Inspiration From The Bakken Honorees- $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway To Help Give Back

All of the Bakken Honorees are inspiring.  I cried reading all of their amazing stories.  Truly inspiring messages like “YOU ARE NOT ALONE.” and  “PAY IT FORWARD.”, but one in particular stood out to me.  In today’s world, especially with the politics going on currently, I think his message is exceptionally important.  “ALL CULTURES CAN UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE.” This is the message from Bhim Mahat who is from Kathmandu, Nepal and suffers from cardiovascular disease.  

57820_MED_FB_Tile_BhimBhim was diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease and had open heart surgery to replace a damaged aortic valve in 1992. Immediately after his surgery, he became a lifetime member of the Nepal Heart Foundation and began working to help others with the same condition. Thanks to the efforts of Bhim and the foundation’s, Nepal now has a dedicated heart hospital.

“Love cannot be lost in translation. No matter someone’s native language or country, you can always be of service to others because the language of the heart is pure, divine and natural.”- Bhim Mahat

The Bakken Invitation is a global program that Medtronic Foundation launched in 2013 to connect and celebrate people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are now selflessly giving back to their communities.

If we all just gave back, volunteered, offered helped and loved a little more who knows what we can do to impact the world?  We are all humans beings and some are in great need.  

Here are some ideas to help in your community:

  • Gather blankets for the homeless
  • Donate food to a food bank
  • Volunteer to help at a shelter
  • Collect packages of diapers for a women and children’s shelter
  • Volunteer to work with underprivileged kids

The list keeps going and going on ways to help in your community.  I encourage everyone to help any way they can. 

57820_MED_FB_Header_BOOST_1200x1200_v7Do you live with medical technology?

Enter to win a $100 Visa gift card! Visit this link and look at the 12 Bakken honorees.  There is so much inspiration.  In addition to how aspiring Bhim Mahat is, share another one that resonates with you. Comment below about how you give back to your community or what you would like to do for your community for a chance to win a $100 Visa® gift card.

::The giveaway is now closed:: Giveaway will end at 11:59pm pst on March 18th.  Winner will be chosen at random from the people who visit the link of the 12 Bakken honorees and comments below about which honoree inspires them and how they help or plan to help in their community to make a difference. 

Visit the Medtronic Foundation Twitter Page to stay up to date. Also checkout the Bakken Facebook page.


  1. Elena | 1st Mar 16

    I give back to my community by donating food to our local food pantry

  2. Lisa Brown | 1st Mar 16

    I give back to my community by donating to our local food bank, and to the hospice that cares for the elderly. jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

  3. Tyneisha | 2nd Mar 16

    Lisa Visser’s story resonates with me because she was so young when she suffered sudden cardiac arrest, and I am only a few years older than she was when that happened. I’ve had to deal with cardiac issues myself during pregnancy and it is nothing to take lightly. I also love how she is helping to serve the Minneapolis homeless community. I really believe everyone deserves a shelter; it’s a basic human need and will restore a sense of dignity that’s been lost once you become homeless. That’s something that I would love to change in my community; we have a very large homeless population and I would love to work on providing homes for the needy.

  4. showstopper474 | 3rd Mar 16

    ANDREA VOLFOVA’s story was very touching to read. I teach children and it was upsetting to see that she had a tough childhood but I’m so glad that she was able to turn everything around 🙂 One of my close friends was competing in a softball match and collapsed on the field. She completely stopped breathing and after our coach performed CPR on her, they brought her back. They don’t know why it happened but her heart just stopped and they ended up putting a pacemaker in her. She was given an extra life and I’m so happy that I still have her in my life.

    showstopper474 at gmail dot com

  5. tcarolinep | 3rd Mar 16

    Twinkle VanFleet is an inspiration to me. She turns her experiences of fighting disease into opportunities of helping and supporting needed people. I give back by donating to shelters and food bank in my community.

