Adding it up: matching your donations for Ichthyosis Awareness Month!

It all adds up.

Each time someone reads a blog post to learn more, each time someone shares or connects with another, each small conversation with a child about the greatness found in different appearances or abilities… that builds upon itself to lead to more acceptance, more joy, more love, more respect, more self-confidence. For ourselves and each other.

And these things happen because of awareness and education.

This week, in honor of Ichthyosis Awareness Month this month, we’re hosting a fundraiser to continue this education and awareness – and our family is adding to the math this year. We’ll be matching your donations dollar for dollar up to $500, with every penny raised going to the Foundation for Ichthyosis and Related Skin Types!

FIRST is a patient advocacy organization that strives to ensure that those affected with ichthyosis receive the best possible support and information regarding medical treatments that are currently available.

Education is one of the main focuses of FIRST on a daily basis. They utilize resources and take actions in order to educate and advocate – from awareness events to the educational pamphlets that our family took to Brenna’s school when we began to prepare for her to start preschool. FIRST also focuses on support events, like the biennial family conference that we first attended in 2014 and that we’ll be attending next month in San Diego!

And lastly, what FIRST does with donations is research! The kind of research that has made it possible for babies born with Brenna’s condition to even survive the neonatal period. Even just 10 years ago, survival was rare. But with new treatment options and more education, more babies with ichthyosis are surviving and thriving!


Even a small donation to FIRST will be a huge gift to families like ours, by helping us educate about ichthyosis.

Help us turn stares into smiles.
Help us turn bullying into acceptance.
Help us turn “different” into “beautiful.”

Will you add on too? Will you help us build a better world for children like Brenna? Go here to give quickly and securely – and double your donation with our personal match!

As we finish out this last full week of Ichthyosis Awareness Month, I want to thank you for caring. There are so many things that fight for space in our minds and our hearts – so the fact that you care about our family, our little girl and others who are affected by ichthyosis is just incredible. I hope that you can consider joining in our fundraiser with any kind of gift, large or small, so that we can continue spreading awareness, helping to educate and providing research – all adding up to a better life for kids like Brenna and families like ours. THANK YOU!

Subscribe to my email list to download a list of my favorite children’s books about differences and disabilities!

Follow me:  Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram

Friday Favorites: May 20

Today is the final day to apply for my Book Launch Community for A Different Beautiful! Read more about my launch team and then go here to fill out a very short application. I have 100 spots open, and I’d love to see you be a part of this fun and encouraging community leading up to the release of my book!

In other news, here’s a round-up of some of my favorite reads, links and family moments recently…

One of my recent reads has been a favorite for this year so far – On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary! John was severely burned in a fire when he was 9 years old, and his book is a tremendous testament to the resiliency of the human body and soul and the power of attitude in life. On Fire was released in March, and I highly recommend it!

I’m in the middle of several other good books right now too, including Playing Big by Tara Mohr and The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts.


“Her worst-case scenario is my normal.” This post by Sandra Peoples is eye-opening and encouraging for special needs parents.

My friend Courtney released a fantastic booklet for families this summer to encourage a focus on serving others. And the best part? All proceeds are being donated to the nonprofit CARE for AIDS, which provides resources and care for HIV-positive parents in Kenya. It’s an adorable booklet that will start conversations with your kids about how to serve and love those around them, and benefits this amazing cause.


Brenna pushed her stroller up to me at the library and announced, “Look at my baby! My beautiful baby!” (Which is pretty much exactly what I always want to say about her and Connor!)

Brenna is starting to want to soak and play by herself for a while during her bath routine now. I love the independence…and that cute little head!

Evan and I got to enjoy a night out at a Kentucky Derby party that benefited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital…

Celebrating Mother’s Day with these two wonderful kids who made me a Mom :)

Connor pulled us down the hallway at his school’s Art Night to show us his masterpiece!  
When you want a photo shoot with your kitty and he’s not facing forward. Show your best side, Boston. Doesn’t he look thrilled??

Waiting for our favorite Kindergartner to come home!

May you have a weekend full of dazzling beauty, relaxation, laughter, peace and purpose!

Subscribe to my email list to download a list of my favorite children’s books about differences and disabilities!

Follow me:  Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Instagram