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Just recently Jessica reached out to The Sussy Project to tell us about Amy and Terry. Amy and Terry are foster parents who have taken in 8 children. Jessica shared with us that Terry and Amy are examples of family, love, encourager and sacrifice. She stated that she did not think that they knew what kind of influence they have had on the people around them, and how they have encouraged people to give of themselves for those who may not have.


In honor of this, Jessica herself donated the a gift card to Target to help the family with the expenses of foster care.


I was trying to best figure out how to share Amy and Terrys story, but once I read their own words, I realized that this was perfect. It tells the story and shows the true love they have for being foster parents.


For many years, Amy and I talked about becoming foster parents because we wanted to provide a safe, loving and stable home for children in need.  What we learned in the process of researching and talking with other foster parents is you feel like it’s more of a calling than just a want… We just knew, for whatever reason, we were meant to help children at a time in their life when they feel abandoned and scared.   

We got licensed and recently began fostering children ages 10 and younger.  In that short amount of time we have had 8 foster kids come into our lives.  We have never had any regrets… we have challenges and we are usually exhausted but there has never been a minute when we didn’t know we were doing the right thing.  Our hope is to set a good example to our own children that it is our job in life to help others in need and no one is better than anyone else.  We hope to teach our foster children that the circumstances they are in are not their fault, we tell them to dream big and we tell them that when they get older to help children the way we helped them.


Foster parenting is such a self-less and thank-less job, so when we received the email from the Sussy Project is meant so much to us.  We were shocked and thought is was so incredibly kind of Jenny Mann and Jessica Aldridge to think of us and take the time to contact The Sussy Project.  I visited the website and read some of the other stories… the thing  I love the most about The Sussy Project is when you share its purpose with others, it inspires you want to be more and do more for others.


Amy and Terry's family

Amy and Terry’s family

This story is truly inspiring from a Sussy Project perspective. I was honored to be involved with this Sussy as both the giver and the receiver are true inspirations and true examples of giving a gift for no reason.

The nominator, Jess, in her Sussy tee!

The nominator, Jess, in her Sussy tee!


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[Written by the newest sussy squad member, Samantha!]


As Christina Aguilera once said, “Thanks for making me a fighter.”


And as Kelly Clarkson once said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”


One year ago I interviewed and took a job in the Microbiology lab for one of the busiest hospitals in Michigan.  We all know how stressful interviews and first days can be. But, thankfully not so stressful when you’re greeted by a smile so bright it could light a room on even the darkest of days. Enter Irene Gray.


Irene and I became fast friends as it was her job to show me the ropes of the DMC. Which, by the way, was not exactly hard for her being a DMC veteran of 35 years! The more I learned about Irene, the more I loved her. Not to mention every time I would have a bad day or struggle even in the slightest, she’d smile, give me a little hug and tell me how much I reminded her of her own daughter. You want to talk about motivation?! So, when I learned that Irene’s remission with Lymphoma was so short lived, it broke my heart in a big way. Here was a woman so strong and wonderful facing such a harrowing battle, again, for the second time in very few years.


Currently, Irene just finished her second round of chemotherapy and is in a 30-day holding pattern that consists of blood work, MRIs, CT’s, PET scans and every other test with an abbreviated name. All while waiting for the call saying it’s time to start the harvesting of her bone marrow. A procedure which will put her in hospital isolation for every bit of a month, as she will have NO immune system. I know being faced with anything like this, I’d be crying my little eyes out but, Irene has a motto and her motto is “I can excel…”


Yes you can, my friend!!


There was a TON of collective action taken by all of Irene’s coworkers, myself included, all so that she could rest as easy as possible during this difficult time. Picking up shifts, making her meals, and donating hours upon hours of vacation time. All very simple, yet extremely effective acts of kindness. But my cousin, Bri, and I decided that another little sussy wouldn’t hurt! So we put our heads together and decided to send Irene a care package full of smiley-face cookies. A gift that could bring a smile to anyone’s face. Unfortunately, she was in the hospital when the cookies were delivered, but once she received them, she was absolutely delighted.


While strength has been lost, what Irene hasn’t lost is her fight. She is and continues to be an inspiration to all those around her. And now to TSP readers!


