Last Saturday was the most perfect beautiful spring morning in Norcross Georgia as hundreds of caring volunteers, family and friends gathered for the inaugural All Aboard for A Cure Walk to benefit the United mitochondrial disease Foundation. As if on cue a fully loaded freight train chugged right through the festivities!
I was there with my sister Sue and her two kids Morgan and Jack ~ my nephew Jack (below right) suffers from a severe form of mitochondrial disease. I don't get to attend walks as often as I would like so it was a very special opportunity of me to support a cause near to my heart and to meet some of the kids I had made buttons of.
People ask me all the time if it's "depressing' to make all these photo buttons for people going through difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances -- I'll say this it is always very emotional BUT it is never depressing, heartbreaking sometimes ~ but there is always hope. I have found that families who come to me to make buttons have an amazing strength, they are heroic, the way they deal with tragedy and still find a way to honor and give back.
Talk about strength,I remember meeting Katy Lyons and asking to meet her son Jake not knowing that he had passed away (I felt so sad) ~ but there she was with a big team ~ no doubt Jake was smiling on all of us that morning. That is what charity walks are all about and dare I say that is what America is really all about! [people like Harrison & his family above or Jake]
On Saturday though I had the opportunity to meet the real heroes --some of the kids I actually made buttons of, the "mito kids" Emily, Mallory, Colton, Morgan, Nicholas, Megan, Carson and Harrison to name but a few. Like my time at the Special Olympics a few weeks ago -- a face really does make all the difference! It was powerful for me to meet the kids after making hundreds of buttons I felt like I knew each one and in a way I did -- that is the visceral power of a face, a smile!
Oh and last I checked Atlanta had raised over $42,000! If your so inclined I know some mito kids who would welcome your contribution click here! Bravo Atlanta UmdF!
ps. I'd like to thank Mary Swinn and her daughter Emily (left) for inviting me to participate and make some of the most beautiful buttons I have ever made!