Sunday, May 10, 2015

Reesa's Legacy to continue with a DVD and phone App

Reesa’s Legacy

My daughter, Reesa Kammerman, was involved in a tragic car accident on July 12, 2013. She died three times that day, each time being resuscitated. However, 16 days later she died for the last time.

Ten months after her death a video she had made was discovered on the computer. It is a heart wrenching video that lasts only a few minutes but ends with a beautiful message of hope!  In the video she tells of her challenges in life and how she overcame them. And she tells it all without saying a word!

We had an overwhelming feeling to share it. We call the video “Reesa’s Legacy”.

When the video was uploaded to YouTube we received several phone calls from various news outlets asking to tell her story.  


Once the stories were out we received so many comments and learned how Reesa’s message has helped so many people. The response was so great that I knew we had to do something more to help even more people.  

We are making a short documentary of her life. We have hired an interviewer and videographer to create a documentary of Reesa’s life. It will document her challenges and triumphs, her fears and faith and her ultimate triumph of unlocking the secrets of coping with her challenges.

Teachers, counselors, hospital staff, relatives and friends will be interviewed to get different perspectives of her life. We have also hired singers, songwriters and musicians to write songs using her journal entries as the inspiration for the songs so it will be from a first person perspective.

Once the DVD is completed, we will be launching a free phone app that will give resources and help to those that have similar struggles in life.  

Our family had learned the hard way how to deal with and overcome these obstacles. We don’t want others to have to learn the same way.

I remember the first time that I walked into Reesa’s room and saw her cutting and the blood was everywhere. I didn’t know what to do and was almost frozen with shock. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to call the counselor. She was able to guide me and helped us with the next steps.

And then there was the  bulimia and suicide attempts as an additional way she tried to deal with the pain of the rapes and sexual abuse and the resulting court trial.

There was so much trial and error as we tried to find the best way to help Reesa and our family. Over time we learned so much and acquired the tools to help us. It turned out that all the resources were out there but we didn’t know where to find them.

How much better off we could have been if we learned of these resources earlier. But we ended up stumbling thru things while we found out about the answers we were looking for. Everything from support groups and counseling to crisis lines and hospitals.

Unfortunately during this time we also had to learn how to deal with and ignore the stigma and labels people put on us. To say it was difficult is a gross understatement. 

How I wish we would have had a place to go to so we could have learned sooner and spared weeks and months of trial and error. As a result of our experiences we are designing a phone app that will be a one stop shop to learn about the topics and the resources to help individuals and families know where to get help.

We will be working closely with counselors, hospitals, teachers and law enforcement to put together a very practical and helpful app. It will be full of resources, links to support groups and phone numbers for help. (The resources are already out there. People just need to be pointed in the right direction.)

It will help parents and family members, as well as classmates and friends. It will give tips and help to answer tough questions. 

Some of those questions are:  
Why does my daughter have an eating disorder and what can I do to help?
My child is cutting, what should I do?
What can I do if I am being bullied at school and I'm getting so angry?
My friend is talking a lot about suicide...what now?

One night while pondering what to do a stream of ideas came into my mind and I started writing. Reesa had gone thru so many different types of struggles throughout her life and I started to list them. After I listed them I realized that she was able to relate to so many people and that they could relate to her. Other teenagers seem to relate more to her than the adults in their life. Here’s 
the topics that we will be addressing on the app:

·             Suicide (hot lines, prevention)
·             Self-harm
·             Eating disorders
·             Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional)
·             Bullying
·             Step family
·             Depression & metal illness
·             Substance abuse & addictions (drugs, alcohol, porn, gambling)
·             Dating violence
·             Grief, death, dying, illness, counseling
·             Teen pregnancy
·             Running away

But it won’t stop there. We want to help remove the stigma and misconceptions surrounding those that have different type of struggles 
in their lives. This will help educate classmates, family members and friends. We want to empower people to overcome their challenges 
be an advocate to help others do the same. The app will be designed to help uplift and give daily encouragement by sending out messages 
of hope and inspiration to their phones throughout the day.

This project is being made possible by people donating their time and talents and discounting their services. We are self-funding this project but will be open to donations should anyone be inclined.

This app and documentary will be free to everyone!

You can get to know Reesa more by looking at the past posts on this blog.

The launch will be on her Celebration of Life on July 28th.




Sunday, January 25, 2015

We are working on a video of Reesa's life. If anyone has any pictures or videos with Reesa in them, please post them on her facebook or email them to michaelkammerman@gmail.com. Thanks!!!
p.s. You can view Reesa's Legacy video in the May posting of this blog.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A dedication to all those who helped Reesa Kammerman.