Go, Irene, GO!!! :)



This sussy nomination came from Danielle Alexis.  Danielle started Project 3×5 to raise awareness for a disease called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS/RSD).  The best description for this disease is through Danielle’s own words, “CRPS/RSD is widely recognized to be the most painful condition in the world, as evidenced on the McGill Pain Scale when shown to be above the pain caused by cancer, the amputation of a digit, and even childbirth. Fox News has even declared it to be 1 of the 5 craziest diseases in the world! In short, the nerves are stuck on replay from the point of the accident and so I am in almost constant, searing pain as if I have been set on fire.”

Danielle has interacted with & influenced many people through her blog at We got introduced through Twitter to Danielle and her amazing project. We see a lot of similarities between our blogs and our projects, so we sent her a Sussy tshirt and asked her to nominate someone who we could help make smile. She responded by telling us about Mary Claire Clark –a 16 year old girl from North Carolina suffering from CRPS/RSD.

“I know so many deserving people through the blog, but I’ve narrowed it down to the most INCREDIBLE young lady who has just left a 6-week intense Physical Therapy Program at Boston Children’s Hospital to start her senior year of high school in North Carolina.

Her name is Mary Claire, and like me, she also suffers from CRPS/RSD. Unlike myself however, she suffers from this condition in conjunction with a genetic heart condition called Brugada which (before she got a pacemaker/defibrillator) could have caused sudden cardiac death. Add to all of this, a diagnosis of Melanoma for her father in 2011 – terrifying for the family based on the fact that her mother is a 5 year breast cancer survivor. Thankfully, he has just been given a clean bill of health.

It’s a lot of stress for someone so young, and Mary Claire handles it with an incredible amount of grace. Although she originally got in touch to say that I had inspired her, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she inspires me a whole lot more! My God, the girl is incredible! I have no idea what I could do for her, due to the fact that she has the most amount of inner strength I’ve ever seen in someone, no matter their age.”

So we sent her this….

And she sent us this…

“I got the flowers and bear today! I was having a really rough day pain wise and was ready for the day to be over. It was so nice to walk in and see the bear and flowers!! It really made my day and gave me a second wind! I put them in my room and I smile every time I see them. Thanks for the joy!!”


We are so glad to have made your day & given you a second wind, Marie Claire.  Thank you & Danielle for helping to bring awareness to this rare disease.

—-Who do you know that deserves a smile? Nominate him/her today by emailing us at—-



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A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.  ~Tenneva Jordan

There is something that has to be said about a mother’s love. Having become a mother for the first time 4 years ago, I can honestly say it has been a rollercoaster of experiences and emotions every day since. Something changes inside of you the instant you first hold your child. That little bean of life can lock eyes with your soul, and without a word you just know…things are different.

Gone are the days of caring first and foremost for your own wellbeing. And if someone were to ask you if you would physically jump in front of a moving train to save your child’s life, you don’t even hesitate with the answer. There’s no question. Of course you would. Over and over and over again…you will do anything you can to protect that child.

What’s truly beautiful is when that child grows up, and sometimes even becomes a parent too. And it’s typically at that moment that one realizes just how amazing their mother truly is; to have lived day in and day out constantly looking out for the wellbeing of others. Because after all, a mother’s love is never ending.

We received the following nomination from Maria Norman. Maria nominated her mother, Lisa Herrera, for a Sussy. Here is what Maria had to say about her mother…

I’d like to nominate my mom, Lisa Herrera, for a Sussy.  She is the most amazing person I know.  She has 2 part time jobs, has custody and takes great care of my 10 year old nephew, watches my 16 month old son whenever she can, and loves her family everyday in the most beautiful way.  She is selfless, caring, giving, funny, loving, and the most amazing mother and grandmother.  She often has multiple grandkids all on the same day and instead of hanging out at home and doing nothing, she is taking them to the zoo, packing picnic lunches, baking cookies for the school play, or making clothes and toys for them.

Elijah -Lisa's grandson

I am one of three girls and I feel like my mom still takes care of us like we were 10, 7, and 5.  She constantly invites us over for dinner, and will send leftovers home for my husband so that I don’t have to cook when I get home.  She never puts herself first.  I’m sure if you asked, my mother would tell you that “if my family is happy, then I am happy.”

I could go on and on about this wonderful lady that I am honored to call “Mom”, but I think you get the idea.

Oh boy, do we ever. Lisa sounds pretty phenomenal in our opinion! Maria suggested that Lisa might like a gift card to Hobby Lobby with the hopes that she would be able to spend a little bit of money on herself rather than her family. So we took that suggestion and ran with it!

