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“Danbury’s Monique Gesualdi Meets PGA Pro Golfer & Fellow Transplant Recipient Erik Compton”

Dearest family, friends, and supporters,
Here is the full four-minute story that aired on the 7 o’clock news on WFSB Channel 3 this evening. Thank you to John Holt for putting together an amazing story! I also want to say thank you to all of my family, friends, and supporters who have been there for me through every up-and-down over the years, as well as a very special thank you to my anonymous organ donor who has given me a second go at life. This new life has given a whole new appreciation for what life really is about and reinvigorated my drive to live a life of purpose and ultimate meaning. I had long been searching for a “passion” that would bring a sense of fulfillment to my life, and it wasn’t until my organ donation until I truly knew what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Now I am certain that no matter what I am doing, where I am doing it, or who I am with, that I will be raising awareness about the life-saving benefits about organ/tissue donation with a piece of my donor guiding me every step of the way. Thank you all again, and I hope you enjoy the video! 

P.S. Maybe we get this hands of The Ellen DeGeneres Show so I can accomplish my next mission of spreading awareness about organ/tissue donation on her show!  Thank you for all of your help and support in helping me reach this goal that I am determined to accomplish!

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2013 Liver Life Walk Champion (Fairfield County)

Dear MOtivators aka friends and family,

I have been asked to be the 2013 Liver Life Champion (Fairfield County) this year!  The Liver Life Walk will be held on September 29th, in Stamford, CT and I will be speaking at it this year!

I am so honored to have this opportunity to represent the American Liver Foundation and to publicly speak about my journey.  Thank you for all who have followed me and supported me, I wouldn’t have the courage to be doing this without your continued support!

If you would like to read my story posted on the American Liver Foundation website, I have posted the link here:  http://go.liverfoundation.org/site/TR/Walk/General?pg=informational&fr_id=3461&type=fr_informational&sid=2451

If you are in the area I would love for you to attend the event on September 29th, 2013 at 100 Washington Blvd, Stamford, CT 06902.  I have designed Just Say Mo T-shirts for the event and I will be letting you know soon about purchasing those.

If you can’t make it to the event you can still donate to my fundraising page found here:  http://go.liverfoundation.org/site/TR/LiverLifeWalk2013/LiverLifeWalk?px=1784751&pg=personal&fr_id=3461

Thank you so much for supporting me on my journey, and thank you for all of your help spreading the word and donating to Team Just Say Mo!

Much love,

Mo

JUST SAY MO-last year at the 2012 Liver Liver Walk held in Stamford, CT

JUST SAY MO-last year at the 2012 Liver Liver Walk held in Stamford, CT

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COPE (Community Outreach for Purpose and Empowerment)

I have always had this thought in my head that I was going to do something great one day, but never knew what.  I am constantly asking myself questions all of the time in regards to what I really want to do, but have never found any concrete answers, and it has been chipping away at me each and every day for years.  I know what I like, but what do I love?  What is my passion?  What am I destined to do?  Is this something I will be proud of ten years down the road?  I’m 27, and I still don’t really have everything figured out; all I do know is that I don’t want to spend my life feeling “stuck” doing something that I find meaningless.  I want to be able to look back on my life and be satisfied with who I am and what I have done.

Through self-interrogation, I’ve found that what makes me feel good is when I make other people feel good, especially about themselves, and that I want to make a difference in people’s lives; whether it is one person or potentially millions.  I want to take my experiences, my mistakes, my regrets, my victories, everything, and be able to share what I have learned with people who are maybe in the same place I recently was.  I want to show them that no matter how down or horrible life may seem at times, it is basically just testing you to “see whatcha got”.  When you are confronted with a difficult situation or any obstruction, you have the choice to let it block your path and stop you from where you are going, or you have the choice to find a way around it and keep moving forward.  I personally choose to knock my road-block down, right on it’s ass, screw the detour, and now I am traveling (slightly over the speed limit) cruising headed straight for “Achievement Avenue.”  If you are headed in my direction I mostly certainly have room for you, but if you are headed south toward “Sink Town,” you might want to consider a boat to keep you afloat to get you to where you are going.  Metaphors aside, most importantly, I am on the path in which I am proud of who I am and what I am doing.

