Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Clarity and comfort in the midst of adversity

Hanna Gootee
Vail Valley Charitable Fund

This past November, I moved to Colorado with one intention: make the most of every second and ensure that the life I’m choosing to live is one that I enjoy. I lived in Denver about seven years ago, and after coming back to visit this fall for a wedding, I decided to stop making excuses and get back to the place I love most.

Hanna Gootee

A multitude of applications were shortly submitted and then followed by two formidable phone calls. I first got a call offering me a job supervising the adaptive program at Vail, and that was interrupted by a call from my doctor regarding my biopsy results.

In the same moment that I was offered a chance to go after this life I’d been longing to begin, I was also struck by the news that made me question if that new beginning could ever be a reality.

Time is something that is easily taken for granted. We may push things off because we’ll just do it later. We excuse ourselves from hard conversations because it’s just not a good time. We put off our dreams because life gets in the way, and we begin to bury our passions because we’ll get to them later when we can catch a break.

Most importantly, we choose to actively spend our days partaking in a life that we don’t enjoy because we think that there is a reward that will come once we’ve done our time. Done our time doing what? Suffering? Working a miserable job? Staying somewhere we don’t want to be?

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I am very young and may not know a whole lot, but I do know that nothing in life is guaranteed, and I can no longer rely on this idea of endless tomorrows. Realizing this made expediting change crucial, and it also offered clarity that the life I wanted to live was still waiting for me in the mountains of Colorado.

I had surgery, made treatment plans, and moved out to Colorado to start working for the adaptive program at Vail in less than a month. Medical complications continued, and the bills began to add up. I was lucky enough to meet an individual that introduced me to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund that would offer assistance with these bills.

As I said previously, I came to Colorado with one intention, and I was not willing to give up my dedication to enjoying my life under any circumstances. The VVCF allowed me to continue to get medical care without the financial stress burdening me or withholding me from receiving the medical attention that was necessary.

We are not promised anything — health, housing, money, time, etc. — but we are given the chance every single day to find joy in the life we are living. The Vail Valley Charitable Fund has truly allowed me to keep choosing joy and keep choosing the life I love.

I sincerely mean it when I say I have met the most altruistic individuals in the valley. I couldn’t be more grateful for the VVCF’s dedicated staff, empathetic supporters, and crucial work. Their impact is evident and to know this is an option for other locals that are presented with challenges they could never prepare for is crucial.

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