We heard back from Lisa a few weeks ago regarding the Sussy. Here is what she had to say about the experience.

It was really great to have been nominated for the Sussy. I would have felt honored just hearing the things my daughter said. I love shopping but really don’t go much, and usually get something for everyone else. The gift card was a bonus because I spent that on myself and with a little extra got some things to be able to continue doing my crafts and stuff for my grandbabies who I love very much. Thank you Sussy for the opportunity to be a part of your blog!

Oh Lisa, there you go again…being just as awesome as we hear you are!

And lastly, just a little extra note of thanks from Maria…

Thank you so much to you and your team for making my mom’s day.  She deserves all the world’s treasures for everything that she does for her family so any little thing that I can do for her to make her day is worth it.  Your Sussy project is very well organized and your team made the process a breeze.  Thank you Sussy team!

No, Maria. Thank YOU. It’s people like you, and your mother, which make every bit of this project totally worth it. Thank you for the nomination!


Please nominate someone you think deserves to be surprised by kindness. Email us at

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It hardly seems possible that The Sussy Project is already a year old. I remember sitting in Au Bon Pain with my partner, Pete, and proposing this idea to him. It was rough at first with a lot of holes and scratchy edges. But the more we thought through it, the more we loved it. And with some fine tuning, The Sussy Project was born.

In 12 months, we have surprised 31 people with kindness. And the people we have encountered, both nominators and recipients, have enhanced both of our lives tremendously.

I think about the parents we have met who have lost their children or who have stood by them as they suffer unthinkable pain. I remember those that have lost loved ones – brothers, mothers, siblings, pets. I have read nominations and laughed. More often, I read nominations and cry.

The Sussy Project has given me such perspective on life. No matter what I am dealing with, no matter how big or difficult or frustrating or painful it seems. Someone out there is dealing with something worse. Someone else has more strength. More faith. More determination.

But what we do have here at The Sussy Project, is love.

If you’re new to TSP, I encourage you to read through some of our past blogs. You won’t be able to get through Mia’s Story without tears, or Avery’s. But I don’t ask this of you because I want you sitting in your cubicle crying like a baby. I ask it of you because we want this thing to grow. And to do that, we need you to think like we do. When you see a friend who has had a bad day, nominate him/her. When a co-worker has inspired you by their strength or passion or attitude, nominate him/her. When your family member needs a pick-me-up. When your neighbor could use a smile. When a stranger faces pain. NOMINATE. We want to honor a lot more than 31 people over the next 12 months. We have an entire squad dedicated to helping deliver the sussies.

And finally, a very big thank you. To Pete for helping me make this project a reality. For the Sussy Squad for helping us grow exponentially. For everyone who has nominated someone for a sussy. For our loyal fans who follow us on Twitter, like our page on Facebook and share our stories with their friends. Big things are coming for TSP. We can’t wait to continue this journey with you.


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A few weeks ago, a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, directed me to a story on  The post was written on May 13 by a man, Nick Keller, honoring his wife, Elizabeth, for Mother’s Day.

The Keller’s son, Joey, has been battling medulloblastoma for the past year and a half.  Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant primary brain tumor that originates in the cerebellum or posterior fossa.  The things Nick said about Elizabeth brought tears to my eyes.  Here is a small portion of their story, outlining Elizabeth’s strength and the struggles they have gone through with Joey’s disease:

