Big thanks to Melanie Weeden taking some time out of her busy life to chat on Pistols Firing. You should follow her on Twitter if you aren’t already.
1. You guys have been caught up in quite a whirlwind over the last few years. What was the non-football moment where you were like “whoa, I can’t believe this is my life now”?
While Brandon was a collegiate athlete, he was busy with football and academics. I had a full-time career. We didn’t have much extra time or money.
However, during the spring, I was able to quit my job, and we’ve been fortunate enough to go on some fun trips. e went to the Masters, spent time in Scottsdale, visited wine country, San Fransisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and now we’re in Cleveland! It’s been a crazy whirlwind!
We enjoyed every minute of our time at Oklahoma State, and so far, we’re really enjoying Cleveland. We are lucky to have amazing family and friends who are supportive and genuinely care about us. We realize things are changing, but we will always remember where we came from and we’ll continue to appreciate the people and blessings in our lives.
2. Three favorite sports-related movies or tv shows?
Happy Gilmore – a classic…I probably watched this movie thousands of times as a kid. I bet I could watch it right now and remember every line. It was one of the few movies my brother and I could agree on…so we watched it a lot. It probably saved the sanity of our parents on every road trip.
A League of Their Own – I remember seeing this movie when it was in theaters…another childhood favorite.
30 for 30 – these documentaries are interesting. I enjoy hearing about the great stories of sports history.
3. As the wife of an NFL player you have the ability to do a lot of things (travel places, help people, etc.) What’s the one thing you’re most excited about outside of football stuff in this next phase of your life?
I am most excited about our partnership with Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma City.
Shortly before the draft, Brandon and I pledged to become an endowed chair in the pediatric cardiac unit; our goal is to raise $1 million dollars.We were inspired by a family from Broken Arrow who we began a friendship with in 2007.
The Kuykendall family (see video below) has a son who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He was born at Children’s Hospital in OKC because they employed the only senior pediatric cardiac surgeon in the state who was seasoned enough to perform the series of three complex surgeries Gavin would need. Shortly after Gavin’s first surgery, the surgeon relocated to San Diego. Unfortunately, there is not another pediatric cardiac surgeon in Oklahoma who can handle complex cases like Gavin’s, so the Kuykendall’s have been faced with the financial burden of traveling to San Diego for Gavin’s remaining surgeries.
The Kuykendall’s have been blessed with a strong support group in their family, friends and church. However, not all heart families have the resources to travel out of state for their child’s surgeries. The recruitment of a seasoned pediatric cardiac surgeon to Oklahoma is absolutely necessary, but it has been difficult for Children’s Hospital without the financial backing of an endowed chair. Brandon and I are committed to reaching our goal.
We hosted our first annual golf tournament at Oak Tree National on July 23, 2012. We will continue hosting a golf tournament on an annual basis, and we will pursue other fundraising ventures until we reach our goal of raising $1 million dollars. This cause is dear to our hearts because of our friendship with the Kuykendall family. We think the world of Gavin; he and other heart families in Oklahoma deserve the best.
I’m also excited about having the free time to do things like volunteer or give blood. I was driving in Cleveland yesterday and saw a sign for a Red Cross blood drive. Their sign said “urgent need”… so on a whim, I donated blood. I’m looking forward to becoming more involved in the community here.