Dyamond’s Dream

I don’t know how many of you tweeted about 18yo Dyamond Ott who died on the 11th in Omaha while in surgery with the hash tag #diamondsliveforever, but this really touched me in many ways more then you, I’m sure. Any loss b/c of cancer is HUGE. I have already lost many friends and family to cancer, and I have an aunt currently battling breast cancer. And the loss of an 18yo girl who really suffered all her life from cancer treatments, tiredness, and sickness and who wasn’t able to really explore this vast world shouldn’t have died this early. Heck, no one deserves to die this early. And the way she died too. That wasn’t the outcome they were expecting from the surgery, but clearly God had other plans for her. Maybe it was for the best though, as she isn’t in pain anymore and the outcome is much more greater then it usually is, as Dyamond had a goal that was great and hopefully she is well on the path to achieve her goal of getting more organ donors to save many lives like hers. She too was an organ donor that was saved with a liver transplant a few years earlier, and now she is transfering part of herself to a boy in Iowa City. Dyamond’s death also united 2 rivals, Ankeny and SE Polk, which I think might be one of the most amazing things ever, bringing 2 rivals together for a common goal of community betterment. I was lucky enough to talk to one of her friends who said she was the bravest and strongest person they knew. I believe anyone who fights a deadly disease like this is easily 100 times, if not 1000x, stronger then a heavyweight. It is awesome the support that the community is giving her friends and family at a time like this. This might be a sad time this year, but I think it will be a sad time the next few Christmas seasons as well. God bless her, her friends and family, and all other cancer surviors, people lost to cancer, and those who are currently battling it. You will be missed Dyamond. I think Dyamond’s story shows you how fortunate you really are, not to take everyday for granted, and to live every day as your last because you never know when God will bring you to heaven.

Please remember Dyamond as she is laid to rest for the final time this afternoon. Also, please consider becoming an organ donor to help save lives when you are gone – FAQ. Also, please tweet this if you want to share with your friends and remember Dyamond.

More Reading:

Stories from KOAM on Jacob & Dyamond – some GREAT stories!

Dyamond’s story of organ donation (pdf)

Des Moines Register Article on how Dyamond’s death brought the community together (pdf)

Another Des Moines Register Article about how Dyamond’s classmates hailed her on twitter (pdf)

A WHO-TV Story on Dyamond graduating high school and the plans she never got to do (pdf)

A WHO-TV Story on Dyamond’s funeral (pdf)

A story on who her heart is going to (pdf)

Her Obituary (pdf)

Her Website

First Lego League Tournaments…

FLL was my life a few years ago around this time of year. This year, my school had 3 FLL teams and our county 4-H program had a team. I mentored 2 of our schools teams. It brought back so many good memories, making me a bit sad I still couldn’t play with the awesome LEGO bricks at the same time. I wish US FIRST would still host FLL at the high school level. Anyways, Iowa FLL is making it a bit more challenging for teams, since they implemented regionals at multiple locations through out the state that happened last weekend and this weekend. This weekend however is special for me, as the 4 teams I know are battling it out over in Marshalltown. I think they should be arriving back in town any minute now…

I was in FLL for 2 years. I first got interested in it when I saw Ocean Odyssey in 2005. I got together a team as part of my 4-H club in 2006 (Nano Quest), which we did extremely well in. In fact, we got 1st place for Robot Performance (Highest Score) and 1st place for Programming. I think we only did so well, because I put in a LOT of long nights and weekends at my mentor’s garage the last couple of weekends before the state tournament. I also used a concept that I thought saved us a TON of time as well. We only had 1 program with all the missions in it (as My Blocks) and we had a set order of FLL missions we were going to complete. To transition from each mission, we just tapped the touch sensor after we had the robot lined up. I believe this helped us a lot, because if you watch kids, they fiddle through all their programs, wasting valuable time. After 2006, we participated in Power Puzzle, which was our last year. Luckly, I got my school’s TAG teacher involved and she started 3 teams at the middle school level, and has been going ever since.

I just registered to volunteer with this year’s state tournament which happens January 14th, 2012 to take photos or help out on the tech crew (we livestream ours with Extension’s Adobe Connect service). — Click here to find a link to the livestream if you are interested in watching as it gets closer.

Have you been involved with FLL? Do you have an interesting story?? Let me know!