“We don’t just do what’s easy, we do what’s right.”

It’s hard to believe as I sit down to write my weekly message that half the year has already passed by. But since we are positive thinkers here, we still have half a year left to accomplish our goals, dreams, and aspirations this year!

As I reflected on what I would write this week about our spotlight core value, I started to reflect and think of examples of doing the right thing. I had several childhood stories that I thought of and even some current events that came to mind, but I instead decided to write about an exceptional family I met a few weeks ago.
The Sovran family was on my Hope Dealers podcast that I co-hosted with Jack Fallon a few weeks ago. Special thanks to Craig Cole for filling in for Jack that week as an unexpected conflict came up for Jack last minute.

The story was primarily expected to be focused on Hope Sovan.
Hope is a girl in her early 20’s who was introduced to us by a guest on our show. Craig was insistent that we needed to meet Hope and that she would be a great story to share. Hope was born with spina bifida and has endured 119 surgeries but has remained cheerful and enthusiastic all along the way.

We did share Hope’s story, and she does have a fantastic account which you should try to listen to if you have time one day. I will share the link at the end of the message today. I remember her story about how her parents embodied this week’s core value of not just doing what was easy but doing what was right.
Hope was joined by her mother, Nancy, on our show. Nancy told us her family story and how she and her husband had nine kids. All nine kids were born and raised by them; there were no adopted kids or step kids. One of my very first questions to Nancy after learning this was, “Did you plan on having this many children?”
This is where I learned what a special couple Nancy and her husband are and how they decided ultimately to do something that was not going to be easy but something they knew in their hearts that was right.

Nancy explained that they knew they wanted more than a couple of kids but never did they plan to have five or more. After having their first four kids together, they decided to have a fifth but thought they were done having children. Then as is the case, sometimes they ended up having an “Oops,” and the sixth kid was on its way!
Because child number 6 would be considerably younger than the next oldest sibling, they decided later that they would have one more child so the 6th child would have a sibling closer to their age. That is where Hope enters the story. Hope was child number 7, and a few months before she was born, Nancy and her husband were informed that Hope would be born with spina bifida and would have to go through many surgeries to survive her first few years of life.

The Sovran family understood what challenges laid ahead, and they were okay with it. They loved their unborn daughter and decided to name her Hope because of the journey that she would need to go through to survive. A few months after Hope was born, Nancy received some advice from a pediatrician who had many years of experience with medically challenged children.
The pediatrician explained to Nancy and her husband that the best thing they could do for their daughter Hope was to have more siblings for her. He explained that having siblings above her in age and below her in age would comfort her and ensure that she would always be okay.

This family was already dealing with so much. They lived at the University of Michigan Children’s Hospital and tried to take care of their other six children. Now this pediatrician was trying to inspire them to have even more children. Ultimately they decided that even though it wasn’t going to be easy, they would do what they thought was right and have not one but two more children for a total of 9.

This is where the story becomes even more remarkable. Hope was 12 years old and had endured so many challenges at that point in her life and somehow remained positive and survived everything she had been through. One day at 12 years old, she woke up with a bloody nose that would not stop. Her family rushed her to an emergency room, where they were later informed that she needed a bone marrow transplant soon to survive.

They told the family that since Hope had eight siblings, they expected two or three siblings to be a match for Hope.
After testing all of the siblings, only one child was a match for Hope as a donor. It was her youngest sister, the 9th child of the bunch! This was the last child born, and had it not been for the pediatrician that inspired the Sovran family to have more children; then Hope would not have had a donor to keep her living!
This week I honor and celebrate the Sovran family, who are the perfect example of this week’s core value spotlight. They did not do what was easy, they did what was right, and because of it, great things happened!

That is the message that I leave you with this week. If you choose to do the right thing, I believe that ultimately good things will happen because of it, even if it’s not right away. I am very grateful that I could share the story on my podcast and share a small portion of it with all of you in this message this week.
If you are interested in hearing the entire story and being inspired, check out the YouTube link below, allowing you to watch the podcast when you have time.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for continuing to do the right thing whenever possible! I know it’s not easy, but it makes the world a better place!
Don’t forget to serve others this week!

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