to Jaye and Kyle. With the experiences they took in Saturday night, the score could have been 6-1 Hawks and the night would have still sung. There are certain experiences in life that are unforgettable. Nights that you hold close to your chest. I think this one will rank high on the Beadle’s moments.
It all happened because Swip decided to create something that aided cancer patients during their fight. If there is no way to completely stop the disease, there has to be a way to make lives better. Granting unforgettable wishes is the kind of medicine that works wonders and sometimes can require a miracle of sorts to pull off.
It starts and ends with people caring more about others than themselves. Every good deed in life starts out with someone simply caring more than is practically required. Through Shaffer’s efforts, Jaye was able to meet her favorite player, see her favorite team, and see a great game. She went on to describe the entire event in beautiful detail.
“From the moment we got to Scottrade Center, it was like a dream, butterflies and just pure joy. I was ready to meet Chris Shaffer and Hannah Uhlenbrock who put all this together for me to experience. Hannah escorted us through the offices and we met more people who made this possible. As we made our way through the hall, Hannah pointed out a group to our left who just happened to be the Blackhawk players warming up and just as I thought wow this is awesome, we came upon some of the Blues warming up, I will admit when I saw Fabbri, Reeves, Tarasenko, Yakupov I was starstruck lol and then who runs past us but Shattenkirk and then Allen warming up alone....Oh it was just amazing. I felt tears coming because I watch these guys and they no idea what they mean to me to just see them.”
3 Little Birds 4 Life works with St. Louis companies like 590 The Fan and The Home Loan Expert, including a golf tournament back in October involving local celeb Ken Bone that raised funds. There are chapters in Chicago and Louisville as well. It has been running since September, 2011, “enhancing” the lives of cancer patients 18-40 years of age.
Saturday night, Jaye joined “the flock” that makes up the heart of 3 Little Birds 4 Life. You can be a part of the wish granting process. Get in touch with Chris and the organization at www.3littlebirds4life.org or Chris in STL directly, firstname.lastname@example.org about helping out.