When I was around ten years old, our family moved from Cedar Grove, New Jersey to Boca Raton, Florida. I remember my first day of school in Boca like it was yesterday. Moving away from all of my friends was very traumatic. I thought that I was never going to make any new friends, and that my life was ruined. During our first day, the teacher had everyone stand up, and tell the rest of the class about themselves. I had my story all ready, about how I just moved from Cedar Grove New Jersey, and I was prepped to describe all of my favorite things – sports, TV shows, etc.
There was only one more kid to go, and then it was my turn. Brad Margus stood up, and told the entire class how he just moved to Boca Raton - from Cedar Grove, New Jersey. What did he say??? What are the odds??? This was 1,350 miles away, from a small town in New Jersey to Boca, into my class, on that day. What if the teacher never had us stand up and tell the class about ourselves? I would certainly have never asked Brad where he was from (or anyone else) for that matter.
Brad was really cool. His father had a great job, and Brad traveled all over the world. He told stories of how he played tennis with the son of The Emperor of Japan, and how he met all of these celebrities and famous people. I was never Brad’s best friend, but through grade school and high school, he definitely was a good person to be seen hanging with. Everyone liked Brad Margus.
After high school, I lost touch with Brad, as well as losing touch with most of my friends from Florida. I went to college in the Midwest, and I never returned to Florida. When I was in my thirties, I saw a Barbara Walter’s Special on Brad and his family. I tried to locate Brad, but I could not connect with him. His story is amazing, and he is an amazing person. Google Brad Margus. You will be blown away.
Today, I found this message on Facebook:
I really hate to hit on you this way, and I know that many of you already support the A-T Children's Project, the non-profit organization I started that funds research on my two sons' serious disease. But this weekend, my son Quinn is participating in a 5K race (I'm pushing him in his wheelchair) to benefit the foundation, and he's hoping that doing so will bring in many donations for research, especially from new donors.
If you have the chance, please consider making a small donation by going to Quinn's webpage:
He'll be so thrilled to see new donations coming in. Thanks so much.
All the best,
Because of Google, you can learn about Brad and his struggle, instantly, from the comfort of your home. If it were not for Facebook, I would have never reconnected with my old friend from Boca Raton, Florida. I have since emailed back and forth with Brad, and I have committed to helping his cause, when and where I can, especially in the world of telecom and technology. After all, it was technology that reconnected me with my friend.
It has been over thirty five years since I last saw Brad Margus. But now, because of all of the technology that we sometimes take for granted, I now feel like I never left Boca. I have two sons and a wonderful wife, and I will ask them to Google “Brad Margus” to learn what it really means to be a father, a good husband and a great human being.
When I was young, one of my father’s favorite sayings was “show me your friends, and I’ll show you who you are”. Well, my “Facebook friend” Brad Margus is indeed my friend, but I have a long way to go before I could ever hope to match my father’s quote.
PS. If you can find it in your heart to donate to Quinn’s webpage, that would be very cool indeed.
Here is Brad's Message from his foundation.