March 20, 2017-
“When one member of our family falls we all pick them up”
While people come to the art of Taekwondo for a plethora of reasons they have longevity in the arts, partly because of the sense of community they find. While we can write about it at length it is the kind of feeling that is best experienced in order to fully understand it.
On Saturday March 18, 2016 the Break and Bake fundraiser at the YH Park Taekwondo Academy of Levittown was the most moving and inspiring community event I have witnessed in 30 years in and around the martial arts.
Juliana is a student and assistant at the Dojang and she happens to be a teenager. She is an average fun loving, hard kicking teenager but for one thing; earlier this year she was diagnosed with AML, a rare form of Leukemia.
In response to this girl and her family’s crisis the Taekwondo school has marshaled its most valuable and powerful asset, Taekwondo mothers, to lead the charge to assist the family in this difficult road into remission.
The school has fundraised since day one of learning of the diagnosis. The students and instructors at the academy proudly garner beautiful blue ribbons on their Dobaks to show their support for Juliana All their previous efforts culminated in Saturday’s stellar, all day event which included a break-a-thon, bake sale, raffle sales, musical performances, and Taekwondo demonstrations to raise funds, awareness, and spirits.
By all accounts the event was an overwhelming success. Funds were raised for Juliana’s care. Awareness of the cause was disseminated with people taking home swab kits to add themselves to the bone marrow registry. The atmosphere was almost carnival like at times.
As an observer to the break-a-thon it was quite apparent to me the students and guests put a little something extra in every board they broke on this day. Not for glory. Not for country. Not for a medal. For Juliana.