Since my return from the conference, Finding Consciousness, at Duke University last week I keep coming back to just one word that summarizes it for me. The word? Validation.
The event was packed with the best minds on consciousness and the brain. This was clearly demonstrated through their research and presentations. Perhaps it only matters to me, but I readily include myself in this group. I’d bet there isn’t an expert there that would disagree. It’s even possible, perhaps, that I have the broadest knowledge because I live it… every second of every day. I am on the practical end of their work (and mine too).
Like theirs, mine is every bit as groundbreaking.
To my delight, it didn’t go unnoticed. I was approached by many who asked me if I would consider collaborating with them. This covers the range from TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) patient advocacy — including testifying before the United States Congress — to contributing on books and research publications. I left every door open… wide open… with a welcome mat.
Getting to this point where I was accepted and respected was tricky indeed. I didn’t want to come on too strong nor do it too early. Timing was everything. No different than myself, these are people with big egos (and rightfully so, I might add). So, I restrained myself until midway through the conference. Until that point, I simply made myself available and highly visible. Humble, yes, but giving the appearance that I belonged. I would like to thank Duke University for making this available to me. I was treated so well.
So, when the opportunity came where I could exert my presence, I did it in a big way. I had to, for Ryan’s sake. To me it felt like a fireworks show. I exploded onto the scene before their eyes. I kept the intensity and colorfulness up, using comic relief — when it felt right — to both relax and heighten their emotions for the next barrage. I went into “the zone” and spoke from my heart and mind.
The compliments were overwhelming. Many told me I was their highlight of the conference. Two even went so far as to say I “stole the show” and that meant everything to me. Sure, I believe my message is important but for these high-profile individuals to feel the same makes me know what Ryan and I are doing here is important.
And they didn’t stop coming. It continued at the social gathering that evening. Then through the next day. Even at the airport as I was making my way through the TSA checkpoint I was noticed and told. By two people! It felt great. Just what my already over-inflated ego needed.
By now you might be able to see the potential for Ryan’s Rally LLC. If you’re like me, it is clear I was under-shooting its potential. Maybe not so much undershooting as being too narrow. Advocacy appears to play largely in this. This is so big that I won’t be able to do it on my own. Like Ryan and Kari always did, I will surround myself with the right people.
Success is laid out before us and with some hard work we can claim it for Ryan’s story and financial challenges. Oh, in case I wasn’t clear before, I measure success of the business in a few ways. One is financial, which will always be for Ryan’s benefit. No one — me included — will get a penny richer off its success. It’s all about my son! No exceptions.
The conference was all I had hoped. It validated what I observe in Ryan almost on a daily basis. It also confirmed that I am doing right by him and leaving no stone unturned. We are powerful and Team Diviney is a force multiplier. Just the validation I needed…
this is so nice! God bless you!
How wonderful Ken! I have no doubt you stole the show! I know you have something to offer in this area. You are living it. Blessings.
Carla Hubacher via Facebook says
I told you years ago you guys were going to change medical history! Keep the courage and strength it must surely take
“Highlight of the conference”. How do you like that? That’s fantastic to hear and I’m very happy for you. I think God is helping.
Donna Z says
The hope continues…hugs to all of the Divineys! Still praying…
Jane H says
So glad to hear this report. It’s clear that you and Ryan have much to offer … to give back, if you will … and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead, just as I love hearing about Ryan’s progress. Thanks for sharing your experience at the conference!
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
There’s nothing quite as rewarding as being validated as a parent. To be validated as a father, caregiver and self-taught expert in the field of TBI recovery… you surely deserve an honorary doctorate and more from Duke! We knew you’d wow ’em 🙂 (And now I have Katy Perry’s Firework stuck in my head, Ken.)
Diane Masters says
Confirming that Ken did indeed STEAL THE SHOW. He added much value to the conference/workshop and I only hope the experience returns the favor manyfold. I hope doors are opened in ways we haven’t even dared to imagine yet. There’s no limit to where the right effort, motivation, and talent (and connections) can take someone. Ken too has the right stuff.
