Inducing adversity in the lives of military members is not a new concept for any of us. We all remember the height of affliction that made BUD/S (or Bootcamp) so memorable...
…but what if we induced adversity in a group that was already facing the highest degree of adversity: children with pediatric cancer
This is a question a non-profit named One Summit explored to the fullest. Former Navy SEAL Adam La Reau, founder of One Summit, challenges how we think about pediatric oncology patients. Upon donating his time to local hospitals after he lost his mother to Breast Cancer, he realized that there were no programs designed specifically for children with cancer. These children are facing life’s toughest battle—so why not pair them with the world’s toughest warriors? Navy SEALs.
Through One Summit’s program, children from participating hospitals get a full day to be something they desperately lacking: the chance to be a regular kid. Each child is paired with a Navy SEAL for a day of rock climbing and unabashed fun. Challenged with personal obstacles and road blocks, this program forces these children to push forward, tangibly learning that they CAN overcome anything they set their minds to.
Remarkably, this program has had incredible clinical results as well. When children’s morale improves, so does their capacity to fight. These brave little warriors are learning something that takes us years to understand, that challenges and obstacles can be a blessing—for we are almost always stronger on the other side.
For those of you with children, you know what we mean when we say kids teach you more than you realize. We got a dose of humility the past Saturday, when we were lucky enough to participate in One Summit’s first San Diego Event. It was hard to determine if the event was more impactful for the mentors or children—but we’re leaning more towards the mentors. These children, who had obviously and visibly been through hell, had an instant connection with these men who have all gone through their own physical hells themselves as they trained and prepared to protect our country.
The biggest takeaway from this weekend was how impactful one person taking the time to spend a day with these children was. These men spent a total of 3 hours with these children, yet neither of their lives will be the same.
We are proud that veteran owned companies are making such an impact within this community. Never give up!