Wednesday Bubble: Team Brilliant

Posted by on Sep 12, 2012 in Inspiration | 22 comments

Team Brilliant.

Just like Flashfree, it’s all about community.

If you are curious why I am posting a photo of myself, stripped down, unadulterated wearing a tee that reads ‘Heal Spot, Heal,” I would like to share a story.

Years ago, I met the amazing author Patti Digh on Twitter. And then I met her in real life a few times. And spoke with her on the phone and asked her to guest post on Flashfree. You can find those posts here.

Patti has a lovely family, two beautiful daughters, a dog and a husband she calls “Mr. Brilliant.” Mr. Brilliant’s alter ego is John Ptak. And John and I became virtual friends through our love of science and vintage ads. You can find John’s blog here.

Patti and John have built a community that is global and far-reaching. And so, when John was diagnosed this summer with kidney cancer, that community went into action and formed Team Brilliant, the goal of which was to give back all that John and Patti have given. You see, John had recently gave up his health insurance policy.

John’s surgery went well. And Team Brilliant has raised over $98,000 (just a wee bit short of their $100,000 goal) to pay for his medical care. I am proud to be a member of Team Brilliant. And so, I wear the tee shirt (which, by the way, was designed by Patti and John’s daughter Emma) to demonstrate my support.

The tee shirt.

It’s a symbol of community, the gift that we can give by supporting each other through the good times and the bad. But it’s more than that. Because it demonstrates the power that each of us has within to make a difference. And how that power grows exponentially every time someone else joins in.

I purchased two shirts — the one I am wearing in the picture — and the one that I am going to send to one of you (Size L) All I ask is that you write a comment below about community and donate whatever you can to Team Brilliant; even $1 can make a diference.

We’ve got two days to make it to goal and the Team is short less than $2K. Want to help them get over the hump? All it takes is a few prayers, a dollar or two and a comment (including your contact info). Who knows? Maybe that comment will make all the difference to someone else who needs a little bit of help, and send a message that love, light and healing are mighty powerful forces.

Pretty brilliant? Community sure can be!


  1. 9-12-2012

    Done and done.

    • 9-12-2012

       @juliepippert Thank you. So, what are your thoughts on community? I’m giving away a tee to a lucky reader for his/her thoughts.

      • 9-12-2012

         @Liz Well that’s a point to ponder because after a conference today I drove a friend to the airport, someone I met by building community and we talked about tribes. We talked about how life transitions sometimes bring tribe transitions, especially when cancer disrupts life. It was a deep, complex talk. So that’s where my head is on it right now.
        I think it takes a village, not just to raise a child but to develop and support a life. Each of us builds and experiences community differently — some for a long or life time, some for shorter term — and either way, they are valuable. We have the community we are born into and the community we choose. Some people are brilliant at building community in which they are the center, and some are brilliant at building community as a connector. We really laud the former, and I think it’s important to value the latter too, even if they end up more peripheral.

  2. 9-12-2012

    With so much lip-service given to the term “community” in this day and age of social media marketing, I have loved watching this true example of actual power of online community unfold. I, too, know Patti from Facebook and Twitter and seeing her speak at ASAE, and when I read the news about Mr. Brilliant’s cancer, I gasped out loud and was as upset as if it were an IRL friend reporting such shocking news. Patti is such a giving and genuine person–it’s nice to know that that still counts for a lot in life, despite daily evidence to the contrary. 

    • 9-12-2012

       @maggielmcg It’s been pretty incredible to watch this unfold. 

  3. 9-12-2012

    Damn straight I’m joining Team Brilliant. Thanks for sharing Patti and John with me.

    • 9-12-2012

       @ShellyKramer Thanks Shelly!

  4. 9-12-2012

    Fabulous. Patti is everywhere–I actually am doing her 137 Days project right now. So inspiring!

    • 9-12-2012

       @mamieduff She is amazing. So is John. 

      • 9-12-2012

         @Liz Must be. In the face of this, to have organized so brilliantly, and to have such a tsunami of support. I am loving the 137 days project.

  5. 9-12-2012

    I can say from my own personal experience the kindness of virtual strangers just amazes me. The hardest thing can be accepting it, because sometimes we only experience this when there is a crisis and so we ask ourselves why would they want to help me, why? Because there by the grace of God go I. God Bless Mr. Brilliant and his family.

    • 9-12-2012

       @irishis98 How true. Thank you. 

  6. 9-13-2012

    It’s amazing what we can do when we band together to achieve some good.  I’ll join in and get a tee. Good luck, and thanks for highlighting this great campaign.

    • 9-13-2012

       @geoffliving Thanks Geoff for helping to spread the word!

  7. 9-13-2012

    I love, love, love this story and the action taken by this amazing community. You can definitely count me in as part of “Team Brilliant,” (love that name).  Will donate TODAY!!!

    • 9-13-2012

       @jenniferwindrum Thank you. I know that you know how community can come together; you are living that every single day! I thought that this might resonate with you!

  8. 9-13-2012

    Thank you for sharing. It is amazing that in life all you really have to do is ask, and people do respond. I have found that pride doesn’t pay the bills, and you never really know how much people care until you need help, and then sometimes the most amazing things happen.

    • 9-13-2012

       @andrea bona Bingo! “You never really know how much people care until you need help, and then sometimes the most amazing things happen.” This is the world I want to live in. Cheers!

  9. 9-13-2012

    Thank you for such a touching story and for so beautifully reaching out to help a friend in need. To my mind, “community” is being there for one another and I am happy to join you in the effort to help Team Brilliant. I find it fitting that the word comes from Latin “communitas” : “cum” meaning “with or together”  and “munus” meaning “gift”. (Wikipedia). You are so kind to offer that darling t-shirt but no need as far as I am concerned. Save the postage and give it to Team Brilliant.

    • 9-13-2012

       @heidim Thanks Heidi! That’s lovely; I had no idea! And I want to pay it forward so to speak because I appreciate people participating. It truly is about community!

  10. 9-13-2012

    Totally happy to contribute. I love how caring you are for others, Liz. It is the reason we all love you so much!

    • 9-13-2012

       @kamichat Awww. You are going to make me cry!


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