A dedication to all those who helped Reesa Kammerman.
Even though its been a while
I remember your help with a smile.
It mingles with the tears that roll down my cheek,
As I think of your care of Reesa and how it was so sweet.
I lost my precious daughter that day
My heart was torn in two.
But through the darkness of that day
I saw a ray of sunshine come our way.
You may not think that you did any good
Or you may wish you could have done more
But please know this,
We know you did all you could.
While I was holding her hand as she slipped from this life
My heart was full of agony and love.
Yet in that room I felt as if
It was a piece of Heaven on earth.
Doctors, nurses technicians and staff
Pilots, paramedics, truck drivers and troopers...
Your efforts were heroic!
Your care was divine!
You not only helped Reesa
But you helped our family too.
Thank you so much for all of your time and dedication to be where you are. You have such a profound impact on families' lives and we want you to know that you are appreciated for all that you do.
With warmest thanks and gratitude,
Michael Kammerman and family

Donor Medal of Honor Ceremony

Reesa was recently recognized with the Donor  Medal of Honor. The ceremony was held at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa and was sponsered by the Nevada Donor Network. Chris Klug (an Olympic Snowboarding Medalist and Liver Recipient) spoke. We also heard from Karen Brill, a donor mom and enjoyed listening to Claudia Crouse, a sopranist.

Ammon Kammerman came with me and helped set up the table of Reesa's momentos. We also enjoyed a catered lunch before the ceremony. As the ceremony commenced they had Reesa's picture and a brief description of her life in The Rememberance Book.

Reesa had just got her drivers license and had checked the box to be a donor. She was very adamant about being able to help others even after she passed away. Her Grandpa, John C Kammerman was also a donor.

Please consider being a donor if you haven't already made the decision. Then tell your family so they know what your wishes are. We never know when its our time and it would be a great thing to be able to help others and leave a legacy of love for others to follow.








Monday, July 28, 2014

1 year since Reesa went home...

Its hard to believe that Reesa died. Some days I think she'll just walk through the door and say hi. Sometimes I'll be walking in the store or an event and see someone that looks a bit like Reesa and I'll do a double-take. One girl we met at BBY this year could have been her twin. From her looks to her personality and smile. But music is the hardest! I can be in the middle of a store or in the car and a song will start playing that I listened to with Reesa or she played it on the guitar. I can remember the exact time and place we were at when I was with her.

But with all of the heartache I have found that there is a lot of things to be grateful for. (Or as Reesa said in her video-"I have a million reasons to live.")

I am so very grateful for all of the love and support our family has received. I am so happy for all of the memories we created with Reesa. I am thankful for all the times that Reesa played the guitar and sang for all of us. And for all the love she extended to all she met.

I am also happy to have found the video she made and how much it has already helped hundreds and thousands of people. Who would have thought that she would still be helping people after she died. I shouldn't have been surprised because that's what she did while she was alive as well.

A young lady approached me at Reesa's Celebration Service and let me know how Reesa had saved her life.  This young lady said she was a fellow student of Reesa's and had her own struggles she was dealing with. In fact, she said she had planned to go home from school that day and end her life. But for some miraculous reason she had talked with Reesa that day and Reesa talked her out of it. She told me that she was alive today because of Reesa! How awesome is that?! And what an example for each of us! We never know how a simple smile and conversation can help lift somebody from despair to hope.

One of Reesa's counselors and friend texted me today with a message. I looked up the song she told me about. It has a great message. Thank you Sam! The song is entitled "The Sun is Rising" by Britt Nicole.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO36F--Vn1g

Today we went to the last place that Reesa had worked, Nickel Mania in Springville and played video games to remember her by. Then we came home to a bar-b-que that Missy put on. Then we had ice cream sundaes with all the toppings. (except I forgot whip cream!) Thanks to Brandee and Danial for the bueatiful flowers and to whoever went to her gravesite.
Yeasterday, Zacharias, Isaac and I went to mile marker 83 and put up a little memorial for her. Thanks to Grandma Jo for the flowers to put there. It was a long drive but we stopped to make sandwiches at a park in Meadow. Then on the way home we visited the twins in Nephi and played at the playground we used to play at with Reesa and visited our old house. It was quite a day.


Friday, July 18, 2014

To see Reesa's Legacy video click on the May posting on the right under "blog Archive".

BBY 2014 (Be the Best You)

A HUGE THANK YOU to Barbara Barrington Jones and all of the staff at this years BBY!
Barabara has made a perpetual scholarship in Reesa's name for every BBY, starting this year!
How awesome it is! And what a way to remember Reesa and have her message of love and hope be remembered!
The staff wore purple shirts and the necklaces they gave to the girls had a star on it. Even the girls' group names were "star" themed. (like Galaxy Gals)
After a tribute to Reesa we all went outside and everyone let a purple balloon float away and promised to try a little harder each day to be a better person and help others. What a sight to behold as over 250 balloons were released! We also sang "A Child's Prayer" and "God Be With You" while being accompanied by a beautiful guitar melody!
Thank you Barbara and Staff!!!!!!!




Thanks you to Savannah and her group for taking pictures with us!


Here's some pictures of Reesa when she went to BBY in 2012.