Dr. Stella Davies at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital receiving her check from Blue Butterfly Campaign. These funds were raised from our first annual golf tournament and silent auction dinner thanks to the generosity of so many giving individuals and sponsors. It definitely takes a village and we are incredibly grateful for everyone who had a part in this effort.
It was an amazingly magical day….August 27, 2010. It was the Blue Butterfly Campaign’s first annual golf tournament and silent auction dinner fundraiser. The weather was perfect, Langdon Farms was as beautiful as ever with all it’s flowers in full bloom. All our wonderful volunteers were buzzing around getting things ready making sure everything was perfect.
We had an incredible turnout of both golfers and dinner guests and people were having a great time. Golfers were coming off the course asking to be signed up for next years’ event. The dinner was scrumptious and we all watched the Blue Butterfly Video created by Mike, my very talented son. It was truly a day and night to remember and it far exceeded any expectations we had! Thanks to all our very generous sponsors, donors, participants, in-kind donors both companies and individuals, the Blue Butterfly raised $40,000 which has been donated to Dr. Stella Davies @ Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for her research on childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The work that Dr. Davies and her team are doing will benefit children worldwide!
Artistic Greetings from Eileen Downes:
Stories Behind The Art…
Please allow me to tell you this amazing story: (excerpt taken from Eileen Downes newsletter with her permission)
Max was a gentle 7-year old boy with an old soul and dry sense of humor. On July 13, 2000, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and given a 10 percent chance of survival. After seven months of fighting hard, enduring three rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and a cord blood transplant, Max lost his battle on February 15, 2001. He fought with dignity and courage beyond his years and he will always be a hero.
In addition to raising money for AML research, the Blue Butterfly Campaign www.BlueButterflyCampaign.org offers parents suggestions and next steps on what to do from diagnosis through treatment. No parent and child should stand alone in this battle. Now, the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook are amazing tools at connecting people who don’t know each other…and that is exactly how my collage, found its way to the Blue Butterfly Campaign. Through an internet search, I “stumbled” upon this non-profit organization, and felt the nudgings of God to contact them (those of you who know me well, know that I try very hard to follow those feelings). I posted an image of Angel Wings on their web page…and then I realized that this group…this fundraising effort for AML…this program for awareness, must have one of these Giclee prints to help with their fundraisng efforts.
You see, eventhough I had actually made this collage painting many years before I knew anything at all about the little boy named Max or the Blue Butterfly Campaign, this piece was made for them…and here’s why: • It’s a blue butterfly! • Butterflies are the universal symbol of Hope • Blue is the color of Healing • The piece is from my God’s Wings Series • The title is “Angel Wings” • These words are in the collage: “Biology 101,” “Perfect,” “Restful,” “Patients.” Isn’t that a great story? I am honored to offer a limited edition Giclee print to be auctioned off in this wonderful fundraiser.
Here are the details of the event:
Silent Auction and Golf Fundraiser for the Blue Butterfly Campaign
Friday August 27, 2010 1:45 PM to 9:00 PM OR Dinner and silent auction @ 6:00 p.m.
Langdon Farms Golf Course 24377 Northeast Airport Road Aurora, OR 97002
Register at www.bluebutterflycampaign.org
My dear friend and vibrational healer extraordinaire, Mona Klinger, contacted me to let me know she had a special gift for me. Mona lives in Bend and on a monthly basis, makes a trip to Portland to work with her clients in this area. I was so excited to see what Mona had for me. Because of her amazing spiritual connections, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I stopped by Mona’s hotel for a visit. We gave each other big hugs and the moment I’m with her, I feel so good. Yes it’s partly the energy she carries AND she is such a loving, positive person that you can’t help but be happy in her presence.
Mona sits me down and proceeds to tell me some cool stories of her recent experiences including her attendance to the James Van Praagh conference..all of which I’m fascinated to hear. Love this stuff!
