#Win a $100 GC #Giveaway and #LiveOnGiveOn with #BakkenInvitation

Many thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today’s story and encouraging me to live on and give on. #LiveOnGiveOn #BakkenInvitation


Embrace what’s difficult.”

Those are the words are the words of inspiration from Sami. Sami is one of the Bakken Award Participants who is being recognized for her extraordinary accomplishments. The Bakken Invitation celebrates and connects people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are making a difference in their communities. Each of the 10 Bakken Honorees will earn a $20,000 grant for Medtronic Philanthropy to be given to their designated charity and Sami has chosen SHIFT Scoliosis as her charity due to the fact that she lives with scoliosis every single day of her life.

Sami is 17 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 11. Scoliosis is a lateral (sideways) curve of the spine that is not supposed to be there. Scoliosis happens during the growing years and gets worse and worse, eventually leading to medical issues. Depending on the degree of the curve, many times a person needs to wear a brace or even needs surgery to prevent it from getting worse.

Sami was a very competitive swimmer and due to scoliosis, she had to quit swimming all together at the age of 13. Sami had constant pain, could not breathe, had sleep apnea and hypoxemia (low oxygen in the blood) and neurological issues. She was forced to wear a brace 23 hours a day a year and a half, relied on a breathing machine at night and then needed spinal fusion surgery in 2012 to correct her scoliotic curve. The instrumentation that is holding Sami’s spine straight includes two rods and seventeen screws and allows her to breathe and stand for as long as she wants. She is finally free to live her life.


Here are Sami’s Words of Inspiration

"Embrace what’s difficult.

"There were many days on my journey with progressive scoliosis when I felt as if all was going against me – countless medical appointments; the ongoing progression and deterioration of my body; and the pain of being stared at, laughed at, and made fun of. It was overwhelming and hard to deal with as a younger teen.

"I want everyone with a spinal deformity, with any medical condition, to feel validated and to know how perfect, strong and brave they are. I want them to know they are not alone, and to never give up."


#Win a $100 GC #Giveaway and #LiveOnGiveOn with #BakkenInvitation

Why Am I Highlighting Sami and SHIFT Scoliosis?

When I looked over the 10 participants, Sami stood out because of her scoliosis. My Gracie has scoliosis too, however we were able to catch it before it got to be really bad. Gracie has to have chiropractic adjustments twice a week in hopes of either stopping the scoliosis in it’s tracks so it doesn’t get any worse, or reversing the degree of scoliosis that she currently has. At the moment, it seems to be getting better. Gracie will have to have two adjustments per week throughout her whole life while she’s still growing… so at least through high school. Once she is done growing, she can stop the adjustments and whatever degree her spine is at – it will stay. Reading about how Sami has suffered with scoliosis and overcome is so inspiring and I’m so glad to see her taking part in SHIFT Scoliosis to make a difference.

Here’s Gracie getting adjusted by our chiropractor who comes twice a week:

#Win a $100 GC #Giveaway and #LiveOnGiveOn with #BakkenInvitation


Here are 10 lessons in living and giving from survivors, including Sami:

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My readers have the chance to win a $100 Visa® gift card to be used to make a positive impact on your community. You are free to choose how the money is spent, but it should benefit your community is some way.

Enter to win by filling out the form below, it’s super easy – GOOD LUCK!

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  1. I donate toys and clothes to our local charity

  2. Lisa Brown says:

    I give back to the community by donating to our local food bank and charities that help the elderly in the hospices.

  3. Karen Glatt says:

    I help my community by helping with the food drive every year before Christmas, and by getting a really nice toy to a needy child! And I also help babysit kids when parents are shopping for Christmas gifts!

  4. I make fabric flower accessories and give them away to disadvantaged girls, troubled teens, and homeless women. I also sew fleece mittens for all ages for the mitten drives.

  5. we donate clothes

  6. Deb Jackson says:

    We adopt a family and assist them with Christmas for their familyl

  7. Jessica Beard says:

    All of these people are such an inspiration to me. This time of year, a lot of kids are taken care of with the Toys For Tots program. Children are so important to me, along with senior citizens. I would love to use this money to create care packages for people in my grandmother’s nursing home. A small card, treat, or little trinket would really brighten their day.

  8. We donate to food shelves and volunteer in helping in local shelters.

  9. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I donate to toys for tots and help my parents out whenever i can

  10. Donating clothing, toys, housewares, etc. to our local charity (Good Samaritan Services). 🙂

  11. I donate clothes

  12. Thomas Murphy says:

    I donate food, clothes, and toys to local charities.

