Happy 13th Birthday Megan!

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Megan,

I have hijacked your blog to wish you a very happy birthday. You have brought us so much happiness and joy over the years. Words cannot describe how much we love you. Watching you grow up has been fun and entertaining. You have been through so much in your short life and yet you face it all with courage and a smile.

Everyone that meets you loves the light that you bring into his or her life. You have such a big voice. You lend it to such great causes and you bring awareness to those around you.  You inspire me everyday.

I know you are excited to be a teenager. Enjoy these years have fun and make good choices. You star shines bright and you don’t just follow your dreams you run after them.

We love you,

Mom, Dad, and Alec

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Bret Michaels IS something to believe in!

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I have been very fortunate in my role as Junior Officer in Command at Celebrate Virginia Live to meet some wonderful artists. I have enjoyed sharing their stories on my blog and how they have used their success to pay it forward.

Last night was one of the first times I actually became emotional when meeting an artist. When I met Bret Michaels I felt my eyes fill with water and a lump form in my throat. We have both been through similar things medically and just sharing that bond and talking about friends and family with diabetes overwhelmed me. I think if he had time we would have talked for hours. He gives big hugs that just make you feel comforted.

My mom summed it up and said, “He is truly genuine”. I had to ask her what that means. She explained that it means you believe in the message you are spreading and really care about the impact you are making and the people you are touching.

Every winter my Children’s Hospital /Children’s Miracle Network of Richmond holds a Radio-A-Thon. Last year Darius Rucker and The Band Perry gave me items to donate to the silent auction. I was thrilled when Bret Michaels signed a “Chance Dog” for this year’s event. Bret said he was touched I was thinking of others.

I know a lot of people think I am “lucky” because I attend all these concerts and stand on stage with the radio stations, but for me it is about bringing the community together. It’s about giving back and being thankful for all I have been through. I can bring awareness. I have a VOICE that needs to be HEARD!

That is why Project 324 is important to me. Project 324 is about bringing the arts and the community together. Giving kids a chance to live a dream by getting on stage and singing the National Anthem, or a local band getting a venue to showcase their music. Project 324 is about paying it forward. Giving those in our community a chance to use their talents to make a difference in the world. Helping a filmmaker finish that film, providing a scholarship for a child to take music lessons, sponsoring a sports team, or inviting local charities to spread their messages. Every person who comes out to a show is part of making a difference.

Rocking out an RV with Bret is still on my “Bucket List”, but I am not lucky I am blessed that I am part of a family at CVL that allows me to help pay if forward and promote the spirit of giving back to our community through Project 324. You are never too young to make a difference.

Love,

Megs

“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world!” – Anne Frank (diary entry, 1944)

Rock My ‘Burg

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Back in March I made my first post of the 2013 Celebrate Virginia Live concert series. I announced how exciting it was going to be to have Bret Michaels join us here in Fredericksburg. I never realized how excited my MOM would be for Bret Michaels to be here in Fredericksburg. I know Bret from Rock My RV. On my “Bucket List” one of my dreams is to vacation out West on a tricked out RV. It is my dad’s dream too.

Well my mom remembers Bret from her teenage years. Apparently she has not forgotten she never got to see Poison in concert in 1987. I told her if I had a DeLorean I would take her “Back to the Future”. For months she has been exposing me to the music of her generation. I am just hoping she does not show up tomorrow night with teased up hair and fluorescent clothing. You should see some of those pictures from the 80s…WOW!

I really like Bret Michaels the artist and the person. He is very charitable. He raises awareness for pets and people. If you have not had a chance to check out his “Life Rocks Foundation” please take the time and follow the link. Every summer I attend a medical camp in Charlottesville, VA called Camp Holiday Trails. Many of my friends at camp have diabetes. This camp is a place for us to go for two weeks to be with a group of people who know what it is like to take medication everyday. For two weeks we can be ourselves and are not defined by our challenges. Through Bret’s foundation he sends kids with diabetes to camps like mine. His Foundation also supports kids with cancer, Wounded Warriors, and pet charities.

I tried to convince my parents to buy an old RV and see if we could get Bret to Rock it while he was here, but that didn’t happen. I don’t have any tattoos, but maybe we can compare heart surgery scars.

I hope you all will come on out and enjoy a night of music in the ‘burg. The weather will be great and the food is always so good. Bring your kids, your neighbors kids, friends of your kids….just grab a blanket and some chairs and make it a fun family night. Tickets are available on line and at the doors. Gates open at 6:00pm.

See you at the show…

Megs

Healing Through Music…

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I find it very exciting waiting to see what artists will be coming to Celebrate Virginia Live. I am always offering up “my” choices to the team. I also know a ton of things must happen behind the scenes to bring an artist to Fredericksburg.

A few weeks ago when Hank William Jr. was announced I started my research. I know I had heard the name, but I wasn’t exactly sure I knew who he was. Then my mom said, “He sang ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL the Sunday night theme”. Yes, she actually tried to sound like the theme song. I looked at her with the “ok” look. Then my brother chimed in and said, “Megan, he sings Family Tradition”. Well why didn’t they say that first. I know that song.  The more I researched and heard his music, the more inspired I became to write my post.