Here’s the thing, she doesn’t get a break. Think of the most demanding jobs in healthcare or “caregiver” jobs…they get to go home at the end of their shift. No matter how demanding, after 8 or 10 hours, they clock out, and go about their lives. Certainly it’s a calling, but there are professional boundaries. Elizabeth has slept with Joey since this started. I know in many ways apples and oranges, but Elizabeth is at his side every minute, of every day, of every month. When the radiation caused the skin over his spine to crack and bleed and he’d cry all through the night, she was there. When he passed a kidney stone and screamed so loud EVERYBODY in the huge lobby of Riley turned, looked, and ran to help (I was there, I saw it), she was there. When his brain shunt pushed through his scalp and exposed the deep ventricles of his brain to the outside world, rushed him to the ER on a Sunday morning…she was there. When the “routine” (so I was at work) MRI showed he had relapsed and his chances for survival dropped, in an hour, from 30-50% down to 5%, she was there. When he had thrown up from the chemo every hour for basically 2 days straight, she was there. When he had appointments starting at 7 in the morning until 7 at night, and I had work commitments I simply couldn’t get out of…she was there. When he relapsed a second time, and he could read the looks of despair on our faces and Dad had no words (shock)…she was there, with love and encouraging words of how we’ll get through this together…somehow, we will. As my wife, when I wanted to wrestle God like Jacob one night at 3am, or argue with Him like Moses late one night after she’d been up all night the night before…she was there, telling me of God’s love, and why I could trust Him; she was there. When Joey got C-Diff, and had water diarrhea every half hour for a week and half, no break, Joey writhing in pain, sometimes punching his stomach it hurt so bad. We’d clean him up, put him back to bed, then minutes later the pain would wake him up, and we’d run to the bathroom. Sure I helped when I could. But when I was at work, or too tired to hold Joey up on the toilet…she was there, doing the heavy lifting. You know, it’s funny. Our culture seems to worship beauty, and wealth, and “I don’t care what they’re really like, they seem so cool in the movies, or on TV.” Symbolism over substance kind of thing. Or, “They’re so HOT,” outward appearance obsessed, etc. I have seen this woman when no one is looking. Seen her after 3 days with no sleep. Seen her when the doctor has said, “You’re son isn’t going to live.” Seen her when her son looks into her eyes and says, “I would rather die and be with Jesus, than go through this…I want to die.” My wife is a ROCK. She is as beautiful on the inside as I think she is out. She is patient, kind, and always prefers others over herself. The only time I’ve seen her confront somebody or use firm boundaries, is when someone is threatening Joey. I am a blessed man.

Elizabeth and Joey

Find the rest of Nick Keller’s journal entries at

My friend was so touched by Nick Keller’s tribute to his wife that he said he wanted to do something special for her.  He wanted to purchase a gift card for her from Salon 01 ( so that maybe sometime she could get away, even just for a couple hours, and maybe take her mind off the struggles she faces daily.  Being a member of the Sussy Squad, I suggested to him that he nominate her for a sussy.

I sent Nick an email, explaining the Sussy Project, and explaining how it was that Elizabeth came to be nominated.  Nick replied:

I just, finally, had some time to jump on your blog…wow, that is REALLY cool! What a creative and generous effort. Love it!…. I know how cheesy this sounds, but she is really unbelievable. And as I told my parents after writing that one Caring Bridge blog about her, I am in the cat-bird’s seat, in terms of seeing her in action. She never talks about herself and b/c of our situation and Joey needing to be in isolation so much, nobody ever sees all that she does. All those times I spoke about where she serves him tirelessly, I am the one who sees it. Who better to tell the world than me. She is amazing. Thank you for wanting to recognize her publicly. That is very cool.

The gift card was sent in the mail, and the other day I received a response.  Nick wrote me another email on behalf of Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was both surprised and blessed by the gift card. I explained the background and rationale for the gift and organization/blog you guys have started, and she was so impressed. Said, “what a great idea!” You may have heard, we had a really tough week, spent a night in Riley ER, and got less than the news we’d hoped for on Joey’s most recent MRI. This gift is a shot in the arm, encouragement to get through another week, and keep fighting for Joey.

Thank you so much!

There are many lessons to be learned from Nick and Elizabeth Keller, including strength, faith and perseverance. Even as I sit here writing this post, I am overwhelmed with admiration and pure emotion for the Keller’s, whom I have never met, but who have touched me beyond belief with their pure desire to persevere.  They are an inspiration to anyone going through struggles, big or small, and I am glad I am able to share this story of their’s.

The Keller Family

Yesterday, Nick Keller wrote an update.  Here is a small portion.

Once again, for those of you new to our Caring Bridge page, after 2 relapses, Joey has a 5% chance of survival…but we serve a big God that has made many promises to us in His word….we are standing on those promises.

Unfortunately, our arsenal against certain kinds of cancers isn’t as strong as it should or could be, and Joey is certainly in that category dealing with relapsed medulloblastoma. It breaks our hearts. We are fighting, and very much feel like we’re in a battle. In war, there are no breaks, there is always the threat of death, and the battle monopolizes ALL of your time, energy, and emotional resources.


He went on to thank many people for the texts, notes, help, support and prayers they have received.  Nick also recognized the Sussy Project for what we have done for his wife, and thanked the anonymous friend who nominated her.

