Hello everyone! My name is Theresa Zimanske. My family and I live in Lakeville Minnesota. Our son Michael was diagnosed with a rare disease called Schimke Immunoosseous Dysplasia (SIOD) at the age of seven in 1999.  Prior to that our life looked pretty typical as I am sure that is the case for many of you. However, since then our life has been anything but typical. Sadly Michael lost the battle with SIOD on March 10, 2005 but gained victory not only in heaven but in the impact he made on so many including me. In our journey with Michael and his rare syndrome something we fondly refer to as Be the Change was born. It is formed entirely by the suffering of so many, especially Michael.  Be the Change is rooted in service to all those made vulnerable by illness and all of its effects.  Be the Change believes that in strengthening relationships with patients, families and providers the medical experience primarily the quality of care will be improved, simply by nurturing the human experience. Be the Change puts a real face and a voice to the value in sharing our stories, allowing our medical experiences to speak into the healthcare community, impacting them in ways nothing else could. In hope of what is to come, we move forward in Michael’s bold and courageous spirit.
Visit the Be the Change blog and always feel free to contact me.

In our experiences with our son Michael and his rare syndrome Schimke Immunoosseous Dysplasia (SIOD), hope was consistently exhibited when our friends and family gathered with us. Amazing and powerful things occurred in those gatherings which inadvertently increased our capacity to hope in a situation that so often felt hopeless. As parents, we never dream that one day we will be driving a wheelchair accessible van with a handicap license plate on it, but we also couldn’t even imagine the life altering opportunities it would give such as watching family or friends lift our son out of that vehicle, putting him gently and carefully into his wheelchair. Without a doubt, there was a high price paid for that view but the imprint it left on my heart is priceless. Fortunately I didn’t miss the view by only focusing on the “handicap” portion of it, but instead grace controlled my thoughts and I was able to see it in hopeful amazement.

With every situation we are given a choice whether we are conscious of it or not. We can choose to simply look at our cup half empty, missing the importance of the other portion or we can make a choice to be more hopeful, looking at our cup half full, regardless of what happens in our lives. We must trust and believe that we possess the ability to make quality conscious choices. The power in that ability creating the most out of our experiences makes a positive view available, especially when people come together in hope allowing amazing things to happen.
Join me and my family in being another person who desires to Be the Change.  Feel free to visit my blog  Be the Change.