She hands me a gift in a blue bag with white ribbon. Before opening the gift, she tells me the story of how she was at Goodwill in Bend shopping and came across this item on the shelf. It caught her attention and she knew she had to get it, but she wasn’t sure who it was for. Then she heard my name in her head. I open the gift and it’s a beautiful stained glass blue butterfly candle holder. I love it! Then she laughs and says turn it over I left the price tag on….it was only $1.99 We both agree this is a great deal. She apologizes for being “tacky” for leaving the price tag on but she felt she needed to do that. I notice a bar code at the bottom of the tag, and it catches my eye.
The last 4 digits of the bar code are…..0604 (my sign for Max–this is his birthday) Wow! Mona and I are both blown away and now she understands why she left the price tag on the candle holder. Max had a special gift to deliver to his Mom and Mona was the conduit. Thanks for being so open and receptive Mona and for always listening to your inner guidance.
In Portland, Mona went to buy candles to go with the blue butterfly candle holder. She was having a hard time finding the candles and stopped to ask a clerk where to find them. It was an elderly lady (about 60–okay not that elderly) that worked there. Right in front of her were the candles. The woman tried to help Mona find a candle holder and then Mona explained the story of how she found the blue butterfly candle holder. She also mentioned the Blue Butterfly Campaign and the work we are doing for childhood leukemia research.
The woman’s eyes began to fill with tears and said “Did you just say Blue Butterfly Campaign? My mother loved butterflies and she passed away recently. Whenever I see butterflies, I think of her.” The other day this woman was missing her mother so much and asking her why she had to die. Then out of the blue, a butterfly flew into the room. She couldn’t believe her eyes because there was no window open, no way for the butterfly to get in. She was so excited that she went to get her husband, but by the time they got back, the butterfly was gone….again no window open, no way for the butterfly to get out. The woman was so moved that she was able to share this story with Mona. It was just what she needed for healing in that moment. Mona gave her a big hug and then went there separate ways. The power of the butterfly lights the way again!
So I’ve had a bit of a delay since Mike and I returned from our videotaping trip for the Blue Butterfly Campaign. Things have been busy.
After visiting Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and interviewing Dr. Stella Davies, Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Mike and I headed to Durham North Carolina (10 hour car drive with my son…it doesn’t get any better than that!) to interview a family still in the leukemia battle and Max’s beloved Doc, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, Director of Duke University’s Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program and pioneer of cord blood transplants.
Pulling up to the front entrance of Duke University Medical Center left me with a huge lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t sure what it would be like to return to the last place Max was alive and all the memories of his stay in the hospital came flooding back. As I shared my experience with Mike, he kept reassuring me that I would be fine and to keep my sh…t together. He’s very stoic and his college buddy was in the car. Crying was not allowed!
Once there, we met a wonderful family who had come all the way from Buenos Aires to have their 18 year old daughter, Romina, receive a cord blood transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Romina was 2 weeks post cord blood transplant and looking like a million bucks. Her donor cells were 98% present which is an amazing feat. This means that her old immune system was gone and her new donor cells/new immune system had taken over. News that every patient and parent wants to hear. Romina agreed to be interviewed for our video and she was such a delightful young lady and loves handbags too. Imagine that??
Next stop…the Pediatric Bone Marrow Unit where Max stayed for 7 months. It felt like it had been a lifetime since we had been there and I suppose that’s a good thing. Again, more memories came flooding back….no tears. Mike was still with me.
Last stop…..our interview with Dr. Kurtzberg. I continued to be inspired by this amazing person. She is truly an earth angel. Her office is adorned with gifts and artwork given to her by her patients over the years. She is a brilliant physician with a heart of gold, and she makes you feel so welcome in her office. We film the interview and then reminisce about Max and his delightful personality; the time I set off the fire alarm on the unit making potato pancakes for Max. Yes the fire department showed up and yes I was embarrassed! Dr. K. validates the importance of the work we are doing at Blue Butterfly Campaign and encourages us to stay the course. More work needs to be done in this area.
