I will say that the trading business has just exploded. You guys trade A LOT! Heck, I trade a lot now. Most of you are making a lot of money which is a good thing.
My wife Conny and I do a lot of good with our crop insurance business. We hold farmers in the highest regard. It is an honor for us to serve farmers and we don't take that role lightly. That is our purpose for being here. We feel like our crop insurance business has supported farmers well through the years. That is a noble call.
So why do we trade? Does our trading somehow perform a function in the food chain? Does it help educate our children? Does it somehow advance our society? I have not figured that out yet, but despite the gains it feels empty to me unless there is a purpose attached to it. I am seeking a purpose for this business that is as noble as the crop insurance.
I want our trading business to mean something and to be important to somebody. I need to know when I wake in the morning and do what we do that there is a benefit that stretches beyond wealth creation.
I hope you will take a moment and read about this little girl named Leah Faris. Conny and I have made a financial commitment to help build a gazebo which should greatly enhance the lives of this family from proceeds created from our trading. We wanted to extend the same opportunity to our trading group. If you feel blessed from your trading with us and feel led to help in this project just let me know. Perhaps this helps you discover your purpose for your trading.
This is from the mother of a little girl.
First of all, I want to thank you for your attention and collaboration on this gazebo project. It is truly God's work that has brought everyone together for the sake of helping this family. Gary wanted to pass this narrative onto you so that you could see the need for the family. Thank you so much and I look forward to answering any questions you may have. The following narrative was submitted to me by the mother, Brittany Faris:
Our youngest child was born just over two years ago. She completed our family of five. She was absolutely perfect and it took a few months for us to realize that she wasn’t your typical baby. She was very slow with her progression and we began to become alarmed. We were sent to specialist after specialist, each with a new diagnoses and plan for her. Being a medical provider myself, I studied her symptoms day and night in hopes of somehow figuring out exactly what was going on with her and how to fix it. We participated in every therapy that was available to us, including speech, developmental, physical, occupational and visual therapies. Finally, when she was around 15 months old, we were informed that she has a genetic condition which six other individuals in the world have. There is very little known about this RAC-1 gene mutation, other than most affected individuals have global developmental delays, severe motor impairments due to low muscle tone, seizures, and very low IQs. All of the individuals are non-verbal and non of them were mobile until at least age 5. Leah does have each of these diagnoses, but she appears to be the most severely affected of the reported individuals. She requires a C-PAP to sleep due to sleep apnea. She has Cortical Visual Impairment along with several other visual diagnoses. She wears glasses daily, but how much she actually sees is still unknown. She does receive weekly vision therapy through the Visually Impaired Preschool. Although she is able to eat purées, which I make for her due to the high caloric intake she requires, her eating habits are very inconsistent and she has a g-tube in place. She is unable to latch on a bottle and requires liquids to be given through a squeeze bottle or syringe. She participates in multiple therapies each week due to her very low muscle tone.
After her genetic assessment, her condition was clearer and it became increasingly more difficult to find reliable care for her. I eventually ran out of PTO and sick days and it became necessary for me to quit practicing medicine and move our family back home to LaRue Co, KY. This was one year ago. Since then, we have not been able to find child care for her and I am unable to work. Thankfully, my husband was able to find a job when we moved here. To say that she has changed our lives is quite an understatement. Although she is very content and happy - which is a huge blessing, she requires constant supervision. She is finally sitting up on her own, but she frequently falls over. She is completely non-mobile, so she doesn’t scoot, crawl, stand or walk.
She is now two years old and has a four year old sister and six year old brother. Yes - my hands are very full! My son is protective of his sister and always knows exactly what she wants. His empathy is unparalleled and having a special needs sister will definitely make him a better person. Her four year old sister is still trying to figure it all out!
Going places with Leah continues to be difficult. Last summer, we were unable to go outside at all due to Leah’s intolerance of heat as well as a severe reaction to bug bites. She is much more tolerant to temperature changes now; however, despite using bug repellent wipes, she develops large areas of redness with ulcerations at the site of each bug bite. It is also difficult to take her outside as she doesn’t have anywhere to just “be”. In other words, Leah is getting to the point that she is quite difficult to carry. She is unable to hold on when she is carried, as a typical child would, and frequently falls forwards, sideways or backwards when she is being held. So although she is only about 30 pounds, holding her for very long is quite a challenge. Her wheelchair and adaptive stroller are difficult to push in the grass and due to very thick padding, are quite hot for her if we are outside.
I tell you our story in hopes of receiving funding for a screened-in gazebo for our family. Funding for this item has been denied by other organizations thus far due to it not being medically necessary. I realize that this may sound like a frivolous request, but it would be invaluable to us. On a typical day, Leah’s siblings have to either go outside alone while I am watching out the window or they can’t go outside at all. We recently bought a house with a pond and my son absolutely adores fishing. He frequently asks me to go fishing with him, and rarely am I able to. He has asked me twice now why his sister is so much more important than he is and why she gets so much more attention - if any of you are parents you can understand my genuine grief and heartbreak with this question. I know a gazebo would allow us to be outside together as a family, and hopefully allow each of my children to see and know how invaluable they are. In addition, having this structure would significantly decrease the guilt that my husband and I feel due to not being able to go outside with all of our children. This gazebo would have a sturdy beam through the center so that I could attach Leah’s jumper or swing to allow her to play. It would be screened in to prevent bug bites and I would put padding on the floor for her safety. We have an absolute ton of medically necessary durable medical equipment for Leah and although I do realize that this request is not medically necessary for her, we can’t think of another way to allow our family to be together outdoors and still provide a safe and happy environment for Leah. I do want to clarify that the financial expense of having a special needs child, particularly one with the intense level of care that Leah requires, is exponentially more than raising a typical child. We simply do not have the money for our “wants” at this time. I am so happy to have heard about this organization and we truly appreciate your consideration.