I love music. I love hearing all genres. I also love the way music makes me feel. Music has played a big part in my life. Each step of my medical journey different songs speak to me. Mom calls them my “theme songs”. Music has a big influence on my life. The more I read about the artist I find they also had life stories that influence who they are, where they have been, and where they are going.

When Hank Williams Jr. was 26 his life was turned upside down when he was seriously injured in a mountain climbing accident. Two years and nine major surgeries later, Hank Williams Jr. emerged with a new look consisting of a full beard, cowboy hat, and dark glasses.

I could really identify with what it feels like to recover from a medical obstacle. I spent three years recovering from my stroke. Sometimes it seems like you just want to give up. Hank Williams Jr. could have decided to just fade away, but he took the time to heal and came back stronger proving a “Country Boy Can Survive”.

I hope you will come out and join us July 20th as we welcome Hank Williams Jr. to Celebrate Virginia Live. Tickets are available online at Legends Sports Grille.

Love.

Megs

“If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.”

― Albert Einstein

Lights, Camera, Action

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If you have met me you know I love giving back. My charities fill my heart. I am so thankful to be apart of Project 324 the Official Charity of Celebrate Virginia Live.  Project 324 is about bringing the arts and the community together, whether on stage, over the airwaves, or on film, we ensure that artistic and cultural drive is available, accessible, enjoyed, and preserved.

This past concert I was proud to introduce Jasmine Sen an 8 year old from M&S Studio who sang the National Anthem along with the Quantico Young Marines Color Guard. They were awesome. Jasmine has an amazing voice. I fell in love with the stage when I was 8. I also was a student at M&S Studio. I was taking dance classes to strengthen my body after my stroke. What started as therapy turned into a passion. Nothing is more exciting to me than being on stage and looking out into the crowd. When the lights hit me I am ready to do my thing. I encourage everyone to embrace the arts. If you have a secret talent, tap into it. You will be amazed how it will make you feel.

Our next concert is this Saturday, July 20th. Hank Williams Jr will be in town. We have some awesome opening acts. Bring a blanket or a chair and come on out. Tickets are going fast. Don’t miss another fantastic night in the ‘Burg.

See you on stage,

Megs

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

-Emile Zola

She is Strong Enough to make it look so EASY………

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Can I tell you how much I love researching and learning about the artists who are going to perform at Celebrate Virginia Live. Last year I would talk to my mom or dad and ask them to tell me what they knew about the different artists. This year I thought it would be more fun to do the research.

It amazes me what I find. Sheryl Crow was born in February. Hey! I was born in February. She is almost a heart baby like me, minus the heart surgery. She has acted and was athlete and a musician in high school. As my dad would say, “Why choose”. She was a backup singer for Michel Jackson. She wrote jingles for commercials. She loves anything with a drum beat. That is my secret obsession. I want to learn to play the drums. Well I guess it isn’t a secret anymore J

The more I read the more I realized music is a passion for Sheryl Crow, but so is her generosity. She is a mom, a breast cancer survivor, singer, activist, and a song writer. She has been involved in the Scleroderma Research Foundation since the 90s and participates in the Wounded Warriors Project. She was shocked when she found out she had breast cancer because she didn’t have a family history. Like me she has learned that medical problems do not discriminate. I think music and songs are a wonderful way to show how you are feeling. It is amazing how much emotion can go into them. I am not a song writer but I do understand as an actress.

As I get older I am required to have more mature monologues. I have this one that my mom loves to hear me perform because it is very intense, but it is very hard for me to perform. It is a scene from “My Sisters Keeper”.

I think it is hard because it hits to close to home. My brother has had to watch me most of my life go back and forth between doctors. While I am blessed I don’t require any of his body parts to survive, I know that watching me grow up with challenges has been hard. Those feelings come out in that monologue. That is why I admire artists who can put their life events into their songs and really bring out the creative emotion.

On July 12th, many will come out to listen to Sheryl Crow play those awesome award winning songs.  I am looking forward hearing her life experiences through her music.

Love,

Megs

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

Today is SHOW DAY!!!!

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You know that feeling you get when you know something exciting is about to happen. Well that is how I feel right now. I have been waiting for months to kick off the Celebrate Virginia Live Concert Series and that day is FINALLY here.

I have been at the site this week and I love watching everything come together. You can feel the excitement and energy out on the field. It is great to see all the people ready to enjoy a Friday night in the ‘burg. I am looking forward to enjoying some of my favorite foods today.

In a few hours I will be on stage ready to get the crowd rolling along with my friends from Thunder 104.5.

Who is coming to see Billy? Make sure you say hi! when you see me walking around. Thank you to all the amazing sponsors that help make this show possible along with the amazing CVL Team. It is going to be a great year…….

Love,

Megs

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