Texas Tech Pitcher Donates Hair to Charity in Honor of Alyssa

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FOX34 Lubbock published the following story about Alyssa’s cousin, Connor Queen, donating his hair to charity in her honor. The original story is quoted below:

Texas Tech baseball head coach Tim Tadlock is not only leading the Red Raiders to success on the field, but he’s teaching them how to make a difference off of it.

While pitcher Connor Queen was a key piece in the Red Raider’s second straight trip to the College World Series, the right-hander had plans after the season. He donated his hair to Pantene’s “Beautiful Lengths”, and his motivation is clear.

“My cousin had brain cancer and she was diagnosed in 2012. She passed away in 2017 so obviously I wanted to remember her and honor her any way I can. I like to think I have pretty hair so I wanted to donate it,” Queen said. 

Along with his ability on the bump, Queen is also known for his long hair. Although it was his second year in a row chopping it off, it was still difficult. 

“Definitely didn’t want to do it. I sat on the chair for a while and then I sat there to take a deep breath and was ready to go,” Queen said. 

When it came down to a decision on which non-profit to donate to, “Beautiful Lengths” was the easy choice for Connor.

“They work with the American Cancer Association and I just assumed it would be easiest for them,” he said. 

So far, Pantene has donated more than 3,400 real hair wigs to the American Cancer Society’s wig banks. 

To donate, click here. Or you can support Connor’s cousin Alyssa’s fund, click here.

To see the original story, click here

Classmates Honor Alyssa’s Memory

The text and photos of this post are from A Shelter for Cancer Families, a charity near and dear to the Fergusons.

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Families impacted by childhood cancer pose with Donny, Alex, and Zach before going on stage.

So proud of A Shelter for Cancer Families’ Ambassador Donny Phillips. When presented with an opportunity to showcase his talent at a high school event, Donny chose to use his platform to create awareness of childhood cancer and did he ever! Even the Houston floods couldn’t dampen the PURE GOLD that shown brightly last night. Donny recruited his friends Alex & Zach to join him. They surprised the entire audience when they dedicated their performance to their late classmate Alyssa Ferguson. World Changers (a song written about Alyssa by Christian musical artist Matthew West) played as the trio welcomed the Ferguson family and others in the community affected by childhood cancer onto the stage. Donny held Felipe “Pipe” Muyshondt (who is currently battling the same type of brain tumor that Donny’s younger brother and cancer survivor, Jake survived five years ago) as the song played. Truly a golden moment, none in the audience will soon forget.

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Zach, Donny, and Alex in their GO GOLD costumes

Here is a short video of their performance:

 

 

 

 

 

Miracle on the Seas

More than one year ago, the Fergusons booked a family cruise to get away and awaited for Spring Break 2019 to arrive so they could sail away on the high seas.  They had a great time but the best part — a miracle on the seas!

One evening, they were sitting outside on the deck of the ship visiting with another couple when a waitress came up to check on everyone. Looking closer, the Fergusons noticed her name tag said she was from Zimbabwe. They told her they had been to her beautiful country and all about the different cities and things they had seen. As the conversation continued, she asked why Zimbabwe? The Fergusons told her Alyssa’s story about her illness, her Make A Wish, and the first water well.

Then the question: “Have you ever heard of the village called Murehwa? That is where the well is.”

The answer: “I am from Murehwa!”

Everyone present started crying. It was a miracle on the seas! Far from Zimbabwe and far from America, in the middle of the ocean on a ship full of thousands, God brought hearts together. Meet Annah from Murehwa….

Annah Breakaway NCL

Alyssa Featured in Living Water International’s Annual Report

Living Water 2018-AnnualReview-CoverAlyssa and the Alyssa Ferguson World Changers Fund were featured in the recently released Living Water International’s 2018 Annual Report. Alyssa’s Fund partnered with Living Water by providing a grant to construct a water well in India. Alyssa’s story and the Fund’s partnership is shared on page 15 of the printed report (page 9 of the PDF electronic report).

An excerpt of the story is below. To see the full report and the photos accompanying the story, go to the Living Water International 2018 Annual Report.

Report excerpt:

ALYSSA: WORLD CHANGER When she was a fifth grader, Alyssa Janae Ferguson read the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park. Even at a young age, she was passionate about finding a way to help those suffering from the water crisis. Not long after, such an opportunity arose—though not in the way she imagined.

Just two days after her twelfth birthday, Alyssa was diagnosed with medulloblastoma—a type of brain cancer. She fought hard against the cancer, undergoing multiple surgeries, radiation, many rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and other treatments. Throughout this battle, her family and friends rallied support with a simple slogan: “Alyssa Wins.” Alyssa’s family often clung to the hope represented by the meaning of her name: “God has answered.” Despite all the hardship, they still trusted that God would provide answers.

During her illness, Alyssa was contacted by the MakeA-Wish® Foundation and offered an experience of her choosing. Alyssa was true to her calling to serve God and humanity. She gave away her wish as a donation to fund the construction of a safe water well for a community in Zimbabwe.

The story of Alyssa’s altruism touched many people’s hearts as it was told in churches throughout the United States. Contemporary Christian artist Matthew West wrote a song for Alyssa called “World Changers.” The lyrics of this song speak volumes about Alyssa’s vision: “From the ends of the earth to your hometown, to the lost, to the hurt, to the broke down, you’re the arms wide open, a love that’s showing every one of us the way…”

Alyssa fought bravely for three years and passed away last year at the age of 15. Her parents established the World Changers Fund in her honor. This fund partners with nonprofit organizations to sponsor the construction and repair of safe water wells. The World Changers Fund partnered with Living Water International to provide a well for a school in India. In the fight to protect children from thirst and waterborne illness, Alyssa won. Because of Alyssa’s vision and her family’s generosity, these students won’t have to suffer from the water crisis anymore.

 

World Changers Club Founded

Today, more than 100 students signed up to join the World Changers Club at Ridge Point High School, Alyssa’s former high school. The newly formed club was started by two of Alyssa’s friends — Addie Howell and Josefina Garcia. It is being sponsored by the principal, Len Brogan.

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The focus of the club is to transform club members into World Changers through service and volunteer work.

“We are grateful to Addie, Josefina, and Mr. Brogan for honoring Alyssa in this manner. Without a doubt, she would have been pleased to know that fellow students are also being World Changers and making their own impact in this world,” stated the Fergusons.

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The World Changers Club is planning several projects for this school year and will most assuredly make an impact.

Fergusons Visit First Well

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Today, the Ferguson family visited the well in Murehwa, Zimbabwe. The plan had always been for the family to go together after Alyssa got better. After her passing, the family still wanted to go and visit the first well that started the dream.

From the Ferguson Facebook page: “How do we describe today, the day we went to the village to see the very first well that began Alyssa’s dream and legacy of bringing water to people in need? Amazing. The school children, teachers, local pastor, and village chief gathered with us at the well. They were told Alyssa’s story in their Shona language. Scott, Sandy, and Jenna each had a chance to speak. There was a ceremonial pumping of the well. The children sang and performed traditional dances. We shared lunch together. We had a private time with just the three of us around the well. We shared tea in a kitchen hut. But most of all, God was praised by the children, teachers, and Alyssa’s story. They are keeping a picture of Alyssa and using her story to teach the children that they too can make a difference. There is no electricity, yet tons of energy. Emotional yet powerful day.”

THANK YOU for being a part of the Alyssa Ferguson World Changers Fund.

Zim well pumping