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Making a difference – a triple play

Wanted to share a story with you and give you a little background on something that happened at PCH Thursday.

Paul Kongshaug started the charity organization sharethewell.org. It’s not a 501c. it’s not a charity that’s going to spend funds in promotion. It’s basically just Paul and a friend or two with an idea to give back. Paul is doing well in life. He hasn’t stopped wanting to be successful financially, nor does he feel the need to apologize for his work ethic leading him to success. What Paul does believe is as rewarding as success is, it’s not as rewarding as sharing that success. Share the Well helps people who are doing well do great things for people who are struggling.

Two weeks ago during the Great Debate (every weekday at 7:51), we were talking about the struggles of the Cardinals to sell-out the home opener. A woman named Terry called in to explain her love of the Cardinals should not be judged by the fact she’s not buying tickets. She said she’s gone to a few games a year in years past but it doesn’t work in her budget this year.

The conversation struck a chord with a lot of people. There was no whining in her voice. She wasn’t blaming the economy for her situation. She didn’t sit around and wish she had something she didn’t have. She didn’t attack the Cardinals for ticket prices. She was just accepting the reality of the situation. I was really moved by her phone call—so was Paul.

He immediately called our Sports 620 KTAR and wanted to get Terry’s information to give her his season tickets. We don’t keep people’s personal information when they call so we couldn’t help connect him to Terry. We then talked about the ways he could help others. I explained the idea of using the tickets with our PCH event. I just said that it would work for the last seven home games. Paul sent Wolf and me a letter telling me what he did with the tickets for week one.

Hi Guys,

I just wanted to let you know what happened with my first weeks tickets. As I told you, my wife is a pediatric physical therapist and she has been providing therapy for a great kid named Alex for the last 4 years. When he was 9, he was a completely normal kid when they found a tumor in his neck and he had surgery to remove it. There was a complication and a blood clot went to his brain and he had a stroke. He now has severe developmental disabilities and has lost a significant amount of his functionality on the left side of his body. (This doesn’t stop him from completely destroying me in Xbox playing one-handed!) When I asked my wife, Alex immediately came to mind.

We have become rather close to his family. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a brain tumor and we were having trouble getting into Barrow Neurological at St Josephs hospital. When they heard this, they called Alex’s surgeon, Dr. Robert Spetzler, one of the top neurosurgeons in the world. He has remained in contact with Alex after what happened and gladly took an appointment with me as a favor to them. A few weeks later he performed my procedure and removed the tumor. The procedure went absolutely flawlessly and obviously I feel an enormous amount of gratitude for what they did, which felt like an absolute miracle in my life.

When Alex was in the hospital for his surgery, Kurt Warner came and visited him in the hospital. The Cardinals are his favorite team and Kurt Warner is his favorite player. Alex’s parents spend almost everything they have on therapy and equipment for Alex. Despite being huge Michigan Wolverine and Cardinal fans, Alex has never been to a football game. I offered the tickets to his dad to take him. He couldn’t go, but said that Alex would be excited to go with me if I would be willing to take him, so I did.

Even though the Cardinals laid an egg, it didn’t really matter. We had a phenomenal time and I know it was a big event for Alex. It was also extremely enjoyable for me. I would never have done this if it wasn’t for your show. I look forward to creating more great experiences for deserving Arizona Cardinal fans!

Thank you! I will see you at Phoenix Children’s tomorrow.

Paul

Paul did show at the KTAR Radiothon with a great idea.

He donated all seven pairs of season tickets he had for the rest of the year to the fundraiser. With his name stripped of credibility, he allowed the next 7 miracle maker donors to attach their name to his tickets. Then, each pair of tickets would be given to a different family with a patient at PCH. Imagine a 12 year-old cancer patient going to their first Cardinals game. They’re going to get that opportunity because of Paul. Almost as great was the fact that Paul personally led us to an extra $1680 in donations.

He paid for the tickets, helped motivate donors to PCH, and gave lifetime memories to 7 different donors. That’s a triple play.