Monday, August 20, 2012

How a well known Chicago based artist is sharing with Betterment and our family

I feel very behind in writing about so many things.  I don't want to push out posts just to be informational, because it's important to me to share my heart in the midst of this long road, but I am finding it hard to do certain subjects justice.  Sometimes there are truly no words.  When it comes to the love we receive in big and small ways I am aware of how inadequate my attempts are.  Still, I stumble here because I know your philanthropy is one of the most life changing parts of our journey.

I grew up in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States, in an idyllic town nestled in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.  My childhood was hemmed in by the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the sense of place and space, shaped who I am.  Others I know who had this same privilege have gone on to various walks of life away from Staunton and the surrounding areas, but the awe for where we were blessed to learn and grow and explore has never diminished.  One of these people is Dolan Geiman.  His mother, Lisa Geiman, was a talented and prolific local watercolor artist.  My parents still have a large piece of her work over their bed.  I came to know him through his brother.  We were all attending James Madison University at the same time.  Dolan was an amazing artist in his own right, but he also had the rare "it" thing it takes to combine your own life experience and passions with your abilities.  Over the years I have followed his career and bought a few small pieces of his art on Etsy.  The genius of his business partner and now wife, Alie Marie, has grown Dolan's business without ever compromising the quality or integrity of his craft.  Most importantly they are incredibly kind and authentic individuals. 

I mentioned before in a recent post about the nomination from The Canton Chapter of The Foundation for Community Betterment for their annual fundraiser Rocktoberfest.  They are the same dear ones who "adopted" our family in 2010 by chosing Danica as a recipient.  When they interviewed me for the blurb they would use for "marketing" we were focusing on heading to Boston and getting some help for my mast cell reactions and anxiously waiting to see Dr. Grubbs in Toledo for my POTS.  Since then our world has been turned upside down with my pectus excavatum diagnosis and increasing pulmonary and cardiac issues.  I am now facing a very painful thoracic surgery sometimes in October with a three month recovery. 

I have not been able to participate in the planning meetings for the event or volunteer like I want to.  The one thing Dan and I can do is humbly ask for others to donate to the live and silent auctions that help raise money not just for us but also other local recipients in need, and ask for you to attend.  I wrote a note to Dolan and Alie asking if Dolan would perhaps donate a piece of art to the auction.  I follow plenty of artists personally but none who's work is so near and dear to my heart.  Dolan had just introduced some beautiful originals for sale at Anthropologie (which most of you know is my favorite "window shopping" place ever).  Of course his Etsy shop is full of goodies for every budget.  One of the enduring qualities that shines through his work is his love of nature and the indelible mark of where we grew up.  When I saw the piece he donated for Rocktoberfest I was blown away at his thoughtfulness.  When I received a personal donation with a note just days after to help with our week long Cincinnati trip expenses I cried. 

Promise me you will read about Dolan's unique work here and browse even if you can't buy because art is good for the soul!  If you are local or even not so local I hope and pray I will see many of you at the September 29th event at the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton.  Just like the event two years ago this evening will be right before we head to Cincinnati for a major operation.  The emotion of being supported and loved by so many in our community is a gift beyond measure.  Dan and I would so love to share this with you.  Please BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW, mark your calendar and get a sitter if you have kids.  I promise you it's the perfect date night and you'll meet some amazing people too. If you can't attend but would still like to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation you can do it here.  (This is something some of you have asked about when making personal donations to our family.  The Snyders are not a non-profit organization although some would argue, I'm sure.  This is a great way to help AND get credit with the IRS.)

This is lots of links I know and not enough mushy stuff about how all this really makes me feel, but I hope you know your kindness HAS made a difference.  It DOES make a difference.  God is doing some work behind the scenes for our family we hope to share soon.  It could bring new promise, more hope and healing and restoration to what has been hurting and broken for so long now.  Thank you for not giving up.  The ending is going to get good.  I believe this.  We believe this.  Our Hope remains!

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