What an Honor!! What a Game!!

Saturday Evening, March 24 was AMAZING! I had the honor and the privilege to not only be able to attend the San Diego Enforcers Vs. Chicago Blaze Football game, I was also able to be a part of it! Since The Enforcers are playing for the local chapter of United Cerebral Palsy my little buddy 6 yr old Kelly & I were invited out to do the coin toss and we were honorary captains!

Kelly and Jessica before the Game

 Chicago was visiting so they got to call. They called tails Kelly told me when to toss, I tossed it over my shoulder and it was…… Tails! Chicago’s Ball!

 

Jessica Tosses Tails. - iCrew Photo by Rick Lakin


I would also like to take a moment to say this game was played in loving memory of Coach Frank Yancey who passed away suddenly the day after Enforcers mini camp. Frank Yancey worked for SDPD for many years, he was the coach at Valhalla High which he loved very much. At his memorial service he had 10 Jersey’s draped over his casket representing a team he either coached or play for. One of the teams he played for was the Enforcers, Mr. Yancey’s Enforcers Jersey # 63 was retired last night in a beautiful tribute.

Enforcers President Dave King retires the jersey of Frank Yancey

The game itself was a really hard fought battle by both teams! It was a nail biter to the end and had everyone sitting on the edge of their seats.

 

 

 

 

 

We also were able to raise a lot of money during the 50-50 raffle and Kimberly King also got a lot of people to buy tickets for the signed Giants Helmet! My parents and my aunts all bought tickets, My dad was only 2 numbers away from winning the Giants Helmet! Ugh!

I do have to say my favorite moment was wheeling out on the field with Kimberly & her husband David at the end of the game! The score was 14- 13….. ENFORCERS WIN!!!!!! I was brought into the end of the game huddle and I was honored again to be asked to give the end of the game Inspirational Speech to both Teams! Just for the record the Enforcers are now 2-0!!!!!

I have to take a moment to say a special thanks to everyone at the San Diego Enforcers! The great folks at UCP San Diego! Every single team member of Chicago Blaze they were wonderful! The Referee’s were extremely helpful for the coin flip. Mr. Rick Lakin photographed the pre-game & coin flip pictures.  Enforcers QB, , JJ Carrell, and all the other teammates took time for photographs. Thanks to the Enforcers Cheerleaders and to Kimberly King for the night time photos.

Lastly Dave King,  thank you for making me feel like a queen! This will be a night I’ll remember FOREVER! Look up in the stands at home games, you haven’t seen the last of me and my family! 

 

 

 

 

 

More Photos from flickr.com  – iCrew Pre-game Photos by Rick Lakin – Post game photos by Kimberly King [flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157629661240011″]

Dr. Scott Shoemaker, My Surgeon, My Hero

I met my orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Shoemaker in 1999. I had a severe 2 way curve in my spine called  scoliosic, I couldn’t sit up and I was confined to a hospital bed in my living room. I also had to be home schooled.  Dr. Shoemaker placed 2 rods on each side of my spine along with plates, screws & wire. After a recovery period and removing my tailbone that broke I was able to not only sit again but sit up straight! He’s also done a double hip resection (disconnecting my hips from their sockets) because both my hips were popping out of their sockets and causing pain. As well as doing many tendon releases to help with my muscle tone.

Dr. Shoemaker & I have been through so many surgeries together that I think he knows my body inside and out. He always manages to plan ahead, usually after I go under anesthesia my stomach shuts down and I develop an ileus he places a nasogastric tube when I’m asleep so that it won’t take my stomach as long to recover. He knows what I need and when an unexpected problem rises he does what ever he needs to do to fix it while making me comfortable and getting me on the road to recovery as soon as possible. I truly don’t think I could trust another orthopedic surgeon, simply because it’s extremely hard to gain the amount of trust we have with each other. I am blessed to have him and I am very proud to say I consider Dr. Shoemaker my hero!

I met Dr. Shoemaker’s kids one time on the unit and his kids and I have become very close friends. Every time I have a surgery Dr. Shoemaker’s kids always write me letters and cards to make me feel better. One out of his 4 children wrote “Jess I’m sorry you have to put up with my dad, please tell me how you do it!” That card will always be one of my favorites! HA HA!

