Author Archives : alexisnoll

Conewago Walk Raffle Winners!

Hello Everyone!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Aaron’s Journey Walk this year at the Conewago Trail. It was a great day with beautiful weather and a nice mix of family, friends, and a few people who just happened to be hiking the trail that day.

Posted below is a listing of our raffle prize winners. To claim your prize, please email me at We have three pick up locations – Elizabethtown, Middletown, and Mount Joy. Please let me know which of these three locations work best for you and what times you would be able to pick up your prize. Prizes not claimed within 10 days will have a second winner drawn. If the second winner does not claim the prize within 10 days then the item will be donated back to Aaron’s Journey for future fundraisers.

Thank you so much to all of our raffle items donors, walkers, sponsors, and event volunteers. Without your generous support this event would not have been so successful.

50/50 RAFFLE $180 (winner gets $90) Ticket # 158370

SONY DVD PLAYER Ticket # 401238
Donated by: Anonymous

Donated by: Anonymous

Donated by: Anonymous

Donated by: Eileen Stevens – Manheim Twp Book Club

TOMTOM GPS Ticket # 402475
Donated by: Paul & Vicki Kean – GO STEELERS!!!

TOMTOM GPS Ticket # 402231
Donated by: Paul & Vicki Kean – GO STEELERS!!!

Donated by: Katrina Krady – Manheim Twp Book Club

Donated by: Anonymous

APPLE BASKET Ticket # 401261
Donated by: Anonymous

Donated by: Anonymous

Donated by: Anonymous

SCARECROW Ticket # 401267
Donated by: Anonymous

HOLIDAY WREATH Ticket # 402078
Donated by: Kathie Bock

Donated by: Courtney Ritrovato – The Paper Elephant

Donated by: Courtney Ritrovato – The Paper Elephant
Donated by: Courtney Ritrovato – The Paper Elephant

YOUNG ADULT BOOK SET Ticket # 401506
Donated by: Cathy Patterson – Manheim Twp School District

CHILDREN’S BOOK SET Ticket # 401783
Donated by: Cathy Patterson – Manheim Twp School District

Donated by: Stacia Hambleton – 2.B.Fit Certified Personal Training

CARUSO’S GIFT CARD Ticket # 401265
Donated by: Andrea Adams – Manheim Twp Book Club

Donated by: Dane & Cindy Whitmoyer – Whitmoyer Auto Group

LOWES GIFT CARD Ticket # 400761
Donated by: Maureen Volland – Manheim Twp Book Club

ITUNES GIFT CARD Ticket # 401472
Donated by: Anonymous

ITUNES GIFT CARD Ticket # 401220
Donated by: Anonymous

ITUNES GIFT CARD Ticket # 401320
Donated by: Anonymous

GIANT GIFT CARD Ticket # 402070
Donated by: Nancy Skee – Manheim Twp Book Club

BORDERS GIFT CARD Ticket # 401134
Donated by: Maureen Volland – Manheim Twp Book Club

This Saturday – Conewago Trail Fundraiser

Hello Everyone!

Just wanted to remind you all of the upcoming walk this Saturday, October 17th at the Conewago Trail.

Days Events will include:

Registration – drop off your donations and pick up a brochure and business cards for Aaron’s Journey

Guest Book & Message Posters – Please sign our guest book and write a message to Aaron

Pictures – Get your picture taken to let Aaron know you were there… also please feel free to bring your cameras and take your own pictures throughout the day. Pictures will be compiled into a slide show for Aaron.

230 Café Tickets & Bracelets – AshleyReitz, a representative of the 230 Cafe and Aaron’s aunt, Denise Gingrich will be at the walk selling tickets to the next fundraiser at the 230 Café.  They will also be selling bracelets (donated by Aaron’s cousin Bill) with proceeds going to Aaron’s Journey

Prayer – Currently we are trying to enlist the help of some Pastors/Elders to assist with leading small groups in prayer. If you feel led to join in, please do!

Bottled Water – Our thank you for all of the prayers and support you have shown for Aaron. Please be sure to properly dispose of your empty bottles.

Bake Sale – Nate and Erin Gingrich (Aaron’s cousin and her husband) are also hosting a bake sale at the walk with proceeds going to Aaron’s Journey.

A few notes about:

Directions – Detailed directions are available at We will have red balloons marking the entrance so it is easier to spot from the road.

Parking – Parking is available at the trail head however we are expecting a large turnout so parking may be limited. We encourage you to carpool as much as you can for this event. If parking is not available at the trail head when you arrive, there is additional parking at the (out of business) gas station next door.

Rain Date – In the event that we need to cancel due to inclement weather, we will make an announcement on Aaron’s blog no later than 8:30 am on Saturday morning. Rain date is scheduled for the following day, Sunday, October 18th from 1:00-5:00 pm. If you are unable to make it on Sunday, we will have volunteers at the trail from 10:00-11:00 am on Saturday RAIN or SHINE to collect donations.

If you are unable to walk – You can always be a sponsor. If you don’t have anyone to sponsor, you can still make a donation on this site via Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express by clicking on the link to your right OR you can send a check to Aaron’s Journey at PO Box 267, Elizabethtown, PA 17022. Whether you are donating $1 or $100 please know that your donation counts. Aaron’s family is in the process of finding him the best outpatient rehabilitative care to ensure that Aaron has every opportunity to maximize his potential for recovery. With much thanks we endeavor to put your generous donations to the best use possible.

