Gary Schmidt hadn’t been to a Green Bay Packer’s game since he went in high school with his father. That was nearly 50 years ago when life was good, simple, and full of possibility. Now, Gary is 67 and has advanced Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the disease is rapidly progressing to a point where he is no longer able to walk. Decades later so much has changed for Gary except for one thing: his deep, unending love for the Green Bay Packers. It’s his passion. That team means everything to him. And his Life Care Manager (LCM), a registered nurse, knows this. The Lifespark Experience™ isn’t like other home care providers and LCMs are given the flexibility and creativity to do whatever it takes to spark someone’s live. Her mission: to awaken Gary’s spirit and find a way to get him to a Green Bay Packers game.
Gary a Lifespark client at Summit Place, one of four SilverCrest properties in the Twin Cities where SilverCrest has partnered with Lifespark to bring the innovative Lifespark Experience™ model to residents.
According to his LCM, “I wanted him to feel that anything is possible, even attending a game, despite his prognosis and battle with dementia. These are all symptoms of his disease, not characteristics of who Gary is. Gary is a Green Bay Packers fan plain and simple.” In her quest to get Gary to a game it seemed the odds were against her. She spent months pursuing the tickets and facing many obstacles. She never gave up. Just when it seemed all was lost, less than a week before the game, she received the call she’d been waiting for: Gary was going to a game.
When she handed the tickets to Gary, he sat in his room stunned, filled with gratitude and emotion beyond words. He held the tickets in his hand with disbelief and kept saying, ‘is this really happening, am I really going?’ Against all odds, Gary saw the Green Bay Packers play and ended up on the field, the best possible seats available. His LCM changed his experience into something that was simply amazing.