At the end of the day, Mike and I are pretty exhausted both physically and emotionally. We agree that it was healing to be back and to see how far we’ve come since those days at Duke. Grateful that we are where we are today and for all that we’ve learned along the way. My heart goes out to the families that are still in the battle. A place no parent ever wants to be. I feel full inside and I knew without a doubt that the work we are doing is so incredibly needed and we are right where we are supposed to be. A great sense of peace comes over me.
Posted in BlueButterfly, Inspirational | Tags: Blue Butterfly Campaign, childhood leukemia, Cincinnatti Children's Hospital, cord blood transplants, courage, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, Dr. Stella Davies, Duke University Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Hope, inspiration, Max Dearborn, Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Mike and I have completed day 1 of our Blue Butterfly Campaign video interview trip. We’ve had a great day here in Cincinnati Ohio. We interviewed (Mike filmed while I interviewed) a family whose sweet daughter Rachel, age 4, had AML leukemia and once they thought they were all done with treatment she relapsed with ALL leukemia. She had a bone marrow transplant 20 months ago. Rachel is about as sweet and adorable as they come. She sat patiently by her Dad’s side as we interviewed them. She now thinks that she is a famous movie star and is going to be in a “film”. Her Dad, Andy, shared his heartwarming story with us which brought tears to all our eyes. We are so grateful for their willingness to share their story with us and it is a great reminder of why we need to fund research for childhood AML…to give kids like like Rachel a fighting chance.
Today, we also had the amazing honor to interview Dr. Stella Davies, Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She is a brilliant researcher and doctor who is incredibly warm and funny. Her interview was so inspiring and encouraging. The research she is doing at CCH is groundbreaking and we are so excited to be funding her work. She believes that we will find a cure for childhood AML!!
Many thanks to Cathy Westrich of donor relations, Dr. Davies, Andy and Rachel for giving us their valuable time.
Tomorrow Mike and I drive from Cincinnati to Raleigh NC…..next stop Duke University.
Yes it is….June 4, 2010. And today would be Max’s 17th Birthday. That’s so hard for me to believe. I wonder what he would look like, sound like, how tall would he be and would he pestering his younger brother or lifting him up. What colleges would he want to apply to? These are questions that I will never have answers to. At one point, I might have been very sad about this, but time does heal and with all my amazing connections with Max, I am not sad but forever grateful for all the lessons that he has and continues to teach me.
So while the weather may be dismal today here in Portland, OR, we will be honoring and celebrating his life with a BBQ tonight. We will release 17 blue balloons (that was his favorite color) to the heavens……even though he’ll probably be celebrating right along side us. Of course, hot dogs will be on the menu since that’s what he would love. So here’s to a little boy with a huge heart of gold and a very old soul, much wiser than his years, who has been a teacher to so many. Happy Birthday Max!!
A wonderful healer, Mona Klinger, and I met a few months ago. We have worked together and she is truely an amazing individual. The first time I met her, my response was “Mona, you’re so happy.” I want what she has…..joyful, funny, light hearted, deeply spiritual, intuitive and a kind, giving soul.
The last time I saw Mona she shared this story with me which blew me away. So I asked her to share it with you. I think you will be amazed too!
“As a Vibrational Healer, I meet many people who are changing their lives. They have an inner desire to create a better life for themselves, and understand who they are so much more than what they have been thinking or trained. Here is a story recently about a woman I know who said to me that she was angry and felt cheated to some degree in life. Yet, she has a beautiful young son. She was having a conversation with me when she asked the question…”Why do I get so angry and say things I don’t mean?” My response totally took her by surprise when I told her that she was trying to decide if she wanted to be here (on Earth) or not. She gulped, and said….”really??” I told her that many people are going through this and are having to make decisions on whether or not they choose to be here…. this startled her. She hadn’t consciously considered this.