Thank you for supporting Aaron in his recovery. We hope to see you at the walk!

Prayers prayers everywhere!

Hello Everyone,

This is Aaron’s sister, Alexis.  I was talking to Jackie (my boyfriend, Bret’s mom) on Facebook the other night.  She has been keeping updated on Aaron’s progress through this blog and she said she was amazed at how far reaching all this prayer and support for Aaron is.  It got me thinking that it might be fun to give folks a visual picture so here’s what I came up with…

This is a link to a pin point map that I created where you guys can go and create a pin point for your location with a message to let Aaron know that you’re praying for him.  All you have to do is copy and paste the link into your web browser and an interactive map will appear.  You can zoom in or out and use your mouse to drag the map to find your specific location.  Then go down to the bottom right of the map, just underneath there is a link that says, “add extra pin to this map”.  Once you click on that you should be able to go back to the map and click on your location which will add a pin and bring up a balloon for you to type a message.  It will ask you for a password to preview the pin.  The password is 1234.

I know we have a lot of people and their churches all over this country and beyond praying for Aaron.  Let’s cover this map in pins and show Aaron just how many people are pulling for him and how awesome our God is.

Love you so much Ern!

***Update***  For those of you who attempted to add a pin but were unable, please try again.  The problem should be corrected.

August 20th Update

(Admin Note: the following excerpts were taken from an email sent by Alexis Noll on August 20th and is being added to help fill the gap between Aaron’s accident and today. This post in no way represents Aaron’s current situation.)

“First about his injury.  It is rather difficult to explain.  He didn’t actually compress his spine.  It’s just that the nature of the dislocation compressed his spinal cord which caused some pretty nasty bruising.  To give you a bit of a visual… imagine pulling on a rope to ring a big bell.  The rope represents the spinal chord and if you place your hands grasping that rope right on top of each other they represent two vertebrae in your spine.  With one hand directly over top of the other you have alignment and the rope (spinal cord) is protected within your hands.  What happened when Aaron hit his head is that one of those vertebrae shifted about 50% according to the doctor which caused a severe misalignment (also called subluxation) that is the equivalent of you shifting one of your hands to the right or left an inch or two.  What happens to the rope is that bends and gets pinched between the part of your hands that are still overlapping each other.  That rope you’re grasping is a lot stronger than your actual spinal cord so you can imagine how easily it’s going to give way and be pinched between those two vertabrae.  A complication that occurred with Aaron is that when these vertabrae subluxated they also somehow jammed and got locked like that which is why they had to do surgery to see what was going on in there and how to pull them apart to put them back in alignment.  Along with putting the vertabrae back in place and unpinching Aaron’s spinal cord, the doctors also removed the disc between the vertabrae because it had ruptured and became unstable.  For those of you with no backround in the anatomy of the spine, the discs between the vertabrae serve as shock absorbers and allow for movement and flexibility of the spine.  Since Aaron’s disc was ruptured and the structural integrity of those two vertabrae was compromised, the doctors fused the two vertabrae together to stablized them.  The doctor also told us that with spinal cord compression, the first 8 hours are critical.  The doctors were able to realign those discs and relieve the compression caused to his spinal cord within that window which they say limits the damage caused.  The discs that were affected were C-3 and C-4.  Everything below those discs is basically cut off (or there is severe interference) from the messages being sent by the brain which is why Aaron has lost so much function. ..”

“Aaron at this point is only able to move his shoulders and everything above them.  He does not have any use of his arms or legs.  We did get some encouraging news today.  Aaron is having some sensation in his pinky finger.  Also Aaron’s girlfriend Jamie is an RN and has been assisting his nurses when she can.  While she was helping one of the nurses lift Aaron today, she was rubbing his back and Aaron said that he could feel something.  Aaron also said he felt something when Woody was rubbing one of his calf muscles.  The staff are trying to exercise his muscles to keep them from atrophying or deteriorating from lack of use.  The doctors did caution us that this may or may not be a good sign.  These sensations may come and go and they are not necessarily indicative of Aaron regaining function in any of these areas.  However, we are very hopeful and encouraged.  Aaron is still on a hefty dose of morphine to manage his pain and we are thinking that it is also most likely dulling his senses a bit so we are eager to see if the sensation increases as the dosage of morphine decreases.

Aaron was taken off the ventilator because he didn’t appear to be having too much trouble breathing which is rather miraculous with an injury involving C-3 which is the vertabrae that houses the nerves directly related to lung function.  However, the doctor did recommend to put Aaron back on the ventilator for the time being because while he is inhaling enough oxygen, he is not exhaling enough carbon dioxide.  This may seem like a step back at first but really what the doctor is trying to do here is make sure that Aaron’s body is less focused on trying to breath normally and focusing more resources on healing itself.  They are also inserting a feeding tube for the same reason.  Aaron will gain more nourishment from that than he will from an IV drip which will help his body to heal.  They are going to insert a trach so that these things will not affect his ability to communicate.  They are going to do that tomorrow even though Aaron was ready for them to do it today.  Aaron is doing very well mentally despite his circumstances.  He’s keeping a positive attitude and seems to be very ready and willing to face the challenges of healing which is good since it may be a long road to recovery.  Aaron will remain in NJ for about a week and then be transferred to an inpatient rehab facility somewhere closer to home…”