When your mission suddenly goes off course, what would you do? Do you stay with the original plan, or do you embrace the new path? Making the necessary decision does not always come with clear directions. Such was the case for NASA and the Apollo 13 astronauts.
In 1970 during what was to be a routine mission to the moon, the astronauts suddenly found themselves with a blown oxygen tank, missing heat shield, and rising carbon monoxide levels. If that wasn’t enough, the explosion caused a fuel leak and they no longer had enough fuel to land on the moon and return home.
The astronauts found themselves out of control and waiting on the team of experts at NASA to devise a solution to get them home safely. The moon landing was scrapped, and experts on all aspects of the mission were called in to stretch every bit of power out of the ship so she would have enough in her to make it back to Earth safely.
Why are we talking about a 47-year-old space mission? For several reasons. First, as you may have seen or heard, we had planned to show Apollo 13, the movie based on this mission, as a fundraiser in Dubuque last night. But, we had pre-show technical difficulties and as a result we had to push our start time back 30 minutes. Oddly, this mimicked the Apollo 13 mission, as they too had pre-flight technical difficulties.
When our guests had finally settled into their seats and the movie was to begin, suddenly, the lights came up and our mission was again thrown off course. The digital key needed to unlock and play the movie wasn’t working. Much like trying to fit a round filter in a square hose (if you have seen the movie, you will understand that analogy).
However, also much like NASA, the theater owner had come up with an alternate solution. He happened to have another, not widely known, movie available. Fortunately, all of the movie-goers were willing to change course. That is how we came to watch Hunt for the Wilderpeople instead of Apollo 13.
As someone pointed out after the movie was over, Hunt for the Wilderpeople was a great fit for Compass To Care movie night because it was about traveling with a child. In addition, like Apollo 13, it was also about finding your way on a new path when unexpected obstacles are thrown in your way.
For these reasons, both of these movies can be compared to the journey of childhood cancer. Imagine, you become a parent, and ultimately your mission for your child is to raise him or her to the best of your ability, down the usual path, through their school years, and see them off into adulthood, to hopefully to have them do the same with their own children someday.
But somewhere during your parental mission, your child is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, your plan veers off course and head down an unknown path. You find yourself making seemingly endless trips to doctors and hospitals. Consulting with experts on every aspect of your child’s form of cancer, waiting for them to devise a new plan, to make every second of treatment work to meet the end goal – saving your child’s life.
This is where Compass To Care comes in. Our mission is to help you and your child travel to cancer treatment. With the help of our generous donors, we are able to cover the necessary, but unexpected, travel costs associated with treating childhood cancer, such as airfare, gasoline, parking fees, bus fare, toll fees, and more.
If you would like to help with our mission, please consider making a direct donation to Compass To Care; ordering a Dina Doll or Replace The Lace shoelaces; joining us at one of our upcoming events; or holding your own, unique fundraiser. As NASA engineers have taught us through the years, creativity counts, and we are always open to new and different fundraising ideas!