It’s the Size of the Fight in the Dog!
‘Elliot Perry, 12 years old, and Jay share thoughts on determination and overcoming the odds – especially highlighting Elliot’s amazing journey and inspiring achievements – as well as his compassion and generous giving back to others.’
Determination. Desire. An unrelenting will to succeed. These are intangibles – but they make ALL the difference. I think we’ve all seen situations where the most unlikely person or team – is up against what seems like an insurmountable challenge – yet, against all odds – succeeds. And, in virtually every case, it’s all because of a strength of will, that cannot be denied.
For instance, take the case of Tom Brady. How does this second-string quarterback on his high school freshman football team – a team, by the way, that went the whole season without winning a game – How does this young man end up winning 7 Super Bowls? And, in one of those games even rallying his team back from a 28-3 deficit in the second half? Coming out of college, he wasn’t particularly strong or fast. And, even more, if you look at pictures of him as a young recruit – he didn’t even look very athletic. Answer: It wasn’t what was on the outside. It was all about what was on the inside!
Or, how about another example. As a kid in New York City’s Little Italy during the 1940’s and ‘50s, Martin Scorsese grew up in a fast-paced aggressive environment. He was what a doctor called physically meek and diagnosed at a young age with asthma. While many of the kids he grew up around were able to enjoy playgrounds and partake in organized sports, his condition left him sitting at home watching other kids play sports from the window of his family’s Elizabeth Street home. He’d often get bullied by other students at schools for not exhibiting the same machismo that would later be exhibited in many of his films. It was troubling because as a child, his father took him to baseball games where he idolized the likes of Jackie Robinson and Mickey Mantle.
So eventually when his parents recognized sports may not be in his future, they decided they’d take him to the movies. From a young age he fell in love with cinema, experimenting with cameras, making short films inspired by some of his own favorites which would eventually lead him to get accepted to New York University’s film school. Yet when he arrived at NYU, his professors told him his cinematic style was too brash and would never work. However, only three years after he graduated, at the young age of 25, he would direct his first full length film and two years before his 40th birthday, win the first of his three Academy Awards for the film Raging Bull. Over the course of his 50-year career, he’s made more than 40 films and is considered one of the best filmmakers of all time.
What I love about Martin Scorcese’s story is that he didn’t let his initial challenges discourage him from finding a new path in life. He used it as a source of motivation. Perhaps we face setbacks or face new realities that change the trajectory of our lives but oftentimes as the saying goes, it’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the fight in the dog! Martin Scorsese used what could have been viewed as disadvantages and used them to his advantage. Sports weren’t in his future, but he rose above the challenge and found a new path, one where he found success. Sometimes we may think that we have to be the best or the biggest at something to be the most successful. The truth is though, lots of the time, our success comes from having the courage, the heart, and the fight to see the things through that we wish to achieve. While asthma and a few professors threw roadblocks in his way early on, Scorsese’s story tells us that a little bit of fight can go a long way.
Nurturing the Will to Live and Thrive - "CHaD ICN turns 50!!!"
Like so many parents, Karen and I are proud of our children, and if you are a parent, I’m sure you are as well. In our case, even though we are empty nesters, our kids will always be our kids. We will protect them and always cheer their milestones, just as we did from their first steps, first day of school, first job, and more. They fought to achieve their dreams and overcome obstacles. But, unfortunately, some children – especially those born prematurely - have to begin that fight from the moment they are born. Yet, thanks to the amazing medical care that can be made available today – such as that offered by the wonderful program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, they can rise to defy the odds.
According to a WHO study in 2020, over 13 million babies in the world were born prematurely. Most of them required short-term care, while many of them needed extensive medical care. Two of my dear friends experienced this. One had a child that required a one-week stay in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN), while my other friend's child spent 121 days in the hospital fighting to survive. No matter the time or the complications, no parent ever wants to see their child sick. Thankfully, right here in New Hampshire, the Intensive Care Nursery at Dartmouth Health Hospital, aka CHaD, provides top-notch medical care and turns 50 years old. Just think about that; for five decades, thousands of babies have received care from the dedicated medical team at CHaD. The partnership between this medical center and medical school is truly amazing. I'm inspired and emotional all at the same time.