First, what a GREAT idea, The Sussy Project. In day where it feels like everybody has an agenda, wants something from you, or is trying to sell you something, how refreshing is this? An organization that exists to “call people out” doing something admirable or kind, or special leadership skills, service, or just doing the little things, to serve people and make the world a better place. I had never heard of The Sussy Project before and really love the concept. I said all of that about war, and battle imagery, etc. to say, that this was really a shot in the arm for Elizabeth. I know (hope :p ) it meant so much to her to know that her husband sees first hand how hard she works, literally around the clock, to get Joey healthy again. All of our focus and energy is spent on this. But to be recognized in the public forum like this, and receive a gift like that, really meant the world to her. She has no idea when she can use it, maybe if Joey stabilizes or better yet, goes into remission, she’ll have a chance to get more than just a quick hair cut, her nails done, or more, this place does all kinds of stuff, including taking care of the grooming needs of dudes. I will likely go with her and check it out. Again, when things let up a bit. Anyway, what a great gesture, and a shot in the arm to my wife. THANK YOU. Whoever you are, you have no idea what this meant to my wife, new energy and zeal to carry into the next battle, that is our week, this week.


Please think of someone you know who needs that “shot in the arm.” We want to honor them. Email us at



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They are the “good guys” – those men and women who work to keep us, our families and our communities’ safe, often putting their lives on the line in the process.  It can be a thankless job but today, we get to thank one of them.  

“Officer John G. Gurnsey is one of the good guys.”

We received this nomination from Josh Thompson who has known Officer John Gurnsey for 7+ years. I think Josh tells the story best in his nomination:

Officer Gurnsey has dedicated his life to law enforcement for over 25 years to the city of Indianapolis. In that time, Officer Gurnsey has worked for the Sheriff’s Department and with IMPD protecting our city through street patrols, serving as a Community liaison for Neighborhood Watch Associations, and in the courts. Officer Gurnsey has risked his life numerous times going to some of the worst and crime-ridden neighborhoods to exact drug busts, domestic violence calls, and prevent gang-related crimes in the city of Indianapolis. It takes great courage and dedication to strap on a bullet-proof vest everyday knowing that at any moment, on any call, he could face great danger; all to protect the citizens of Indianapolis. It isn’t uncommon to find Officer Gurnsey patrolling our streets and the Monon Trail talking with neighbors, bikers, and children; handing out stickers to children and unselfishly answering questions of citizens and providing tips for keeping their homes and neighborhoods safe.

In short, amidst the recent police stories that highlight corruption, indifference, and apathy among police officers, Officer Gurnsey is one of the good guys. This man has never pawned off his responsibility to his job, his neighborhood, or his city. He rarely, if ever, receives a thank you. Officer Gurnsey sees people as people – people who may be having a bad day, people who make a huge mistake and just need the proper intervention to get them back on the path of goodness.

I can recall a story he once told me of a young boy he found drinking in a city park. This young man had run away from home after a dispute with his grandmother and had been reported missing. Upon finding the young man, Officer Gurnsey obtained all of his information and contacted the man’s grandmother. Officer Gurnsey waited until back-up and the family arrived but spent that time truly connecting with the young man. What he found out was that the young man had a mental illness and was upset about having to take his medication. Officer Gurnsey talked to the young man about how everyone makes mistakes, that what may seem like controlling guardians were really people who love him and only want to see him succeed. As Officer Gurnsey put it, “Young man, bad things happen to good people. As hard as we may try, no one is a perfectly wrapped package. We all need someone to help us be who and what we want to be.” I don’t know of many officers who would take the time to relate with a person in trouble rather than just treat them like a criminal.

Because of this experience, Officer Gurnsey realized that many people he encounters may suffer from a mental illness and he sought to further his knowledge of mental illness by becoming a CIT officer (Crisis Intervention Trainer) and signed up for continuing education courses through National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) without prompting from his superiors—all so he could do his job that much better.

Recently, Officer Gurnsey had a no good, very bad day. His credit and debit card information was stolen and used in North Carolina. It took nearly a week to get the situation squared away. This man works tirelessly for the department while putting himself through school at IUPUI’s Master’s Program for criminal justice. He wants to be a teacher once he retires–again, dedicating his time and energy to his community.

