Happiest Halloween Ever

Recently an amazing soul, Kimberly Wood (Black) (above) was back in the hospital with complications due to Cystic Fibrosis. Her facebook statuses got gloomier than usual, and it really tore my heart out to not be able to do anything for her. Rewind just over a year ago...

Maisie has had complications (since aspirating meconium at birth) with breathing when she gets sick. A common cold turns into countless trips to the Emergency room and machines, and crying and her dad and I looking at each other with those silent "hold it together" looks. The looks that say what we don't dare to say, "I hope it's nothing serious."

When Maisie was just hours old, when a lot of parents would usually be gazing lovingly into the face of their peacefully resting newborn, Maisie was getting an IV and being put into an incubator. Our amazing midwife Sheila was telling us with tears in her eyes what we were facing and a team of rock star Pediatricians from Children's Hospital in Vancouver were flown over to asses her. She was feverish, and having some trouble. My body literally broken having just given birth to a 9 pound 13 oz baby girl, my emotional state, never more fragile. All I could do was hold her little hand through the clear walls of the incubator and silently pray. Luckily, the rock star pediatric team gave us amazing news. She was going to be ok. Maisie and I were air lifted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Nanaimo where she stayed for three very long days. The nurses and doctors all assured us eventually that she was just fine, and she passed all tests and we were finally aloud to bring her home. Bringing her out of the hospital everything seemed more beautiful.

Two weeks ago, Maisie was back in Emergency with difficulty breathing. I had her in my arms and was going to register her, I looked to my left and saw Chris Black (Kimberly Wood's mom). I was in a hurry to check Maisie in, but the look on her face... kind of broke my heart. How many times has she been sick with worry about her little girl (who has grown into a talented, caring, nurse herself). How many times had her and her husband Bill looked at each other with those worried, but trying to keep it together looks on their faces. I couldn't stop picturing Kim as a little girl (they were our neighbors growing up) and Kim was probably the cutest baby/little girl ever (aside from Maisie of course). Holding the nebulizer to Maisie's little face I could see Kimmy downstairs in their family home with the mask on, taking pills, laying on that weird brown fold up physio bed having her back thumped on (part of her daily physio). I could see her dad squeeze her hand when he walked her down the isle and the look on her moms face. I could see her giving every speech at every Rod Brind'Amour Golf Classic. I could see the whole family fighting. Fighting for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, for better drugs, for more improvements, for a better life and a longer life for Kim. So, when they gave me medication for Maisie and told me that it would pass. We sighed a deep sigh of relief, but I also thought about what it is like for the doctors to say "Cystic Fibrosis" instead. Being a parent, I get it even more now than I ever did before. When there is something wrong with your child. THE WHOLE WORLD STOPS and nothing matters, except your baby.

Chris and Bill Black are the most inspiring human beings you will ever meet or know. They are fighting, Kim is fighting. Sometimes the fight seems overwhelming, like it might be too much... you'll see Kim's statuses go to "Not particularly excited about my upcoming hospital food, hospital bed, PICC line and having my life revolve around an IV medication schedule. I suppose it'll be nice to be able to take a deep breath though." And then, we she turns a corner and comes out fighting... they go to "Just wanted to say thank you all so very much for all your well wishes, thoughts, positive healing energy and everything else you've all sent me. I feel so loved and cared for and am happy to finally be out of the hospital! Although I'm still on IV antibiotics, I'm feeling a little stronger and ready to kick some CF ass." And, you want to stand up and cheer and yell and hug someone. Kim is an inspiration and I love her dearly.

Which brings me to our Happiest Halloween Ever event. I love kids in costume (dogs too for that matter) and with everything Kim was going through I was shocked that I hadn't done a fundraiser myself for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. I noticed a friend on facebook Jacquilyn Avery Photography doing some Halloween mini sessions for autism. I was instantly on board, and couldn't wait to do it for Cystic Fibrosis. Awesomeness everywhere. It is totally a WIN WIN situation. I get to spend a few hours photographing your hilarious small people all dressed up, and you get photos of your little ones dressed up, and Cystic Fibrosis Canada makes money. I LOVE IT. Come! Join us!

Let's have some laughs, raise some money and be even more awesome than we thought we were today. I love you all for your amazing support!!!

(phewf, we made it. That was an emotional and long one.) First a few images of Kim with her parents on her wedding day in August 2008 (fundraiser info to follow).

There is no minimum donation, but you can give whatever your heart is inspired to and whatever you can afford. We are creating a positive, fun experience to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis and to raise some money for an amazing cause. I am also doing it, to show the beautiful Kimberly Wood... that we ALL LOVE HER, support her and are fighting right along side her. In the little ways that we can. She is not alone. (I know there are other amazing kids in Campbell River with Cystic Fibrosis and we are of course, fighting for you all too! But... Kim is pretty close to my heart.)

Details are below and if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to ask! Also, if you are a local business and would like to donate something for this event, or have any ideas on how to entertain a hopefully long line of people (kids) please let me know! The photos will happen in a line up style. No appointment necessary! Please share this poster, and this post with anyone you can!