Teachers Fundraiser For Personalized Needs Books For Someone Special
I want to start by thanking Tricia, The Night Owl Mama for this opportunity to guest post and for kindly allowing me to share my family story. My name is Heather McCarthy. I am a wife, mother of two, middle school teacher, and aspiring author. These last few weeks my family has been busy supporting some of the world and national special needs organizations. We wore our crazy socks for World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st, green on March 25th for National Cerebral Palsy Awareness, purple on March 26th for Epilepsy Awareness, and our blue on April 2nd for World Autism Day. As we embrace the awareness for each of these special needs, we are reminded that every day is PA Day in our home. There isn’t a World PA day or even a national PA day. We don’t have a special color, ribbon, or symbol. This is probably because PA affects 1 in every 100,000 children born. While those statistics makes PA rare, both my children Maya and Christian are diagnosed with it.
PA stands for Propionic Acidemia. This is the rare metabolic condition that both Maya (age 5) and Christian (age 2) will live with for the rest of their lives. Propionic Acidemia is classified as an organic acid disorder where abnormal levels of organic acids in the blood, urine, and tissues can be toxic and can cause serious health problems. Basically, it means their bodies cannot process proteins properly. Maya and Christian take a specialized formula and medication to assist with their condition. They are not allowed to eat meats, bean, cheeses, or any other food high in protein. They both follow a very strict diet that requires meticulous attention to each gram of food they consume. While the diagnosis seems overwhelming at times, it by no means defines Maya or Christian.
Maya is an energetic little girl who loves school, arts and crafts, making videos, and playing with her dolls. Christian is a dancing machine who is the comedy show wherever he goes. The two of them will melt your hearts at first glance and will keep you smiling through even the worst of days.
It is these two rays of sunshine that inspired me and my best friend and teaching partner Kate Ryan to start a company called Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books. As language arts teachers, whenever their is something to solve, something to explain, or something to explore, we turn to books. For us, books have the answer to everything. Unfortunately when it comes to something as rare as Propionic Acidemia, there are no books to help educate your child, family, friends, teachers, or peers. I am a mom that worries about everything and having two children with special needs brings my worries to a whole new level. When Maya was off to school, I wanted to make sure that her teacher and her peers knew about her condition and her special needs. I created a small personalized picture book for her to bring with to school. This book talked about her hobbies, interests, and also her diagnosis of Propionic Acidemia.
Kate and I realized that there are millions of children out there just like Maya and Christian. They all need a personalized book that will first explain what makes them just like everyone else and then explain their disability, condition, or syndrome. Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books was born. As two moms and teachers we did not realize the extreme costs behind starting a business.
In order to bring our dream to life and start helping children, we are going to be running a Kickstarter Campaign. For those of you not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a global crowdfunding platform. Kickstarters mission is to help bring creative projects to life. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen. The project creators offer rewards to thank backers for their support. The deal with Kickstarter is that it is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. Kate and I need to raise funds in order to pay for our printer, illustrator, website, and all the other fees associated with starting a small business.
Our campaign starts today, April 6th and will run through May 4th.
I know Mrs. Mc Carthy personally and am honored to help her in her quest for fundraising to bring Personalized Needs Books- Someone Special Books for children to live. She was my daughters teacher last year and she’s just as sweet in person as she is here in her own voice. I hope you will help spread the word about Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books campaign and helping these ladies and millions of children every where dream comes true by supporting them in getting the word out about their special needs books. You can just imagine the importance there is for a book of this nature to help children and parents explain their special child’s special needs to friend’s, family, caregivers, and schoolmates. Please take a moment to visit the Kickstarter site and give what you can.
Join me in spreading the word or helping out in anyway you can. If you would like to reach out to Mrs. McCarthy and help her with Personalized Special Needs Books campaign and raising $15,000 by May 1st please visit www.PersonalizedSpcialNeeds.com or donate here. Thank you in advance.