As I write to you from my home in South Dakota, I am closer to you than you may realize. On May 16th, Brian Carlson, my friend and fraternity brother, was one of three cyclists struck by a drunken driver, on Highway 85 just miles from his home in Layton. As a result, Brian has lost a leg and has other complications. There is an irony to this tragedy. You see, Brian and I, along with 22 other brothers from across the country, spent the summer of 1991 crossing the United States on bikes, creating awareness for Americans who are physically and mentally challenged. As part of our philanthropic PUSH America, we proclaim all people have value. Each summer, several Utah communities host our group. We visit your work activity facilities, homes and schools sharing our message. Your children may have been to a puppet show or an empathy training program we produce to educate young children about disability. There is a certain courage needed for this trip and Brian's example inspired me, freely giving himself and offering friendship and love to people across the country. Well spoken and articulate, he represented us with class to media and businesses with whom we shared our message.
Ironically, our investment in your communities has never had strings or costs attached -- until now. Initially, Brian was given a one in 10 chance for survival. His condition is still very serious and now we ask you to respond to Brian and the other two victims. The doctors at the University of Utah Hospital are doing everything they can to save his life. Across the nation our brothers are heart wrenched at this tragedy. We are keeping abreast of his latest developments. Whether it's a prayer or card, the families and victim's need your support at this most difficult time.Thank you in advance for your time. I ask you, the people of Utah, to ensure that Brian will be honored with justice. No amount of compensatory settlement will replace what has been lost. However, ironically, the fruits of awareness Brian helped sow in your community must be reaped now more than ever.
Sioux Falls, S.D.