Guest blog by Shawn Fennell, Lenovo employee.
Passing by a child visibly dealing with treatment for an illness or living with a disability, many thoughts can come rushing to your head. You wonder what is the “right” thing to do. You’re not a bad person, but you don’t know how your actions will be received.
I know. I’ve been on both sides.
I was a disabled child myself, battling juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Thankful that my own children are healthy, my passion today is to make a difference in the lives of others. Over the last 10 years, many children have inspired me in this pursuit. Some I’ve crossed paths with anonymously; others I have grown to know very well and I now proudly call them “friend.”
My name is Shawn Fennell. I’ve been working as a Lenovo employee for over eight and a half years, as a Senior Account Executive serving Lenovo’s Enterprise clients in the Northeast, United States. I manage Lenovo relationships and interests of Enterprise accounts and their affiliated companies and divisions worldwide. I was hired by IBM, actually for only one day, before the Lenovo acquisition of IBM’s PC Division, back in April of 2005. Prior to joining Lenovo, I was the owner of a technology solutions company, an IBM Business Partner, located in Rhode Island, USA for fifteen years. I’m a proud Lenovian and I’m humbled by my company’s support of my mission to make this world a nicer place for the amazing children (and their equally amazing families) who spend every day battling a life-threatening illness, or living with a disability of any kind.
The courageous parents of these remarkable kids need our help to ensure their children are included and not made to feel invisible. So, I’ve started something that I hope will become a universal way to send a heartfelt message of greeting and support. A simple way to say “hello” and “I support you” to these wonderful children and their families. It’s called “Wink”.
Based on the American Sign Language sign for “wink”, my dream is to enable people, abled and those living with a disabilitydisabled, to connect with one another through a single, simple gesture. I invite you to watch a short documentary that I’ve produced featuring four wonderful children and their courageous families to see the impact that awareness can bring.
If you’d like to learn more about Wink, join us at wink2support.com.
Oh, it touches my heart it’s so sad to see a child having to deal with that.
Wait. Am I staring now? Maybe I’ll just kind of look away.
Like there’s nothing to notice. Or, maybe just a quick smile.
That wasn’t too awkward, was it? Or, was that sympathy?
Oh no, did I offend them?
I don’t know.
I hope they don’t feel like they’re invisible
I wish they knew that I care.