  6. Elle | 3rd Mar 16

    Dr. Thomas Okello’s story inspires me the most.. I like that he became a doctor himself to help others and fight against the disease that so greatly affected him.
    I give back to my community through donations and volunteer work.

  7. Kimberly M. | 3rd Mar 16

    Dr. Okello’s story really inspired me. I am just finding out how many people become nurses, doctors, etc due to their or a loved ones history with an illness.
    I give back to my community by donating blood, food, and clothes to shelters. I also donate baby, toddler items to the local pregnancy care center.

  8. Kelly D | 4th Mar 16

    David Simmonds inspires me. I like that he works to help other Parkinson’s patients. I give back by donating to my local food pantry and church. If I win, I would buy items to donate to the pantry.

  9. Birdiebee | 4th Mar 16

    I give back to my community by donating work clothes for women re-entering the work force as well as donate cash and food to the food banks. I would love to set up a scholarship program for single parents heading back to school.

  10. Evie B. | 4th Mar 16

    I am touched and inspired by David Simmonds story about living with Parkinson’s Disease. I give back to my community mostly through donations whether it be food items or clothing especially in the winter time like gloves, jackets and hats.

  11. Amy Orvin | 4th Mar 16

    I give back to our community by donating to animal shelters in need and my mom also helps by giving to several charities each month like disabled veterans and many others.

  12. steve weber | 4th Mar 16

    I donate my time several times a month at a local food shelter.. they also have a blanket donation program as well as shower supplies.

  13. jenannhayden | 5th Mar 16

    So many inspiring stories! I connect to the nominees that are struggling with Diabetes. My uncle passed away from diabetes after a very long struggle including a kidney transplant from my mom. I particularly love Sheila Vasconcellos message:

    • jenannhayden | 5th Mar 16

      I also give back to my community by being very active in our local council against the abuse and neglect of children. All services and activities are focused on making a change in our local community.

  14. Neiddy | 5th Mar 16

    We let the LORD direct our steps, when HE says give/do we obey. Whether is being part of the Food Ministry from our Church, helping a stranger or just being there for someone, we do it with joy because we are sharing the love of CHRIST with others.

    • Neiddy | 5th Mar 16

      Oh forgot to mention… Lisa Visser’s story is inspiring, I like how the LORD is using her to help the homeless community. Thanks for the chance to win

  15. Emily Smith | 5th Mar 16

    David Simmonds inspires me the most. I cannot imagine how difficult living with Parkinson’s disease would be. Instead of letting it get to him, he is helping others that are also living with it. To help my community, I always keep a case of waters in my car. I like to give them to homeless people. It’s not much, but it’s something helpful.

  16. Julie Wood | 5th Mar 16

    I really am insprired by Andrea Volfova and her uplifitng story and message! Her message- “CHOOSE LOVE AND COMPASSION, EVERY SINGLE TIME.” It is so good. I volunteer at my Food Bank and help collect food for Food drives in my Community every year.

  17. DEBIJOT | 6th Mar 16

    I was inspired by Sheila Vasconcellos. My grandkids and I collect new toys throughout the year and donate them to toy drives before Christmas. My younger sister became diabetic when she was 5 years old. 3 years ago I donated a kidney to her and last year she had a pancreas transplant. She is now doing fantastic and helping out the older population.

  18. Harmony b | 6th Mar 16

    Dr. Thomas Okello I’d inspiring. The face that he became a Dr. To help others that suffer the same problem is amazing

  19. Kim Henrichs | 6th Mar 16

    Lisa Visser’s story is very inspiring. I try to do fund raising and help in the community when I can. It’s important to give back to causes that are important to you!

  20. Gina M | 6th Mar 16

    I am very inspired by Twinkle’s story because I cannot imagine having to live with chronic pain. She not only has had to deal with this symptom of her medical condition, but she has used her life to raise awareness for CRPS/RSD and neuropathic pain diseases and disorders. Wow!

    I give back to my community by donating clothing and personal needs to our local womens shelter. I do this because I know how fortunate I am to have more than I really need, and want to do what I can to help others.