Josh suggested to us that Officer Gurnsey could use a foot massage – hopefully giving him just a little bit of relief from being on his feet all day. So we took that advice and sent him a gift card for Foot Finesse.  Officer Gurnsey is grateful for the gift and looks forward to using it soon.

If you know of a person – civil servant or otherwise – who could use a little surprise gift, nominate them for a sussy from the Sussy Project today!


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If you have good neighbors, you know how valuable they can be.  Keeping an eye on your house, watering flowers when you’re away, bringing some soup when you’re sick.  Good neighbors are priceless.  So, when Lauren emailed us about her neighbor Betty we jumped on the opportunity to let Betty know how much she’s appreciated.

In her nomination Lauren says that since they day they moved in Betty has been ‘kind and welcoming.’  Recognizing how tough it would be to move into a new house at five months pregnant, Betty immediately introduced herself and even offered to take Lauren to her doctors appointments!  Lauren says “It was so reassuring to know there was someone I could count on just a few doors down.”.  Once her daughter was born, Lauren says, Betty comes to visit and always brings hand me down toys for baby Lucy.  ”She is just a great source of comfort to me and although I haven’t had any emergency reason to call upon here, I know she is there.”

To let Betty know how much her kindness means to Lauren we (hand delivered!) lilies to Betty’s door.  She was delighted by the gesture and told us that we “made her day”.  ”That Lauren,” says Betty, “she’s a sweet one.”  Obviously the feeling is mutual.
Here is Lauren’s nomination:
I would like to nominate my neighbor, Betty Thomas. Since we moved in to our house last year, she has been kind and welcoming. I was about 5 months pregnant and very overwhelmed by the move. When she noticed I worked from home, she came over and introduced herself. We realized they were also from louisville, my husband’s hometown. Since she and her husbamd are retired and home most of the time, she said if there is anything I can do let me know. She knew my husband worked downtown so she even offered to take me to the doctor or hospital if I needed her. It was so reassuring to know there was someone I could count on just a few doors down. When my daughter Lucy was born, she called the hospital to congratulate me.
Since then, she has called and come to visit numerous times, she has also given me lots of great hand me down toys and things that were her granddaughters. She is just a great source of comfort to me and although I haven’t had any emergency reason to call upon her, I know she is there. What a great neighbor!
The reason I think she is do deserving right now is that I did ask a huge favor of her, to let our dogs out for a few days while we go on our first beach vacation for Memorial Day with our baby daughter, and my family, and she said yes. I truly appreciate her and although i do bake things and try to hive her little treats now and again she deserves a nice Sussy from the Suddy squad. I will continue to thank her & offer her baked goods, but her support means do much more to me!!
We are always taking nominations and rarely turn people away! Please nominate someone today. Email:


The summer concert season is just around the corner, and it’s always a favorite time of year.  However, what would life be like if we couldn’t enjoy live music whenever we wanted?  When we received the following nomination from Stephanie, we of course wanted to help Patrick get to a live concert.

I have been following the Sussy Project since the beginning and this is a WONDERFUL thing you all are doing. I just received an email from a dear friend who works as a social worker at  local nursing homes in the Bloomington-Normal, IL area. Her co-worker and herself are trying to raise enough money to help out one of their residents who is an avid lover of live music. He was in a terrible car accident in his early 20’s that left him a paraplegic. He cared for himself for years but 8 years ago had to move into a nursing home for full time care. He has limited resources and funds, but is dreaming of seeing a live show. I would love to see a gas card donated to Leslie, my friend, and her co-worker Amy to help get Patrick to a live show and rock out :) .

Here is the link to the Facebook site that they just recently started:

We reached out to Patrick via email, and sent a gas card his way.  We received the sweetest and most inspiring response from Patrick:

I appreciate Stefanie’s SUSSY nomination very much. What would my odd’s be. To qualify TO DRIVE MY SIERRA [3 MPH top speed in the or a MARATHON. I’M NOT AFRAIDE OF LIFE. I have Para-sailed over LAKE GENEVA, WI, BUNJI JUMPED DROVE MY SCOOTER ON Greatlakes Union Grove dragstrip. WE only LIVE ONCE. And I believe my second disabled meaning. Is to show the WORLD. That having a DISABILITY DOESN’T MEAN QUIT. IT’S MADE ME TRY HARDER. RESEARCH KEEPS PROVING THE HUMAN BRAIN IS CAPPABLE OF DOING ASTOUNDING FEATS. THE POWER OF THOUGHT. PATIENCE IS THE KEY. THERE IS SO-MUCH OF THE HUMAN BRAIN THAT IS UNTOUCH TERRITORY.

