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Rode Lewis is a working cowboy.

He looks the part—sunburned, stoic, lean as a whip. You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Rode lives with End Stage Renal Disease. Every other day he gets up at 2:20 AM and drives 180 miles for kidney dialysis. This keeps him alive.

Rode and his family wanted to build a home dialysis room. Home dialysis is healthier and would allow him to live longer – long enough to raise his daughters and see his grandchildren. But ranch hands don't make much money. 

So with zero budget and volunteer labor we put together a small, scrappy fundraising campaign featuring a short film from The Noble Lab. We created GoFundMe and social pages. GSD&M Creative Director Susan Rosenzweig, Social Media Director Kaitlyn Pleasants and Photo Assistant Cami Power executed the promotion campaign, all pro-bono.

The campaign launched December 13 at 7:00 AM with a Facebook post to 548 people. It went viral. By 5:18 that evening we met our $20,000 goal. Within a week our Facebook reach hit 38,288. We raised more than $80,000. Rode's family is building a house where he will begin daily home dialysis. It's a life changer.

By showing the West Texas ranching culture its own reflection in heroic terms, we touched a nerve. We affirmed their values of hard work, independence, and caring for their own. The big-hearted people of Texas responded, overwhelmingly, in the best barn-raising tradition.

Scott Van Osdol, Producer, Copywriter, Photographer

A jury composed of senior creatives from ad agencies Anomaly, TDA Boulder, Carmichael Lynch, Beats By Dre, and TBWA\Chiat\Day awarded a Silver Austin ADDY to the integrated campaign.