    Fortunately, at this time I am not living with medical technology.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  21. adriane | 6th Mar 16

    I donate books t the local senior center and donate supplies to the Creative Re-Use center.

  22. Tabitha | 7th Mar 16

    i would like to donate to a local animal shelter!
    food, more space!

  23. shaunie | 7th Mar 16

    Qi Zhang for sure. I would have to say that we have similar stories but not as a child.

  24. Kristen | 7th Mar 16

    Kerry Kalweit’s story inspires me…it’s hard to have to have so much responsibility for managing your health at such a young age, but she seems to be doing well! I give back by bringing toys, art supplies and household items to the families at our local Ronald McDonald House.

  25. Dawn Monroe | 8th Mar 16

    We give food and toys to our residents in need program through the school. Thank you for the ideas on how to help.

  26. Whine Less | 8th Mar 16

    They are all so inspiring, it’s hard to pick just one! Honoree Sheila Vasconcellos helps sick children. That is a cause dear to my family. We donate regular to St Jude’s and the Chirldens Miracle Network.

  27. Elisabeth | 9th Mar 16

    I’m inspired by Andrea Volfova’s story! She has been able to accomplish so much despite having a difficult start as child. I like her quote of “CHOOSE LOVE AND COMPASSION, EVERY SINGLE TIME.” You really can’t go wrong with being a kind and compassionate person! If I won I would use my gift card to buy supplies for our local animal shelter!

  28. Linda | 9th Mar 16

    I’m a nurse so I’m constantly inspired by all of the fighters that I see every day. I wanted to become a nurse for as long as I can remember. My brother was in the hospital quite a bit and we always had nurses that went above and beyond. I knew that that was what I wanted to do when I was older. I loved reading all of the stories but was immediately drawn to Twinkle’s story and her quote “”WHEN YOU THINK YOU CAN’T, MAYBE YOU ALREADY HAVE.” I think it’s so true, that everyone has those moments of doubt but before you know it, you find yourself crossing over that finishing line.

  29. Heather Ellis | 10th Mar 16

    I found Twinkle’s story inspiring. I have a friend who lives with chronic pain and it can be difficult for those who do not to understand.

    I give back to my community through my job as a children’s librarian. Besides their parents, I am often the first person to read to a child, and that is SO important!

  30. Linda N. | 11th Mar 16

    I give back to my community by donating my time and items. I donate toys around the holidays and food/clothing items year round.

  31. latanya t | 12th Mar 16

    David Simmonds inspires me because despite his disease, he was still able to find joy. I give back by volunteering my time at my son’s school by being a test monitor, food drives, setting up for events, etc.

  32. marie | 12th Mar 16

    I’ve been so blessed in my life and try to give back as much as I can through the donation of physical items or my time.

  33. Stephanie Phelps | 12th Mar 16

    I was inspired by David Simmonds. I give to my local food bank and I donate to Toys for Tots every year!

  34. Julie | 13th Mar 16

    I would use this to help with my at risk youth group that I work with

  35. susitravl | 13th Mar 16

    I work down the street from the food bank so it make it easy to drop off my donations. Twinkle is inspiring to me because she has gone through many of the same health problems as some of my friends.

  36. heather | 14th Mar 16

    I give back to the community by donating to local charity organizations and also to local animal shelters.

  37. Tracie Cooper | 16th Mar 16

    I would love to donate pajamas, books and backpacks to my local children’s home!

  38. angela lazo | 17th Mar 16

    I found Twinkle VanFleet very inspiring. I help my community by donating and lending a hand whenever I can.

  39. Daniel M | 17th Mar 16

    we run a lot of food and clothes drives at our church

  40. Ann | 18th Mar 16

    I studied psychology and parkinson’s disease was always something that I was interested in. David’s DBS shows just how far technology has come and I’m inspired by his upbeat personality. I love volunteering at our local homeless shelter as well as animal shelters

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