I saw her a few weeks later and she was so eager to let me know that Spirit had brought a blue butterfly into her life through pictures, etc. She showed me her appointment book with a blue butterfly on the front. She said, “Isn’t it beautiful??” Then she said that this is what was getting her through her feelings of dread, etc. I was invited to go to her home to see her son, and in her room hung another picture of this blue butterfly…. I explained to her that she had found the meaning of transformation, with the beautiful blue…the color of Spirit. Her heart melted, and she responded…. I feel better knowing this. I know I can continue here, and I thank you for pointing out where I was at!! The blue butterfly is a symbol of Spirit speaking through transformation and change…. bless us for accepting this divine gift when we least expect it to appear!!! Gotta love it!! 🙂 “
My husband/biz partner, Chris, and I just returned from the Accessorie Circuit tradeshow in New York City. While there, we got to visit with my youngest brother, Robert, who I only see once a year. He’s a drummer and loves the city life. On our first night together, I was sharing with Robert our evening at the Power of the Purse fundraiser in Portland Oregon. We were delighted to hear the fabulous guest “pursonality” Dionne Warwick sing two of her famous songs,”What the World Needs Now” and “That’s What Friends Are For”. Robert, Chris and I proceeded to talk about Dionne Warwick, all her great songs and how she made Burt Bacharach’s songs into hits. Then we started to compare Dionne to Barry Manilow. Not sure why we did that but nonetheless it happened. Throughout the evening, I kept singing one of her songs, “Walk on By”. I’m not one to sing (at least not around others for fear of being gagged with duct tape) but I couldn’t get this song off my mind. I had never sung it before in my life and there it was swirling through my head. We had a great night with Robert and said our goodbyes knowing that we would see each other one more time before leaving NYC.
Two nights later we met Robert and he shared an amazing story with us……
A couple hours earlier that day, he stopped by his favorite thrift store to puruse their latest stuff. As he entered the store, they were playing “Walk on By” over the sound system. Hmmm….that caught Rob’s attention remembering his sister’s lovely voice singing it the other night. Being the musician that he is, Rob proceeded to the record section to see what he could find. The first record that caught his eye was an older album by none else than Dionne Warwick. Wow! As he turned the album over, there was a write up about how she made Burt Bacharach’s songs famous and there was a picture of Dionne with Barry Manilow. Really!! After leaving the record section, Rob then went to the CDs and found one with blue butterflies produced by Papillion (meaning butterfly) records and gave it to us as a gift.
What do you think? We all came to the conclusion that Max must have been with us the night I so beautifully sang “Walk on By” and we talked about Dionne, Barry and Burt. This was his way of letting us know he was there. We were so amazed and in awe of the synchronicity of these events. The universe orchestrated this perfectly. So very powerful and magical……I can’t wait to see what’s next. Thanks for being so open Robert to all of Max’s signs and for sharing this wonderful experience with us.
Chris, my husband and biz partner, and I recently started working with Sarah Shaw, business coach extraordinaire, whose business is Entrepenette. Sarah used to have an incredibly successful handbag biz. She sold her handbags to all the great stores like Bloomingdales, Saks, Henri Bendels, Anthropologie and over 1200 boutiques nationwide and was in all the fabulous fashion magazines. So who better to coach us??
Chris was to meet with Sarah on his latest trip to L.A. and show her our Spring 10 line in person. With both their schedules so busy, Sarah suggested Chris meet her at her home office. Since we had never been there before, I asked for her address to pass along to Chris.
When she responded, I had to take a deep breath and then smiled ear to ear. Her street address is 1604. Okay for those of you who have read my past blog posts, you know that “604” is Max’s birthday (June 4) and when I see that number it is my sign that he’s around or giving us a heads up. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Thanks for your help once again Buddy. This is all pretty amazing to me. I know there are skeptics out there saying it’s just a coincidence but that certainly is not the way I see it.