Sometimes I find myself just going about my normal day, drinking Diet Coke and thinking about mundane things, and then somebody will tell me something that just completely stops me in my tracks. Don't worry, I'm going to tell you about it. Recently my friend Ashten and I were talking about normal life things, like how badly she needs to move back to CA, how much we love mimosas, and how I know next to nothing about football, when she started telling me about some friends of hers here in California. Man friends. Man friends who surf, and love people, and who have smiles that will turn you into a puddle of gooey mush in about 2.7 seconds. Ready?
This is Matt Coulter hanging out with a child. SWOON. But wait, there's more!
This is Nathaniel Curran. Stare into his eyes and try not to smile back at him. I bet you're failing hard.
You. Guys. I am not kidding you when I say that Matt and Nathaniel are even better on the inside than they are on the outside. I know, I didn't think that was possible either. Are you ready to fall in love? Think carefully about that question.
In 2010 Matt and Nathaniel received the devastating news that a friend of theirs was diagnosed with cancer. I don't know about you, but when I hear the word "cancer," I only associate it with negative words. Matt and Nathaniel knew they wanted to help, but they wanted to do more than just offer encouraging words and frozen casseroles. They wanted to do something big. And they wanted to do something that would benefit more people than just this friend. So they did. Prepare to begin your swooning and "awwww"ing and I'll be right there with you.
Matt and Nathaniel began a non profit organization that is dedicated to helping today's youth (those under the age of 30) beat cancer. Their foundation is called The Young and Brave, and built on LOVE, and they do it well. They are so dedicated to this organization, and they desire to help those battling cancer (their WARRIORS) in whatever way they can.
I was able to cuddle with Matt in front of a fire while it snowed outside and he answered some questions for me.
Oh wait, sorry that was just a dream I had. Moving on...
You can read more details on The Young and Brave website (and I suggest you do that because there are more pictures), but basically what you need to know is that these two men are passionate about this. Though they each have full time jobs (Nathaniel is a professional surfer ahem ahem and Matt just finished his first Ironman event), and other things that take up their attention, but they still make time to dedicate to their foundation. Have you heard people say things like, "If you care about it, you'll make the time"? That statement is so true. We make time for things that are important to us. And while I'm making time to binge watch TV shows or browse Pinterest, men like Matt and Nathaniel are making time to run a non profit foundation to help young people who are fighting a deadly disease.
One of the things The Young and Brave foundation needs is exposure. If you're a blogger reading this, you understand just how important exposure is. The Young and Brave is there to help people, but how can they be of help if they aren't known? Currently their WARRIORS find out about the available support through word of mouth and social media, but Matt and Nathaniel also host local events and try to connect with hospital staff in various locations in order to spread the word even more.
That's one way we can help: spread the word. Tell other people about what Matt and Nathaniel are doing (but maybe don't mention how beautiful they are because I don't want the competition wink wink) so they can support them financially or tell more WARRIORS about them.
One thing I had a hard time understanding was how Matt, Nathaniel, and others involved with The Young and Brave are able to stay positive in the midst of such sadness. So I asked Matt (when we were cuddling in front of the fire, remember?) that question, and I understand it more now. It's all about not letting the disease be stronger than their hope. Even though dealing with cancer is devastating and tragic, Matt and Nathaniel and others focus on why their organization exists and what else they can do to help. Their desire to help others outweighs the sadness. Can they get any more amazing?
Oh don't worry, they can. They keep in contact with their WARRIORS and/or the families of their WARRIORS as much as they can. And so can you! On their website they have profiles of their WARRIORS so that you can get to know them as well. Pictures, stories, updates... it's all there, so you go right ahead and click over there and check it out. Go. Now please.
Of course, as with any non profit organization, the need for financial support is great. You can head over to their website and simply donate (it is the season of giving, after all), or you can purchase a tee, hat, or a really really pretty necklace (Christmas gift, you're welcome) and all proceeds go toward helping those fighting cancer. In addition, Ashten has set up a donation site that will be live until January 26th (click here). There is complete truth in the statement, "every little bit helps." It does.
If you want to follow The Young and Brave on social media, here are the links (I follow them and I've never regretted it):
And remember: Always LOVE.
(Now excuse me while I just stare into their eyes.)
P.S. Nathaniel, call me.