WOW! Read this and don't skip a line. Connie works with Charlie's
Grandma Cheryl and we can't thank her enough for taking the time to
share this w/ us.
Charlie is such a great inspiration to me. It is uncanny the effect he
has had on my life and the strength that I have gained from your family.
I have followed Charlie's story since he first became ill. What a
privilege it was to work with Grandma Cheryl . She has been so patient
to keep me informed and to invite me to visit Charlie in his home. I
LOVED holding sweet Charlie and feeling something so special about his
strong spirit. I came away from that experience filled with so much
faith and such a feeling of peace. It is difficult to explain. I have
kept his bracelet close by ever since Grandma Cheryl shared one with me.
I continually pray for him and all those who help care for him. I am
so grateful that you are willing to share your story and lives with all
This summer I spent five weeks teaching English in Vietnam. I was a
bit nervous and I wore Charlie's bracelet every day. There were many
long days that I needed to be reminded to take "Charlie Steps". Many
people asked me about the bracelet and I shared Charlie's story with
many people. Everyone that heard the story was touched and wanted to
know more about this little boy. They were all stunned at the strength
your family possesses.
I have taught in China for several years and I was anxious to go back
and help where the devastating earthquake hit earlier this summer in
Chengdu. I have many friends there and I know that they have suffered a
great deal. I spent six days in a remote village working with the
Chinese Red Cross doing relief work with many of the victims. The
school that I had taught at was totally demolished and many friends were
killed. I lived in a tent with a family that I was close to several
years ago. They lost two children when the school collapsed as well as
their house and everything they owned. I cannot imagine that kind of
total loss. I was overwhelmed at the devastation I saw. They are such
humble people and willing to accept what has happened to them. They
invited me to share everything they had. We worked together cleaning up
and building some new homes around the collapsed school. I found such
strength as I looked at my wrist and thought of Charlie and his
strength. My friends asked about the bracelet and I told them the
story. We spent several hours talking about life and our attitudes about
facing adversity. The mother, Thien Ann, was moved to tears as we
talked and shared a very spiritual time in that little tent. The night
was stifling hot, but we sat close and shared our tears and our hope for
the future. As I prepared to leave and fly back to my comfortable home,
I gave Charlie's bracelet to Thien Ann. She sobbed as she accepted my
simple gift and asked me to tell you that she understands heartache and
she hopes you will all find peace in your heart as Charlie continues to
teach all of us. She wanted me to be sure to tell you about her love for
the lessons of "Charlie Steps" and that she will always think of you and
your strength. I left her with a hug and my promise to pass along her
empathy and admiration for all of you.
All of your family continues to bless our lives. You have inspired
people around the world with Charlie's story. I am overwhelmed at the
great blessings I enjoy and so often take for granted. I have committed
to be more full of gratitude and to share my blessings with others who
need help. I know your "Gammy" is proud of you. She was quite a lady.
Thank you for the new bracelets. I treasure them. I am truly grateful
for the opportunity I have had to get to know you. Your faith and
strength is an inspiration to all of us. May Heavenly Father continue to
watch over you and wrap you in His arms when you need comfort.