There are a lot of times in life when you are knocked down. A tough bout with illness. A car accident that left you injured. A financial blow to your bank account. Regardless of what it is, we all have a choice. Fight and get back up, or lay there and let go. When you're in a position like that, it can be hard to focus on anything but yourself. One young lady in Wichita Falls is doing just the opposite.
Libby Brooks suffers from Henoch-Schönlein Purpura. Usually just called HSP. It is painful, and for more than two years, has sent Libby to hospitals for treatment. But, while she was getting treatment, she realized there was a problem. It had nothing to do with her health.
"The first time that I was in the hospital in 2011, I had nothing to do. There were no crayons. No coloring books. No toys. There was nothing. I couldn't leave my room to go to the playroom because of how sick I was. I wanted to get the hospital to where they had more for kids and, where every day they had no kids with nothing to do," said Libby.
"I don't think she ever runs out of ideas," said Libby's Mom Dorothy. "Just when I think things are going to slow down, and we'll have a break for a little bit, something else she comes up. We'll get going. Right on top of that. We just add it to our list, and it keeps on going."
Libby now has a following. They are; Team Libby.
"If we didn't have the community support we wouldn't be able to do a lot of this stuff. When she's in the hospital, we have people that say, 'so and so called you to go pick up this and drop it off at the hospital,' and nobody hesitates to do anything that we need done," said Dorothy.
Team Libby is people like Liz Shaw, who is also a family friend.
"They've always been there for her," said Shaw. "She's always had support, and I think that's really important."
Liz told us, Libby is an inspiration, we can all follow.
"She's just amazing to me. What she has gone through. She can be down and out, and not feeling well, and her body just a wreck over what she has. She goes into the hospital. In and out. Then she comes out and she is like, 'how can i help somebody else? I'm going to go volunteer '," said Shaw.
Libby has been behind numerous programs that make a difference in the life of a sick child.
Right now, Libby is concentrating on a new project. They are these wooden boxes that are being given to children who are in the Pediatric Unit at United Regional.
"They have coloring books. They have crayons. They have Chapstick, and they have a bunch of games and puzzles in them," said Libby. "Kids can take them if they have to go down to Dallas for a bigger treatment, they can take that."
"We ask people to sponsor a box. It's $20 to sponsor a box, and that's all the supplies that you see. The wood, the hinges, everything to make the box, the chalkboard paint and everything that goes in the box," said Dorothy Brooks.
Libby's various fund raisers range from balloons to writing essays. It's some valuable life experience for a young lady who has her sights set on doing this for the rest of her life without even batting an eye. She knows she won't be alone.
We asked her if she ever thinks she will run out of ideas. Her answer to us was no, because she says she thinks outside the box.
Her Mom says she is proud of the support Libby and others are seeing in Texoma.
"Here, it's all about supporting each other, and I think the last couple of months, not only with our case with lots of cases, we've seen this community come together more times that you can imagine," said Dorothy Brooks. "It makes you proud to live here, and proud to be a part of this."
Libby's got what it takes to make a difference. Not only in the lives of children who are suffering from illness, but also as a spark to maybe make us all think of how we can make a difference in the lives of others...