Tribute To An Inspiration

I thought this week I would pay tribute to someone who has helped me immensely over the last few years. They probably don’t know, or appreciate the impact they have on others and it’s about time they were told how grateful we are as a community for his support. They don’t know I’m doing this so they might request I take this down, but hopefully not.

Michael McGuire came into my life through our mutual friend Tom McVey. My wife and I were in a extremely dark place having had our first miscarriage and were in desperate need of some guidance. I was talking to Tom about it one day and he suggest I got in touch with Michael lost their son and providing support for others and looking to make a difference to families who were going through the same experience. I got in contact via Twitter, and we have messaged/tweeted each other since. His messages through the subsequent second miscarriage and long-term injury have been a bright light in the darkness that I kept finding myself in. His openness about his own struggles has allowed many others to find the courage to open up about their own problems. Despite the bitterness that comes is normally associated with social media.

Recently, and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying, Michael has not been a good place because of one thing or another. However over the past couple of weeks it has been great tracking the positivity in his attitude. He’s been able to immerse himself into rollercoaster of emotions that comes with being a Rangers fan. There were trials and tribulations in getting tickets and travelling to Seville. For which he helped organise a bus to travel to the game for him and other supporters. The low of losing the final and mistreatment of fans in the stadium. Followed by the high of winning the Scottish Cup Final on Saturday. But even at the low points there was no getting away from the positive attitude that Michael had throughout. It was addictive and I couldn’t help but follow his feed every step of the way. Michael found comfort in football, as so many of us do. In turn his positive attitude has affected others, be it his organisation of a bus to help others in Spain, to helping me and others to find an escape from our own difficulties. This is what you need when times are hard. A buddy to rely on.

Michael’s ability to speak out about his difficulties was one of the inspirations behind Buddy Check being created. The way he has reached others within social media and given them a voice when they did not think they had one is infectious. We want to do the same. Through our services and networking, we want to create a community where those who need an escape from the darkness can find a glimmer of hope through support from their peers and supporting agencies.

So from the very bottom of my heart, thank you Michael. For everything you do. You are truly an inspiration to all.

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