THANKS for the SUSSY NOMINATION. AND. I hope you’ll consider me for a WARM RACE.

SINCERELY; Pat A Rack or Patrick N Fallos


When we read his response, we all had tears in our eyes. What an amazing man. What an inspiration. We could all take a lesson from Patrick’s attitude towards adversity.

You can help too. Go to his Facebook page and donate to the cause.

We are excited to follow Patrick as he goes on his live music adventure.  Be sure to check back for an update!


Who do you know that deserves to be surprised by kindness? Please email us at

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On Friday, Adam must have heard our cries for Mother’s Day nominations. Because he sent in the following about his mama, Marsha:

Although there are many stories that I could tell to support my nomination, there is a stretch of time in our lives that would prove to be some of the hardest times that any mother should ever go through, but my mom Marsha Becker did.

In August 2001, I was riding my brother’s motorcycle through our home town of Upland Indiana, when a driver not seeing me on the road turned left into my lane.  With little time to react, I hit the car head on. Luckily the helmet I was wearing saved my life, however I lay on the street with two broken arms and a dislocated knee.  Over the next 6 weeks, through countless surgeries and doctor visits, my mother was always by my side.  To this day, I have no clue how much time she spent in hospital waiting rooms,  sitting by my bed or dealing with the paperwork that followed, all the time these visits were well over an hour away from her house.   Even though I was over 20 years old, I found myself in a wheel chair living at my parents house for a semester of college.   My mom had to take care of me as though I was still an infant.  I couldn’t feed myself, due to having two full arm casts.  I couldn’t walk due to a full leg cast.  I couldn’t even push myself in the wheelchair I was in.  Yet through all of it she was there, every step (pun intended) of the way.

It was exactly one year after, to the day when my mother’s next great challenge would happen.  I was currently living in Texas, on the anniversary of my accident.  I remember her telling me “Now don’t go do anything crazy today.”  Unfortunately, it was not me that fateful day that was doing something crazy.  I received a call from my mom at 4am the next morning telling me that my brother Christopher, her son had passed away from a fall while rock climbing in Austria.   The next several weeks were the hardest times that our family has ever been through, and will likely ever go through.  But my mom was strong, caring, and loving as always.

My mom has been there for the hard times and she has been there during the good.  My wedding, the birth of her grandson Christopher (we call him Topher, named after his uncle) and the birth of her granddaughter (Grace).  My mom doesn’t like going over a week without seeing her grandchildren, and finds excuses to make the drive down to come see them nearly every week.

So this mother’s day, on behalf of myself and my brother  I would love to have my mother receive the sussy that she so deserves.  I love you mom.

If Marsha isn’t someone you don’t want to run and hug, then I fear you must not have a heart. Because she sounds like not just an incredible mom, but also an incredible woman. Nicole Witt, member of the Sussy Squad, reached out to Marsha and told her about the nomination via email. We also sent a bouquet of flowers for Marsha to receive. According to Adam, she was just thrilled.

Marsha and Adam - Mother's Day

Then today, Marsha emailed Nicole back to describe her Sussy experience.

I will admit Adam sometimes (& often) surprises me; like nominating me for The Sussy Project.

What is a mother to do when she sees her son lying in the middle of the road after being hit head-on by a car?  Help, obviously.  Although his accident was ‘the worst’ he had had growing up, it wasn’t the only one.  He didn’t make it through high school unscathed.  And through them all he had a wonderful attitude.  I must admit I believe it was easier for me take care of him than it was for him to endure the pain.  He should have dropped out of classes for one semester but did not, he persevered through the pain and missed classes.  No mother likes to see their son suffer.  And of course, no mother should endure the pain of losing a son, just as no brother should.  Life does go on.   Adam and I have a deep love and respect for each other.  We were both art majors and therefore both have ‘critical’ minds.  We like to critique.

I have high praise for my son, Adam, just as I have high praise for my husband, Dick, who perseveres right along with us.  And Dick also puts up with Adam’s and my adventures.  He needs an award too.

Thank you for The Sussy Project.  Great idea.

What a great family. We are honored to introduce them to you. And we hope everyone out there made their moms feel special yesterday.


We want to keep handing out smiles.

Nominate someone for a Sussy today!

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