When John O’Leary was nine years old, he played with fire and gasoline causing a major explosion at his home. He was burned on 100% of his body, but that didn’t stop him. John, even as a nine-year-old, had the strength and support to push forward.

As he remembered laying in the hospital bed after the accident, John knew he had a choice to make. Would he pity himself or to pick himself up and face this challenge? With the support of his father, a baseball legend, and a piano teacher, he flourished into the best-selling author, inspirational speaker and role model he is today.

John’s experiences parallel those of women facing unexpected pregnancies. Often these women find themselves pregnant, and they struggle with the same choice John had to make in the hospital bed that day, to fall into despair or to face the challenge ahead. O’Leary’s story showed that with the right support and empowerment, anyone can more easily navigate the challenges ahead.

The Pregnancy Help Centers that Vitae works with do just that. Not only do they provide care and support for women before, during, and after pregnancy, but they assist in providing financial, physical and emotional resources. By using this non-judgmental #ProWomanApproach, our Pregnancy Help Centers have been more successful in saving lives than ever before.

O’Leary concluded his remarks by motivating the audience to do more to help those in need, whether it be a boy grasping for life after being severely burned or a woman just finding out she is pregnant. He asked, “What more can you do?”

If you were not able to attend a Vitae fundraiser this year and would like to make a donation, please visit vitaefoundation.org/donate.