Fifty years of providing medical care. Fifty years of support for those in need. Not just the patients, but the families. From helping them make important medical decisions to providing emotional support, the team at the CHaD ICN are true heroes. And it’s extremely fitting that a celebration honoring 50 years of the ICN will take place on the Dartmouth Green in downtown Hanover during the 2023 HERO Half Marathon and road race Sunday Oct 15th – for more information please click on CHaD HEROES...October 15th.
We all know many people who have defied the odds. Maybe it was a startup business that no one thought would succeed. Or maybe it was the underdog team winning the game. But to think that babies just starting out in the world have to fight to survive, begin life with the odds against them from birth, and yet are able to overcome because of the care and support they received at the CHaD ICN is truly inspiring.
Karen and I are proud supporters of CHaD. As I said, I have friends who received the unique set of services they provide. I commend all those families, all those babies, and extend a heartfelt thanks as a father to all the medical staff at the ICN for 50 years of making a difference!
Small – But Mighty - The Mini but Mighty Cardinals!
When it comes to underestimating the fight in the dog, it usually comes down to size. And, here is a fun – exhilarating example. Where the participants are all small – but consistently show fight and determination – despite their diminutive size.
We’re referring to some amazing youth football teams right here in our region. The Sunbelt Football League is composed of Claremont's Mini Cardinals, Newport's Tigers, Springfield, Vermont's Cosmos, and a number of other towns across New Hampshire. The program is specifically for youth from 3rd to 6th grade to learn the fundamentals of football. The local rec center runs the local teams.
Chris LaClair, the Sports Editor at the Eagle Times, says that the program is not only fun for the kids but also helps them in learning the techniques and safety of football at a young age, so they are ready for high school football. One of the athletes from the Mini Cardinals was recently highlighted in the paper as the Player of the Week. He explained to the paper that he loved the program because he likes getting to play football with his friends. By highlighting the program, the community gets to see these young athletes grow in skills and achievement.
The program is growing in popularity in the region, possibly even becoming more popular than high school football! Parents, grand-parents, and just regular citizens come out to cheer the teams on. These young (and often ‘little’) players rise to the challenge – show courage, determination, and fight. Please come on out and watch if you get chance. It’s truly an uplifting experience and a great community event – where the ‘stars’ are the ‘little guys’ in town – showing their inner strength.
Positive Profile of the Week: Michelle Chretien
This week we are delighted to highlight a shining example of unwavering commitment to her community, particularly in the vibrant city of Manchester – Michelle Chretien.
As a dedicated board member of the Elliot Perry Foundation, Michelle actively contributes to the betterment of her community, aligning her efforts with the organization's mission to empower and uplift local residents.
Michelle's passion for the community extends beyond her board involvement. She is the proud owner of Empire Mortgage, where her devotion to helping people achieve their dream of homeownership shines through. Her genuine care for individuals seeking solutions in the housing market has earned her a reputation as the go-to person in Manchester for mortgage guidance.
One of Michelle's most striking qualities is her remarkable ability to connect with people. She is the ultimate people person, effortlessly forming meaningful bonds with those she meets. This innate talent has undoubtedly been a driving force behind her many charitable endeavors.
Michelle's dedication to youth sports and local charities is remarkable. She goes above and beyond, not only supporting young athletes but also ensuring they have nourishing meals after their games. Her commitment to nurturing the next generation is both heartwarming and inspiring.
In addition to her community involvement, Michelle has a unique skill that sets her apart—she produces the only maple syrup in Manchester. Not something you would expect out of the Queen City!
Each year, Michelle hosts the eagerly anticipated Oktoberfest, a grand community gathering that brings people together in a festive atmosphere. This event embodies her spirit of unity and camaraderie, creating lasting memories and fostering a sense of belonging among Manchester's diverse population.
As if her community involvement wasn't enough, Michelle also cherishes her time with her two beloved grandkids. Her dedication to family, coupled with her unwavering commitment to Manchester, makes Michelle Chretien a true pillar of her community, especially as someone who is always fighting to help lift up others in so many different ways.
Quotes of the Week: The Size of the Fight in the Dog!
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will." - Vince Lombardi “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." - Mark Twain "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." - Mahatma Gandhi "The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way." - Robert Kiyosaki "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" - Mary Anne Radmacher