Good Morning my people! It’s Ben Hagarty here! Danielle asked me to drop a line on the site again, to catch everyone up on the past 72 hours and hopefully help define the craziness of the word we’ve recently become very familiar with… ‘Viral‘!
As some of you may know, I do a lot of behind-the-scene work for Taylor and Danielle. Usually it’s a regular day to day, few hours here – few hours there, type of deal. You know, putting hours in on the phone with Juli (Taylor’s Mom) about the website or his sisters/aunt about fundraising ideas, or I’ll be hanging out in the basement of the Thuesen household, with Hanna and Mike, constantly falling behind on tee shirt orders! But mostly, I’m always online sorting through new email’s and working with everybody on Team Taylor so that his story is best heard and in the right way.
Over the past few month’s, Taylor’s story has caught wind, reaching a lot of people’s attention and it’s become very obvious that it motivates others and has actually inspired thousands, to say the least. Four days ago, a person from Huston, Texas was so moved by Taylor’s story, that he decided to spend a little time piecing together twenty-two pictures in a blog that told Taylor and Danielle’s story (via BuzzFeed.com), to share with some of his friends. Within a few hours, that blog post became the most popular post on the website, reaching over 100,000 view’s and made it’s way to the top of the front page! None of us had ever heard of this website, which seems to be the case in most of these awesome/crazy/quick pace viral situations we get put into (for instance, we had no idea about TheChive.com until they made a post about Taylor that ended up raising him over $250,000 in 30 hours not too long ago! ). We began looking into it. 200K… 400K…600K…700K VIEWS!… What?! “TAYLOR’S GOING VIRAL!” was a common sentence being shot back and forth on the phone within our group of friends. I opened up the inbox for Taylor’s email and found this little gem, which turned the fantasy of Taylor becoming viral quickly into reality.
We were so excited! Quickly, emails started pouring in. Like, a lot of emails! I’ve spent the past three day’s behind my computer, answering email’s and making phone calls all day/night, skyping Tay/Danielle to fill them in on the cool offer’s they’ve been getting, dealing with reporters from all over the world. Tim (Taylor’s friend who has been taking awesome picture’s of Taylor) was receiving email’s from stations all over as well, as they had seen his watermark on picture’s that have been buzzing around the internet world! It’s been opening our eyes as a group, but I think it’s opened Taylor’s eyes even more. [Note: the BuzzFeed article is currently over 2 million views!]
Last night we got a phone call from Matt Lauer, from The Today Show, as he heard of Taylor and wanted to personally introduce himself. One question that Matt asked Taylor was if he even wanted to share his story with the world, being that he has a chance to do so. Taylor responded by saying, “Yesterday, there was an email from a little kid named Rowan, who had been recovering from a traumatic brain injury. He saw a picture of me with my prosthetics and an American flag on my back and thought I was Superman. His mom made a journal post about how he loves it when she read’s him the updates, and that’s really the only reason why we want to share it, to help other people.”
It’s been an intense and exhausting few days and I don’t see that ending anytime soon. I’m flying out to Bethesda on Friday so that I can be with them and we can get more of this work done there. Taylor and Danielle have a lot of challenges and decisions to make over the next few weeks and I think they are quickly preparing themselves for all of it. I know my journal’s are probably full of grammatical errors, run on sentences, and are probably super boring for you to read – so I’ll let Danielle and Juli continue to post in their beautiful writing ways. Thanks to all who are new to Taylor’s website, thanks for making it crash a few times , thanks to everyone who has donated, thanks to everyone who has bought Taylor tee’s and bracelets, thanks to everyone who has went on to share Taylor’s story, thanks to all of those that I can’t remember, who deserve a thank you.
Peace and love,
Oh! Promo plug in time real quick! We have a HUGE fundraiser called The Unstoppable Event coming up for Taylor in his hometown (that he will be attending) October 19th, 2012. If anyone would like to donate an auction item or attend, you can find more information about that here at www.taylormorris.org/UNSTOPPABLE BYEEEE!