D.A.L.E. SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS PROGRAM
In 2008, Dale underwent a controversial medical procedure called Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA), in which a patient is sedated so a doctor or chiropractor can stretch and manipulate the body in ways that would be impossible to do if the patient were conscious. Dale went into cardiac arrest, and emerged from the procedure in a vegetative state. Both the doctor and anesthesiologist were sued for negligence. The case went to trial in 2013, and Dale and his family were awarded $23.5 million for past and future medical expenses, and an additional $15 million for pain and suffering.
But the family’s story goes so much further than the verdict. While Dale survived the tragically mishandled procedure, he could neither speak nor move, and was given estimates of from six months to ten years to live. Dale’s sister, Shelleyann, and the rest of his family helped Dale outlive those prognoses – and in that same defiant spirit, Shelleyann established a scholarship fund in his honor, aimed to benefit needy children in their hometown in Jamaica.
The charity’s name is D.A.L.E., an acronym for Determination Above Life’s Expectations. It provides school supplies, everything from pencils to computers, for each upcoming school year, for primary school students in the town where Dale and Shelleyann were raised before moving to the United States.
Their good deeds continue every year with the work they do to move justice forward. It’s also beautiful to witness how they’re also moving forward themselves: as a family, as a unit, as an inspiration, and succeeding in rallying people around Dale’s story for the better.
They’re taking tragedy and moving forward – always growing, and pushing forward every year, and reaching out, and giving and sharing. They’re the epitome of the example of what ongoing justice looks like.
Traumatically Altered is a company started by another one of my clients, Remington Block.
He ended up having to get his leg amputated after a motorcycle accident. His case ended with a settlement, not a verdict. With that money, he launched his company, and took off on his mission for his own personal growth and journey.
Remy founded Traumatically Altered with the goal of uniting amputees and encouraging them to never stop pursuing what drove them and their dreams before their life-altering accidents.
He’s given a face and a name to those looking for a successful and amazing amputee and has given them a hero to emulate. Since getting back on his bike, Remy has become the first amputee to win the AMA Supermoto National Championship. Graciously, at my request, he’s spoken to a number of clients of mine who are also amputees and has rekindled their dreams as well.
This is his path to justice. It’s a work in progress, and I intend to stick with him to watch it reach fruition. I keep checking in on him because his pursuit of justice is also mine. What traumatically altered him, has not stopped him. I have watched him grow and be such an inspiration. After enduring something that would keep many people down, he’s got nowhere to go but up.
The Jack and Jill Children’s Center assists in increasing family financial stability, maintaining employment, achieving job advancement, decreasing the risk for incidences of abuse and neglect, and fostering children’s healthy growth and development. As a result, parents gain confidence, children perform and behave better at home and in the classroom. Overall, the family functions at higher levels of stability.
The “Friends of Jack and Jill Center” is a support group of volunteers committed to developing community awareness, fundraising, and program assistance for the Center’s children and their families. The purpose of Friends is to establish a long-term base of support that will allow the Center to provide early childhood education scholarships and family services so these parents can continue to work, knowing their children are in a safe and nurturing environment. Friends help to fulfill this need by raising money through membership drives and special events. The Friends have proudly raised more than $2,700,000 for Jack & Jill, providing funding that is crucial to the overall mission.
The Jack & Jill Center breaks the cycle of poverty. I’ve been an active participant for a decade, and am so inspired by what they do, I even joined the advisory board that is devoted to fundraising, and I personally donate. That’s how much I believe in it. I’ve been a reading coach, a room leader, and have been a volunteer reader at the library. I’ve also sent my own daughter there, which is my highest possible show of support – and belief in the importance and efficacy of what they’re doing.
Tomorrow’s Rainbow deals with children and how they process grief during horrific times. When they lose parents or experience a traumatic event, like school shootings, or have suffered a horrible injury, Tomorrow’s Rainbow provides a phenomenal approach to group therapy for children, also including their parents or guardians. It’s all done through equine therapy with miniature horses, with whom the children interact in therapeutic play areas and facilitated peer support.
The staff members are exceptional in providing support and insight for people, in order to help them through their stages of grief. I personally took a course in how to address children about the subject of death, which provided incredible insight to me when my daughter lost both grandparents the same year she also had to deal with fears of the pandemic.
I have provided their information to clients who are interested in alternative types of therapy for their children, and Tomorrow’s Rainbow is one of the organizations I hope to continue to maintain supporting and associating with.
The Posse Foundation is a non-profit organization that embodies a mentality and model that works for both students and college campuses alike. Posse is rooted in the belief that a small, diverse group of talented students—a Posse—carefully selected and trained, can serve as a catalyst for individual and community development.
The Posse Foundation believes that, as the United States becomes an increasingly multicultural society, the leaders of the 21st century should reflect the country’s rich demographic mix. They are the key to a promising future for our nation: strong leaders from diverse backgrounds who can develop consensus solutions to complex social problems. Posse’s primary aim is to train these leaders of tomorrow.
I believe in those ideals, and that vision. I work with the Posse Foundation as a mentor, and a coach, to help kids get into college. I love being a mentor – not just while they’re in high school, but into college and after. I love to help kids with resumes and job interviews, and to help them with the process of moving on and moving away. And as someone who has benefited from mentors in my own life, and kept them close, I’ll stay involved in the lives of the people I counsel for as long as they want me in there.
Legal Aid Service of Broward County provides free civil legal services to low-income and otherwise eligible residents of Broward County. I believe wholeheartedly in their mission: to provide high quality free civil legal advice, representation, and education to the disadvantaged of Broward County, so as to improve the lifestyle and living conditions in low-income communities and encourage self-sufficiency.
Legal Aid Service of Broward County provides assistance in specialized areas of civil law, including children, education, community development, consumer rights, homeless legal rights and more. Legal Aid helps indigent people get justice. Lady Justice Injury Law works on a contingency basis. Outside of the personal injury world, many people cannot afford a lawyer, and Legal Aid provides either guidance or representation in those other areas of the law.