  13. steve weber says:

    I volunteer at a soup kitchen twice a month.

  14. Anastasia Falling says:

    We donate food and other items when we are able 🙂 As for our loved ones, we help out as much and whenever we can with anything they need 🙂

  15. We volunteer at a local food bank. I also volunteer with the children and youth of our church and serve as a family liaison for the NFED, the foundation for my skin disorder. We donate routinely to causes that we believe in.

  16. We donate money and supplies to my son’s school. We donate to local charities and participate in some charity walks.

  17. Holly Thomas says:

    I donate food and blankets to the ASPCA.

  18. We give back by donating clothes and food to those in need. This year we have been gathering coats so we can donate to those who need to stay warm for winter.

  19. Dawn Monroe says:

    We give parishable items to our church and my husband helps out his family monthly.

  20. Ashley Tucker says:

    I give back by volunteering and donating to those in need.

  21. Betsy Barnes says:

    We give back by donating food weekly to our local food bank and shelter. Every grocery store trip, I buy the BOGO items and drop off the “free” items on my way home. 🙂

  22. My church has a food pantry that I donate to and also I collect clothes and shoes of all types for a local thrift store. They sell everything for only .25 and I can’t tell you the people who have been blessed by being able to get clean decent clothes for work and school.

  23. Jessica To says:

    We donate to our church’s food pantry and our local toy convoy.

  24. We do a coat drive and donate to the food bank. I’d love to do more volunteer work as well!

  25. We give back to our community in several different ways.. we volunteer at a food giveaway site and help serve meals. I am an avid gardener and give some of what was bessed to me back to the food bank. We also love giving to Toys for Tots . Theres a long story involved there but years ago when I was a child our family got toys and I will never forget them.
    I also do TNR and socialize kittens out of pocket and maintain a feral cat colony (TNR is trap nueter release) I have done that well over 20 years .
    We do quite a but, and try to do more. So many people are hurting, and although we have little it is a pleasure to do what we can. I would use the extra money to buy more seeds for the garden so we can give more of the bounty of the earth.

  26. We give back by donating items and our time to the community, we are also teaching our children the value of contributing to society.

  27. Soha MOlina says:

    We volunteer in our city.

  28. Cindy Merrill says:

    I help with our local food pantry here in Owls Head NY (Town of Belmont community): There are over 45 families as well as 30 low income seniors who depend on food distribution. Did you know that SNAP has not had an increase in 6 years?

  29. I give back often by donating clothing and food to local shelters. I love to help others.

  30. I give back to my community by donating to my local food pantry, and donating gifts to families in need during the holidays.

  31. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I Give Back To My Community By Volunteering And Donating, I Support My Loved Ones My Lending A Helping Hand With Anything They Need

  32. We donate food to the food pantry.

  33. we donate food to local food bank and toys to the church

  34. We donate clothes and toys and food all year long.

  35. I donate supplies and my oldest two daughters donate their time to the ronald mcdonald house

  36. Sonya Morris says:

    We donate monthly to the food pantry and baby corner but could always do more!

  37. I give back by buying cat food and treats to help feed the neighborhood cats in need.

  38. We donate to our local food shelf, and animal rescue!

  39. I give back to my community by donating clothing and canned foods to our local shelters.

  40. Gina M (Wild Orchid) says:

    I give back by donating personal care items to our local womens shelter, and food items to our food pantry!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Entered the rafflecopter form as “Wild Orchid”

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

  41. Sheila Vives says:

    I give back by supporting our local food bank, other local charities who I have seen make a difference, and by helping individuals in need.

  42. Sarah Hayes says:

    I shop local to help our community

  43. I donate a lot of food items to a local shelter.

  44. I donate to the local food bank and take food and visit with the elderly neighbors.

  45. e michelle says:

    Every season the kids and I go through thier clothes and give them away to the childrens shelter.

  46. e michelle says:

    i give back to the community by donating clothes and toys to various charities. I give back to loved ones by always haveing an open heart and an open home if anyone needs a place to stay or is having a hard time.

  47. Carla Pullum says:

    I volunteer at the shelter and once a month take a walk by the beach and feed the needy with a group of ladies.

  48. We volunteer and donate clothes.

  49. I volunteer at our local Church…along with having numerous bake sales throughout the year for our Community.

  50. amy pugmire says:

    I DONATE clothes and toys and other items to our local shelter all year long.

  51. Several years ago we adopted a child in Uganda through World Vision. Plus, we donate locally when we are able too.

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