I wanted to take this time out to wish everyone who reads my blog a very Happy and healthy Thanksgiving! We all have many things to be thankful for so let’s take time out to pray and thank God for each and everyone of them. I have a very special reason to be thankful each Thanksgiving and every day of my life (for that matter). I am celebrating Thanksgiving in a very special way and I would like to thank Brett (bpassmore) and the rest of the Mod’s at Huck’s Army for helping me out. Please do read below and you will find out what is so special about Thanksgiving to me and what I am doing to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving to all and God Bless!
I will be back on Friday with a good recap of the news from the past few days. There is a lot of good news out there. I just don’t have as much time right now to cover it as I want.
My name is Brian Donegan. You know me as BDBopper on the Huck’s Army
Forums and at my blog, “Oh Baby That’s What I Like.”
Thanksgiving is a very special time. It is time to gather with family and
friends and thank God for our many blessings. However, Thanksgiving has a
very special meaning to me. Twenty-five years ago I was fighting a battle
for my life two months after my birth. Thanks to the care of my doctors
and nurses, the love of my family, and the grace (of) our Lord I am still here
beating the long odds that were set out for me. The following was a front
page article in the “Gwinnett Daily” section of the Atlanta Journal &
Constitution on Thanksgiving of 2000.
Thankful for . . .
Their son, 18, who faced dire prognoses when he was born
Robert Haddocks – Staff
Thursday, November 23, 2000
Brian Donegan was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate so severe that
his mouth was agape and he essentially did not have a nose. He had a heart
defect that deprived him of oxygen, and he was blind. If that were not
enough to deal with, pneumonia set in. And when he was barely 2 months old,
Brian’s chest was ripped open by doctors who repaired his heart in the
first of 10 surgeries he would have before his second birthday.
“The prognosis was real grim,” said his mother, Carol Donegan of
Lawrenceville. Doctors told her and her husband, David, that if Brian
survived it would most likely be in a vegetative state. At the time of his
birth, they gave him six weeks to live.
That was 18 years ago. Today, Brian is a bright, energetic, ambitious high
school senior with an indomitable spirit and a remarkably positive outlook.
“If something gets me down, it doesn’t get me down for long,” Brian said.
“I’m not ever down for the count. I always find something to look
positively on.” He quickly counters any perceived negative with a balancing
positive. His most bothersome limitation is his vision. He’s legally blind,
which keeps him from having a driver’s license. “Sometimes, people are
busy, and I can’t get to where I want to go, but my parents make plenty of
accommodations, and they do the very best they can,” he said.
Defying the doctors’ prognoses, Brian is not only healthy, he’s a straight
A student who scored 1110 on the SAT. Dressed in jeans and a bright orange
Parkview High School sweatshirt, Brian is an ordinary kid. An avid sports
fan, he has a bedroom decorated with Atlanta sports paraphernalia, mostly
from the Braves. Like most teens, he enjoys spending time on the computer,
hammering at an electronic keyboard, and, in a slight deviation from the
norm, listening to music from the 1950s. One of his hobbies is spinning
records, and he plans on majoring in broadcast journalism at a university
in Georgia and becoming an “oldies” disc jockey.
David Donegan believes Brian will overcome any obstacle in his path — as
he always has. Brian plans to live close to public transportation or “make
his mark on the world where he’s independently wealthy and he can have a
driver,” his father said. “Whatever he does, I feel he’ll make an impact on
this world, and the world will be a better place because he’s here.”
“He is such a constant surprise,” Carol said of her son, who volunteers at
the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta and is co-president of the
center’s STARS (Social Therapeutic And Recreational Services) program.
“He has a lot going for him and has a personality that can handle anything
that comes his way,” she said. “He always has a smile and a bright spirit.
We’re just thankful that the doctors were able to help when he just about
died 18 years ago.”
Brian is scheduled for surgery on his jaw in the spring — his 18th
surgery. He endured a lot of teasing in middle school, and, although that
has mostly ceased, he still has to fight against ignorance.
“My biggest obstacle has been getting people to understand my disability
and to understand that I’m a human being just like everyone else, and I can
do things just as well or maybe better than anyone else.”
Standing in the kitchen of his Lawrenceville home, David Donegan
acknowledged difficult times. But he said: “I wouldn’t want to walk in
anyone else’s shoes.” David, who has two younger sons — Jeff, 15, and
Kevin, 13 — truly believes every day is a blessing.
“When Brian was born and they said he had six weeks to live, and he might
not last that long, we just knew that we would love him and take care of
him as long as we had him,” he said. “And we’re just happy that it’s been a
lot longer than six weeks,” David said. “We very much left that up to God,”
Carol said of the early days. “You can’t second guess any of that. We just
had to leave that up to God, and he did a pretty good job. He did a great
As you can tell I have many things to be thankful for this year, let alone
every day of my life. In honor of the twenty-five years that I have been
blessed to live happy and relatively healthy since Thanksgiving of 1982 I
am making a special Thanksgiving donation to the Mike Huckabee Campaign on
Thanksgiving Day of $25.00, the last donation I can afford to give this
year. My challenge to you is to match or make an even higher donation on
Thanksgiving. While not the same, Mike Huckabee has faced long odds in his
campaign for the GOP nomination and eventually the White House. Each day
we inch closer to beating all of those long odds. We can beat all of them
only with your help! Please help me and let’s beat those odds together!
Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless You!
Brian Donegan (BDBopper)
-Gwinnett County For Mike Huckabee