So, I got “the feeling” that I can feel it in my gut, when something good or bad is going to happen.  I am sometimes not very good at articulating these gut feelings into words that others will always understand.  My gut has an innate ability to sense the good and the bad in the near future, and over-time I’ve learned that I need to just go with what my gut is trying to tell me.  It is a tingling in my stomach, a subtle feeling of nauseousness, but I am able to differentiate it from being sick.  Well, I got the feeling a few days ago, and today I have had it all day long, which somehow turned into me dancing and singing like a crazy fool around the house in my headphones singing Carly Rae Jepsen songs.

“Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine” (Mario Fernandez).  It couldn’t be more true for me right now.  Last year, I basically experienced a living-hell.  If you know me at all or have kept up with me via Facebook or my blogs you may know a little bit, or maybe even a lot about of what I’ve endured.  The storm (more like a category 5 hurricane), came and went, the fog followed shortly after, and now I can finally see the sun peaking through the clouds.

As I mentioned earlier, I have always had in my mind that big things were eventually going to come my way, but I just didn’t really know what I wanted or where I wanted to direct my energy towards.  My aunt has also always had a big vision of what her future would hold, which would include helping people in some way, but she wasn’t exactly sure how either.  In the past couple of years she has been brainstorming several ideas, but it is not until I got ill, that Caryn and I realized that our own strengths and weaknesses complement each other, and we make a great team together.

With that being said, we have formed a community outreach group called COPE (Community Outreach for Purpose and Empowerment) which we have just recently launched this week.  I have been working hard to put together the website, Facebook, Twitter, yada yada and it is up and running.  Caryn has been really excited for COPE, and her energy feeds right into mine, and then I start to get excited.  It’s hard to say exactly where we are going from here, but what I am certain of is that the combination of Caryn and myself with our driven, resilient minds, and huge dreams collaborating together, there is not a doubt in my mind that we are going to change people’s lives.

As horrific and terrifying this past spring/summer was for me, I could not be more thankful for everything that has resulted from it, because it has gotten me to this place that I am at now.  Besides bringing me back home closer to my awesome, one-of-a-kind, loving family, my frame-of-mind is like it has never been before.  I think it is a mind-set that I do not see many others experiencing for themselves.  I am not convinced that many people out there dream like I dream.  Even if they do dream big like me, the difference between my dreams and their dreams is that I actually believe that my dreams are going to come true.  My aunt is the same way.  That is why we make a great team together, and that is why COPE is going to be awesome; because we will not let the opportunity arise for it to fail.

This past year has been a test for me.  I had many chances to give-up and throw the towel in.  It was a test of my inner strength, a test of my character, and a test of who I am.  Each illness or set-back I acquired was an obstacle.  I had to be patient and overcome all of the “obstacles” thrown at me.  It was, and still is difficult sometimes, to have your entire life changed.  It has required great patience, and ask anyone in my family, “patience” isn’t exactly my greatest attribute.  Somehow, I was victorious over impatience and even though I was deathly ill, I have been successful in overcoming every obstacle in my way thus far.  I did not just overcome the obstacles, but in some ways, I came out even better than before I was sick.

I have learned so much in the last few months about life, about myself, and what is truly significant. I’m sure it is difficult to relate to me unless you have walked in my shoes, because I don’t even know that “me” a year ago could even relate to myself now, simply because I, myself, had never experienced anything of this magnitude or of this great importance before.  I mean what is of greater importance than your own life?  It took me practically dying on more than one occasion for me to come to the realization, that this is my life, this is my body.  Any change I wish to see in myself, and any goals I want to pursue, has to start with me, and nobody else.  I understand that what I went through is not exactly easy for everyone to relate to because they haven’t been in the same near-death situation, but what I can offer is a deeper appreciation for what is meaningful in life.  No matter who you are, or what you do, something is of meaning to you, and I learned that no matter what you previously thought was of great meaning to you, nothing outweighs your family, friends, and most importantly yourself.

What I am here to say today is that everything that happened to me, happened for a reason.  Of course, my life would be so much easier and less expensive if I did not need a liver transplant or two major brain surgeries, but it has made me who I am and the person I was supposed to become.  I will embrace what I have learned and who I have become and live this new, totally different life-style with great meaning that I hope to share and inspire others within our newly-formed group, COPE, and in my day-to-day life as well.

You can check out our website and other contact info at:

http://www.iwillcope.com

http://www.facebook.com/iwillcope

Twitter: iwillcope4me