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Traci Menga

This all started when a visit to Las Vegas became an overnight move when my husband ended up on life support. With a 90% mortality rate things didn’t look so good. Needless to say, my head was spinning as I thought through the idea of losing my partner, and my children’s father. I was gripped in fear of driving back to our home in California, and the strong possibility that he would die in that Las Vegas hospital without me holding his hand. I waited in Las Vegas for almost a month before finally making the decision to let our home and business go, and to get our children enrolled in their new schools in Las Vegas.

At that time, Disney’s Lilo & Stitch was all the rage, so it was easy for me to explain to our young children that we stay in Las Vegas because Daddy is here. I used a line from that movie: “Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind”. At the tender ages of 3 ½ & 6, this simple line made the fact that they had not seen their Daddy in almost a month, and that we had not returned to our home & friends in California a little more comprehensible.

My husband underwent his first surgery in Las Vegas, and against all odds, he survived. (no pun intended!)

I don’t tell this story to gain pity by any means, as I am a firm believer we are not defined by our circumstances, but by the actions we choose. I tell this because I learned that in a blink of an eye anyone can find themselves filled with troubles and searching for a ray of hope.

My hope came as a dear friend scooped up my troubles and arranged for the packing and moving of all of our personal belongings to be relocated into a storage unit in Las Vegas. I didn’t even have to ask her as she was already brainstorming with a group of caring individuals on what to do. She even sent one of her dear Las Vegas friends to be by my side as I would wait in the CCU to visit my husband. As far away as I was from my home and friends, I was not alone. I was immensely grateful for my friend’s strength, direction and guidance, as well as amazed by her ability to juggle my family’s troubles since her new baby girl was just recovering from open heart surgery.

The day the U-Hauls arrived in Las Vegas, my husband was placed on a helicopter, still on life support, in order for the insurance to keep the costs under control. Lesson learned: the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. So now here I am making the move to Las Vegas so I could be by my husband’s side, and preparing for the worst as the doctors still did not hold out much hope for his recovery, only to find he will be residing in a California hospital. Well, OK. Go with the flow.

I was able to drive down to California and stay with my friend while I got familiar with his new doctors and nurses. It was important to me that they knew who I was, and that he was my husband, a loving father, and a good man, not just some body in a bed that they had to tend to. The kids drew pictures, and I brought family photos so I could decorate his room in case he woke up and was wondering where he was.

Two weeks later we were back in Las Vegas so I could find work, get my children set up in their new schools, and bring some normalcy back to their lives. I was fortunate to work with my mother-in-law on a great promotions project with Lance Burton – Master Magician. What a grand opportunity this was as I then landed two more gigs with two other Las Vegas productions. These jobs helped put food on the table, but also gave me insight into the travel and tourism market, and the pressing need for a new direction in marketing and advertising.

Work and my children kept me very busy, and soon enough, 2 ½ months later, my husband was off life support and on a plane with his mother back to Las Vegas. It took many months for him to somewhat recover from his 2 emergency pancreatic debridement’s, but he did it! And we were blessed with almost 4 more years of his life to share with him.

I still chuckle at the news I had to break to him and the look on his face when I said, “um, I sold your truck, I had to let the house, and the business go, and you no longer live in California…Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas!

Believe it or not, all that stuff didn’t matter. We were all so thrilled to be together again!

All that said, and of course just snippets of my personal story have unfolded here, I have decided that out of adversity comes opportunity. Hence: What Gives? . . .something’s got to give! And the immense feelings that I can never pay back all the precious individuals and organizations that have helped my family along the way, and in so many ways! But I can pay it forward, gladly.

Those that know me know I have worked diligently through this idea for a while now, starting with various cause marketing projects, to working with the LVCVA on a live broadcast with a multi-media company, and each endeavor leading me to search for a better way to give back to our schools and non-profit organizations.

My philosophy is that our future, and the future of the world, is in the hands of our children. If we can manage to offset this educational budget crisis while we do every day activities, we can all make a difference for the future of our children and our world. If we can help our struggling non-profit organizations at the same time we are having fun, we can ensure they can still give a ray of hope to those in need.

Together let’s create a world that perpetuates positive change by the actions we choose.

Let’s all make the choice to Have Fun. Do Good.

I hope you like the deals we offer. I hope you enjoy giving back to our children’s education, or in choosing an organization that moves you to action.

We look forward to building a lasting relationship with you, and welcome any feedback or comments you may have.

Thanks for reading my first blog!



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Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:06 AM
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 6:42 PM
Thank you very much! I appreciate your feedback.
# Jenny
Friday, February 25, 2011 8:31 PM
Traci, Thanks for the very welcome ride to my car at Red Rocks Canyon. You live in a awe inspiring but rugged area. I hiked many beautiful trails during my stay. Have you been to Arizona Hot Springs near Lake Mead? It is an amazingly beautiful hike. Your story is an inspiration. Your philosophy, one that I admire. Much luck with your project.
Saturday, February 26, 2011 2:28 PM
Hi Jenny,
It was great to meet you and to hear your story as well. I could see that your time spent in Vegas was very good for your soul as your smile lit up the afternoon!
Most people only think of the strip when they think of Vegas, so I am happy to hear you were able to see many of the amazing outdoor adventures we are surrounded by.
I have yet to go to the Arizona Hot Springs, but will definitely get there this Spring to hike the trails!
Thank you for your well wishes & your feedback. We look forward to bringing What Gives Deals to MI soon!! : )
Monday, June 13, 2011 3:49 PM
Hi Traci,

I enjoyed reading your story. We all could use some more Hope Inspiration Motivation in our lives. I am enjoying helping a friend of mine who has gone through quite a bit (see website)himself. We have met before and I was talking to our mutal friend Stephanie about your new venture (has she contacted you yet?). Hopefully talk soon!
Traci Menga
# Traci Menga
Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:58 PM
Hi Brett,
Thank you for reading my story, and thank you for sharing your friends story with me. What an amazing and inspiring man he is! I look forward to meeting with you both.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:20 PM
It's moving forward...and I can't wait until it continues on that path that you have invisioned!
Dorothy Gary
Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:13 PM
Just wnated to tell you the carpet cleaner I got from your sight was INCREDIBLE. He cleaned my capets like new and even cleaned a very badly soiled area rug that came out looking like it was just bought. Thanks for the great discount and I will keep his name for my next carpet cleaning. Good luck on your new endeavor of What Gives;s a great sight!

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