Dr. Shoemaker was a fan of the Kaiser pediatrics Rainforest Unit Renovation from the word go. He and his family come to the benefit every year, (that would be 6 straight years now) He always speaks on a number on different topics, how great the rainforest project is for his patients and he even noticed a happier demeanor from his co-works & staff. He also does an amazing job explaining to people what Cerebral Palsy is as well as the different severities so the public can understand it better.

I may not know much but I know one thing for sure, I would not be where I am today without the help of my amazing orthopedic surgeon, thank you Dr. Shoemaker! Actually I might know one more thing, every one of your kids is lucky to have you as their dad.

Eve and Jessica – Just a Bump in the Road

[audio:http://jessicamsmith.org/audio/bump.mp3]

I first saw Eve Selis when she was singing “Do You Know Me” on KUSI News probably

Eve Selis at 7th Annual CP Benefit

back in 2002. I listened and I was hooked! It was also around the time when I was laying in a hospital bed in my family room waiting for my scoliosis surgery.  Eve was still using AOL at the time so I took a chance and IMed her. I told her I loved her song I heard that morning, told her that I was being homeschooled at this time and sent her to my “About Me” page on my web site. We talked for almost a hour, she asked for my address and send she would be sending me something, I thanked her for talking to me and we said goodnight. 2 days later I got a box filled with signed CDs, posters, and other goodies!

I went to her website and saw that she and her band were playing at the Calypso Café. My parents and I decided we would go surprise her & thank her for the box of goodies. We were sitting at our table at Calypso as soon as she looked in my direction she said “Is that my Jessica?!” and came running over. Eve was singing a set and she paused and said “I am passing around a jar to help to get enough money to sign up for the City Of Hope 5k because my sister Gabrielle was diagnosed with Breast Cancer Yesterday”

The sun was shining, the birds were singing, yeah, everything was alright

Til the telephone rang, disappointment came with some news that wasn’t very bright

Could be a stepping stone or a stumbling block, or I could turn it around somehow

I think I’ll just keep livin –  lovin and givin – that’s all I can do right now

I said mom we need to help. My family & I joined her City Of Hope Team, I sat outside of Starbucks asking people for their spare change and I wheeled in my first ever 5k with Eve and my family to help combat Breast Cancer! May I also say our team Eve’s Everyday Angels raised the highest amount of money.

It’s just a bump in the road

Its just an opportunity

It’s just a chance to discover

The best things inside of me

 

As you might have figured out Eve and I became fast friends from that day forward! On the day of the walk Eve also introduced me to a fan of hers Dennis Driscoll who went to Hilltop High as one of the firsts graduating classes of Hilltop. Dennis is a very good friend & my family & I enjoy his weekly visits.

Eve and her band sang at my graduation party when I graduated from Hilltop High School with my graduating class of 2005 with a diploma! (which I was told could never be done because I was too far behind in credits, but I stuck to my motto “If You Believe It, You Can Achieve It” I went to summer school and I got caught up) I love proving people wrong! The band also decided to give me the Grand Prize for being the top fundraising team which was a BIG TV!!

Once Eve’s sister went into remission her best friend Mattie Mills was diagnosed, Mattie is also a local singer with The Hero’s. Then “The Music For Mattie Benefit” was born. Gabby and Mattie are both doing AMAZING now!

I’ve learned to embrace all the troubles and trials that try to mess with me

It’s time to refuse any more of them blues and all that negativity

Whenever lightnin strikes and thunder roars I’m not gonna be afraid

I’m think I’ll just keep laughin, whatever may happen – why should it ruin my day…

 

Eve came up to me at a concert and said you’ve helped me so much the band and I want to do a benefit for the local chapter of United Cerebral Palsy and then I told her about the Rainforest Project and The UCP/Rainforest Project Benefit was born!! This year will be the 7th Annual! We’ve become a huge part of each others lives. She has been there during my many “bumps in the road” Thanks to one of her songs Heart Shaped Tattoo, she and I both got matching ones. I’ve had many surgeries but it was after a particular shoulder surgery that we hit a big bump in the road.   Two doctors walked into my hospital room looked at my mom and dad and I and said your White Blood Cell Count is 250 thousand and we think you have Leukemia.