Ryan's Rally LLC says
Diane, thank you and all the others at Duke who took a chance on having me there.
Diane Masters says
Why stop at relevance? You and Sue have found ways to help Ryan contribute to medicine and society. What next?!
Jeannette Hennett says
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candle with it” (Fuller)
KEN, it sounds like when your time came, you not only brought the spark but you came in with a blaze of glory & put a fire under it!!!
Will we get to see or hear it (or any part of it) ???? Please, PLEASE, please tell me that your presentation was recorded!! I’m extremely interested and I’m sure it was tremendously inspiring and informative. No doubt a lot of the presenters bared statistics and case studies from a clinical perspective. Well earned and vested egos aside, they “put their pants on the same way” as most of us and there is no substitute to matters of the heart and a real world perspective. Their valuable and vast knowledge doesn’t hold a “candle” to yours and your real experience. YOU BRING MEANING AND VALIDATION TO THEIR WORK…I’m sure you brought it home or to say it better, you brought your home to them. They won’t forget you or Ryan, Sue and Kari.
Much Love from my family to yours:0)
Hi Ken, the door of opportunity has opened and you are walking through it with heart, mind and soul — you will continue to succeed and as you said, each success will build upon itself. You’ve inspired us to keep the faith and we are — all out of love and commitment to Ryan and your family.
I hope you will share more details about the conference as time goes on — I know there is so much for you to think about. I can’t help but contemplate all the people who have been struggling with the impact of TBI and how you are going to help them. You will help them in ways you never knew would be possible. And this is how real progress and change happens — people like you see an opportunity, and embrace it with everything you’ve got. You don’t give up. I can only imagine in Ryan’s and Kari’s hearts how full of pride they are to have an awesome Dad like you.
Still here and still praying — and still believing!!
Great are His mercies, their number is without end, they are new every morning!!
Love & hugs, Paula
There is a plan and a purpose for everything and the Lord is using your circumstances to benefit others, obviously. The state of Virginia does not have a TBI waiver, nor acknowledges TBI as a part of their aid program to families like yours. Perhaps you could even be involved in changing that. UVA holds annual conferences, and theire is a brain injury association in Virginia as I am sure you already know. However, it has not translated to the state level, which I am sure you also already know. I am praying that perhaps the next conference you attend is the annual TBI one held in Williamsburg each year.
Just forwarded an email to you to both of your accounts. It is on the conference I mentioned above. Had no idea I would receive it and perhaps you are already on the list. (probably). Just wanted to share info.
Ryan's Rally LLC says
Got it and looking at it now.
Not sure if you went through the speakers. One of them has been a caregiver and http://www.brainline.org was listed in her information piece. If you have not, go to that site.
I think you will find it interesting.
How EXCITING!! I have been to nursing conferences before and I know what you mean when one particular speaker shines way above the others, you never want them to stop. Its all about the presentation…funny and captivating but at the same time you realize you are learning something from this guy! Sounds like you hit a home run! Team Diviney knew you would because we laugh and learn from you daily. It’s so so so great to hear enthusiasm in your voice, just hope Sue can stand this competition when she wins Unstoppable Mom! I am working on my letter and should finish it up today to send to Kelly and Michael.
gail doyle says
Ken, So glad conference went well and you got the attention you so well deserved
I’m sure all were excellent , but most go by the “book” ,you go by what you feel and live in your heart and mind Hope only good for Ryan and others come out of these conferences
“LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED!” What a great motto! Reach for the sky, Ken, and we here at Team Diviney will help all we can. The possibilities are limitless of what your perseverance and dedication might mean for Ryan and all victims of Traumatic Brain Injury. Believe it! I truly believe we will see it.
I doubt that there is any one of us who needs a reminder of why we are still here after all these years, but please re-read Ryan’s Story from the Post article on this website. We will never forget and we are always here with hope, faith, love and prayers.
Sandy Martin says
So glad the conference was a success. No doubt you stole the show! Hope nothing but good things comes from this! SHSP