A Life-Changing Decision: Jamie Holmes Decides Christmas is About Giving, Not Receiving

Editor’s Note: Jamie Holmes of  White Oak, Pennsylvania, learned at an early age that her real joy in life began once she focused on others, instead of herself. This amazing 24-year-old woman not only has helped herself but hundreds of others as well. In reading this week’s story of “Jamie Holmes – The Dream Giver,” you’ll find truths that may change your life forever for the better. Part 2 of a 4-part series.

With Jamie's Dream Team, Jamie Holmes has set her sights on giving more than she gets!

With Jamie's Dream Team, Jamie Holmes has set her sights on giving more than she gets!

Right before I was 15-years old, I went in for another surgery. My sister always would stay with me in the hospital before my operations. This time there was a little girl in the room with me who needed a heart transplant. Her dad was overseas in the military, and we felt so sorry for her. I had a real burden to try and help people like her and bring some joy into their lives.

At this time, I was in the hospital for a spinal-cord operation, because my spinal cord was tethered. (This disorder meant my spinal cord was pulled-down and stuck to the spinal canal, instead of floating inside the spinal canal). Anytime you undergo surgery, the possibility of death is a real fear that you have to face.

Although I always was very sick, I’d grown-up in a family of givers. Each year my sister and I got to pick-out underprivileged families who perhaps had a child who was sick. Then my family and I became Secret Santas to them.

Our family would buy presents for a needy family and take the presents to them on Christmas Eve. My grandpa even would dress-up like Santa Claus. The family never knew who had bought the presents for them. When my grandparents delivered the presents on Christmas Eve, they would watch as the family opened the presents.

Most of the time the children who received the presents went to the same school as my sister and me. When those children returned to school after Christmas break and receiving their presents, generally their attitudes and personalities were completely different. Most of the kids who received the Secret Santa presents had been wearing old clothes and were very sad. Yet, when they came back after Christmas holidays to school, they’d have on new clothes and new gifts to show-off. Just seeing them so happy was a wonderful experience!

Holidays in the Holmes family have always been about giving to families in need.

Holidays in the Holmes family have always been about giving to families in need.

I never will forget the year that my grandparents not only gave a family $2,000 that they had planned to spend on their Christmas but also gave the family my sister’s and my presents. That was when I learned that Christmas was about giving and not about receiving.

Today at Christmastime, we don’t have a wish list of the presents we want to receive; instead we make-up a wish list of the presents we want to give to other people. My grandmother has taught all of us that giving is far-more important than getting.

When I finished high school at age 17, I started Jamie’s Dream Team, an organization designed to raise money to help others.  Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about how this organization was built with giving in mind to the same kinds of kids in the hospital that I grew up with during my own frequent stays.  Here’s a preview:

Next: Jamie Holmes Founds Jamie’s Dream Team to Help Others

V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome Resources

VATER ASSOCIATION: CLINICAL SYNOPSIS
http://www3.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/htbin-post/Omim/dispmim?192350.cs

VATER ASSOCIATION
http://www.childhealthinfo.com/getitem.cfm?itemnumber=1051.00000

TEF/VATER Support Network
http://www.childhealthinfo.com/getitem.cfm?itemnumber=1052

National Association of Rare Disorders
http://www.stepstn.com/nord/rdb_sum/486.htm

All About Kids World Wide Web Site Forum
http://tooltime.primax.com/aak/aak_forum/ThisSiteMenu.htm l

VATER
http://www.kumc.edu/gec/support/vater.html

The VATER-association in 3 siblings
http://www.sun.ac.za/local/academic/med/med_genetics/pac94.htm

NEW SUPPORT GROUPS
http://www.circ.uab.edu/sergg/w94/gs94w-a.htm

About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

5 Responses to A Life-Changing Decision: Jamie Holmes Decides Christmas is About Giving, Not Receiving

  1. Pingback: Jamie Holmes of Jamie’s Dream Team Explains You Have to Know What Your Focus Is « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

  2. LaRae Stieman says:

    Another great article Jamie!!!

  3. Pingback: JAMIE HOLMES – Courage To Shine™ – Role Model of the Month for January 2012 « Courage to Shine™

  4. Reblogged this on Courage to Shine™ and commented:
    UroMed Hometown Hero – Jamie Holmes Part 2

  5. Pingback: Jamie Holmes of Jamie’s Dream Team Explains You Have to Know What Your Focus Is

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