January 3, 2011 Keely came to me stating she had to do something to prevent other children from being hurt on ski lifts- there must have been a story on the news of a recent fall. She wanted to share her story with politicians as to her, a third-grader, it was common sense to make the lifts safer for children. I remember this date only because that was the date our governor and local assemblyman were newly sworn in, and I doubted her letters would be read at such a busy time in a politician’s life.
I provided Keely with names and addresses of politicians she could write not thinking anything would come from it. Furthermore, we, as Keely’s parents, were nowhere near ready to deal with thinking about Keely’s accident again. In fact, we never ever wanted to think of those 6 weeks after the accident again… the time we almost lost our Keely.
But then the next week we received a handwritten response from new Assemblyman Mike Morrell. Keely asked, “Now what?” Five months later she received another response- this from President Barack Obama. Sure it was a form letter, but at least there was a response. These replies were the only two received to the many letters Keely mailed out.
And Keely’s question, “Now what?” sounded like a plea for help to this Mommy’s ears. Keely’s actions forced us to work through our memories, emotions and nightmares. Besides advocating for blood donor awareness another positive outcome from Keely’s fall might be possible: updating ski lift safety standards.
We coined our beginning ideas as “Keely’s Law.” We were so green… but that’s another blog entry.