Why I chose to do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

We have all seen our facebook timelines flooded with videos about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  I’ve watched them with my family, I’ve laughed along with you as your drenched in freezing cold water.  As I began to notice the challenge get closer and closer to home, I knew it was only a matter of time (especially since my 17 year old son basically begged to be nominated on his facebook page) that I would be nominated.

I’m not one to go along with what everybody is doing just to be part of the crowd.  I wanted to know more about this ALS challenge and about ALS in general.  As I researched, my heart was broken by what I learned.  What a terrible, terrible disease to suffer from.

The more I researched, the more I realized we are surrounded by people who are suffering from illnesses as equally heartbreaking to me as ALS.

For instance, my gorgeous baby sister was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arhritis while still in her teens.

I’ve watched her struggle through major pain while this disease eats away at her joints.  I’ve watched her cheerfully face an illness that is slowly disfiguring her hands making it difficult for her to do tasks that most of us take for granted.  I’ve watched her bring two beautiful children into this world only to be told by doctors that she shouldn’t have other children.  The expenses of her medical needs are astronomical.  She is the happiest person I know, and I look up to her and wonder if I would be able to approach her illness with her positive attitude.

My 17 year old son was diagnosed with Autism when he was in 6th grade.

I’ve watched him face challenges that would cause me to bury my head in the sand.  Once in 7th grade he asked if he could invite a friend over to play.  This “friend” had been teasing him since 3rd grade.  When I asked why he wanted to invite this specific person over, he simply replied “He’s my friend”.  Those of you that have had the honor of meeting my Ben, know that he is the happiest kid you will ever meet.  He will genuinely tell you “You look nice today”.  He is the first to offer to volunteer to help with ANYTHING!  Ben is my hero! I hope to be able to be as positive and forgiving and accepting as he is.

11 years ago I had a mid-term miscarriage that at the time left me emotionally crippled.  Every day for almost an entire year I would cry myself to sleep at night.  This experience led me to an organization that has become one of the best things in my life, the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization.

This amazing organization offers remembrance photography for families suffering from the death of a baby.  As a photographer for this great organization, I have learned that sometimes the most crippling diseases can’t be seen by the human eye.  I have met some amazing families that have allowed me into a moment in their lives that is so very tender and so very emotional.  I have witnessed love so strong that it stretches beyond death.

This is why I chose to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenged when I was nominated by one of my cute little cub scouts Kelton Smuin.  Instead of donating money to ALS organization that according to Forbes has raised $100 Million dollars, I am donating to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Organization and nominating my NILMDTS photographers.  Ruth, Shanda, Kylie, and Allison!

Please look into how you can help the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization!!

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