The banner ad didn't grab my eye at first as I scanned the Winston-Salem Journal online last week. And then, a flicker of delayed recognition caused me to scroll back up the page. The smiling face was indeed familiar, and the words "Help Keri" naturally caused me to click and investigate more.
We all knew her as Keri Brown when she worked at Allegacy Federal Credit Union in the marketing department. Keri served on the League Marketing Council's executive committee when I was just getting started at the League in 2004.
She later left the credit union and our paths had not crossed lately.
Always quick with a laugh, cheerful, energetic and fun ... Keri was a hard-worker and a key to the success of the council. She had a wicked sense of humor and a million dollar smile.
The web site the banner ad transported me to was a shock.
Keri's married now.
Keri's 29 years old.
Keri's got a newborn daughter.
Keri's got Lou Gehrig's disease.
Keri's family & friends have rallied around her, and the web site is both a means of sharing information and allowing people to send their thoughts to Keri and her family. You will find the guest book of this web site at http://www.helpkeri.com/guestbook.html.
Also, Winston-Salem Journal Reporter Janice Gaston penned a powerful front-page article about Keri's life and her battle with ALS. Read it here.
Credit union people throughout the State, some of whom have never met her, have been gracious in offering their support, love and prayers to Keri via the web site. I invite you to do the same.
And think of Keri the next time you pick up a child, feel the sun hit your face, stroll along the beach, or do any of the million things each day that we take for granted.