Thank you for your
interest in the Rainbow Connection Kermit Action Figure benefiting
the Cooper Perry Fund. I’d like to offer an explanation
of the Fund and the connection to Palisades and the Rainbow Connection.
Every so often, something
happens in your life to give you perspective and to re-prioritize
just what’s important. One of those events happened to me
in the summer of 2004.
just a few months shy of his third birthday, came down with a
sudden and severe case of Meningitis in August of 2004. He started
out with a simple fever, not even particularly high. Those of
you who have children (of your own or siblings, nephews, nieces,
cousins, etc.) know that slight fevers are pretty regular at this
age. This one was pretty routine. His parents, two of my closest
friends, did what all good parents do. They took him to the pediatrician,
who diagnosed a slight fever and recommended some Tylenol, some
fluids, and rest. That was Thursday.
The next day,
Friday, he got worse, so they took him to the emergency room.
Later that day, he was diagnosed with Meningitis. His condition
dramatically worsened overnight and into Saturday. Early Sunday
morning, he was helicoptered from his home town of Naples, Florida
to Miami Children’s Hospital, a regional specialist hospital
in brain trauma. But by then it was beyond hope. His Meningitis
had developed into Encephalitis and he was pretty much on life
My wife and I got calls
on Sunday and Monday and took off for Miami on Tuesday. There
was a tiny bit of hope for Cooper, but we were there really for
his parents, our friends. We spent the next two days holed up
in that hospital, crying, laughing, hugging, planning, talking,
On Thursday, it was
Just one week earlier,
the same kid was swimming in the pool and suddenly we were all
discussing his Memorial Service.
My point in sharing
all of this is two-fold. First, it’s always been my style
to talk (in this case write) about painful situations as a way
to deal with them. So, indulge me a bit in my healing. The second,
and more important, is to continue to build awareness for the
Cooper Perry Fund. I made a personal commitment to Cooper and
to his parents that I would spearhead the building of this fund.
One of the most frustrating
aspects of the entire experience was the fact that the doctors
don’t know how to stabilize and protect the brain during
trauma. That is, they can get the heart pumping with medication
or machines; same with lungs, and kidneys, but they don’t
know how to protect the brain. Since Cooper had a virus, there
was no cure, but if they could have protected his brain while
the virus ran its course, he would be with us still today. And
not only with us, but with us as he was a few weeks ago (more
than 70% of Viral Meningitis cases result in recovery, but with
Children’s Hospital Foundation is doing a lot of intensive
research on this exact situation. They don’t know why this
case was so deadly to Cooper. They also want to know how to prevent
others in the future from enduring this.
Coop was such a loving,
generous child that I know he would want to help (even at 3 years
old, he definitely understood the concept of generosity. He was
always a great sharer). So, why the Rainbow Connection Kermit?
On that Thursday morning, the four of us gathered around Cooper’s
bed. None of us had any misconceptions of what would happen that
day. We entered his room one at a time over about a 15-minute
period. Once we had all gotten together, an enormous full rainbow
appeared directly outside of the window. One of those really bright
ones that you can see both ends. It really felt like Cooper was
communicating with us and I will always feel that that is exactly
what it was.
Two weeks later, the
Perry family was holding a memorial service at their adopted home
in Naples and the church musician asked them if they had a musical
preference. They really didn’t, so they suggested that he
select one of his own. He played an acoustic guitar rendition
of “The Rainbow Connection.”
Never in our history
have we had a product idea that was so obvious.
Connection Kermit will be available beginning today at Palisades’
online store – 100% of the profits from this piece will
go to The Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Neuro-Protection
President and CEO
Palisades Entertainment, LLC