Whenever the tears start to fall

And I’m feeling buried beneath it all

Whenever I’m up against a wall….I’ll just climb over

Eve was actually in Florida doing concerts promoting a new anti nausea drug when my friends called her and told her I just was diagnosed with Leukemia. It was still the very early stages. We didn’t know if I had Acute Leukemia (the bad kind) Or Chronic  Leukemia (the one that you can manage with chemotherapy meds)

Eve flew home after that gig and came to see me in the hospital, she began to cry and we hugged then I said,  “Don’t cry it’s just a Bump In The Road.”

 

It’s just a bump in the road

Its just an opportunity

It’s just a chance to discover

The best things inside of me

I’m not gonna be angry – not gonna be sad

Keep a smile on my face for good times to be had

In grand scheme of things this ain’t really that bad

It’s just a bump in the road*

 

She and the band went on to write my song and surprise me with it at the 6 Annual Benefit just a few weeks later. You can now hear Just A Bump In The Road on her new CD Family Tree!

Eve then went above and beyond once again and ran for me in the Rock N Roll Marathon with Team In Training in my honor to raise more money and awareness for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society! What can I say, she’s my best friend, my angel, and I’m The Lucky One!

 

 Bump in the Road by Eve Selis and Her Band, written by Eve Selis, Marc Intravaia, Kim Mclean and Rich Wiley.  Used with permission.

 

Children’s Rainforest Art Project

Jessica Smith supports many causes and one of the most exciting is the Rainforest Art Project.


Children's Rain Forest Art Project
The Rainforest Art Project is a nature and history-based, educational, healing arts program that inspires children and their families; building a sense of pride and ownership through the creation of permanent ceramic and mosaic art.

Participation in mission based art activities encourage creative growth by allowing the participants to take part in developing their own artistic vision for their community. When people create art that is installed in a prominent public location, they develop a sense of pride and ownership.

The Rainforest Art Project was developed by embracing the philosophy and values of nature based healing arts. We believe in the power of history, nature and art in self-expression and bring those beliefs into all of our lessons and programs. Our curriculum has an educational base and incorporates many of the National Standards.

We want to encourage a new way of thinking, and broaden the younger generation’s perspective of the world; art as a way of life, not only as an expression. When our students have a greater understanding and appreciation of nature, their minds and hearts open and they gain a greater sense of self and empathy for others.

A great sense of accomplishment and joy is apparent in people who create a sculpted ceramic tile. Learning techniques of carving, sculpting and painting empowers them to continue exploring new endeavors. The tiles that our students create become part of permanent art mosaics, which are located in highly visible areas of the community. With this process, the participants contribute to something beautiful and enduring that they can be proud of for the rest of their lives. Years later they can come back and see their work, still there, bringing joy and inspiring others.

The Rainforest Art Project is a life changing experience that goes beyond the basic lesson plan. As soon as students enter the classroom, they are delighted by the sounds of softly falling rain and exotic birds and monkeys, playing in the background. Colorful models of butterflies, fish, birds and plants decorate their workspace.

We strive to awaken a sense of enthusiasm and wonderment when introducing people to art. A fun and exciting classroom environment enables students to connect with their inner creativity and with each other. A dynamic and colorful atmosphere inspires open creative expression, which manifests as beautiful works of art that students and families will treasure forever.

 

Jessica is speaking on May 7, 2012 at the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Optimist Club Banquet

S.U.C.C.E.S.S. OPTIMIST CLUB OF SAN DIEGO

7th ANNUAL NON-GOLF TOURNAMENT BANQUET

Monday May 7, 2012

Barbeque Buffet – Doors open at 5:30pm – Program begins at 6:00pm Entertainment by the Starving Students Jazz Duo
Silent Auctions & 50/50 Raffle
$30 per person

Bonita Golf Club
5540 Sweetwater Road Bonita, California 91902

Proceeds Benefit San Diego Children’s Rainforest Project (A multi-faceted initiative to exploit the healing qualities of art) The Zoo Art Explorer Program
And the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Optimist Club of San Diego

For tickets contact: Georgia Langhorst at 619-421-0621 or bobandgeorgia36@cox.net

Or Return the following section to

Rainforest Dinner
C/o Georgia Langhorst 1676 Ithaca St
Chula Vista, California 91913

Flyer in pdf format