James Bell via Crowdrise
July 19, 2015
BENEFITING: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
EVENT DATE: Dec 05, 2015
My wife, Jennifer, and I lost our son, Jon Andrew, in utero at 25 weeks gestation due to multiple "true knots" in the umbilical cord. He was delivered on May 21, 2015 and he was tiny - only 11 ounces and less than 10 inches long. But he had the most beautiful feet and toes, and I will remember those little feet everywhere I walk and run. Even though he isn't physically present, he will always be "my little running buddy," running with me wherever I go.
Losing Jon Andrew was one of the most difficult experiences I have ever been through. Prior to going to the hospital for delivery, a friend suggested that we contact an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Their mission is to help document and bring peace to the parents of children who are Heaven-born, or are at risk of dying as newborns, through free professional portraits with their baby. At first we were hesitant; we were afraid it would be too hard - too painful. But ultimately we realized that this would be our only chance to see Jon Andrew and have pictures taken with him. We were so glad we did! Our photographer, Andrea, arrived at the hospital just before we got to meet our son. She stayed and took photos for the entire three hours that we got to spend with Jon Andrew. We will forever treasure these photos. For us these pictures are not just mementos - they are confirmation that Jon Andrew is real - that he existed and that he will always be a part of our family. We believe these images serve as an important step in our family’s healing process by honoring Jon Andrew's legacy. All parents faced with the heart-wrenching loss of an infant should be blessed with this opportunity.
JOGGING WITH JON ANDREW
This December I will be running in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon with my little running buddy in mind. For the next five months we want all of you to put your best foot forward and help us raise awareness and funds for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep so that other families facing such devastating loss can receive professional quality photographs - the only ones they will ever get to take with their precious child. In honor of Jon Andrew's beautiful feet (each with five perfect toes), we are challenging each person to make a donation ending in 5 ($25, $55, $105, etc) toward our cause!
For every donation of $25 or more, we will send you a Jogging With Jon Andrew wristband so you can show support and raise awareness for Jon Andrew and NILMDTS! (Please leave your email address in the checkout process so we can contact you for mailing information!) All proceeds will go to support Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to help assure that all families experiencing infant loss will be able to receive the priceless gift of remembrance photography. All donations are tax deductible.
We don't know why God called Jon Andrew home so early. That was out of our control - but what IS in our control is our decision to celebrate him, remember him, and to honor him through our efforts to help others in similar situations. There is no foot too small that it can not leave an imprint on this world. Please help us to build Jon Andrew's legacy and cement his footprint on our world!
For more information on NILMDTS, visit www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org
FUNDRAISER UPDATE (7/5/14)
Wow! We have been floored by the response to our campaign so far - we hit our original goal of $750 in less than four hours from launch! We decided to double down and go up to $1500. After thinking about it more, we have decided to raise it to $2015 since that is the year we had Jon Andrew. (It also just so happens to end in five!)
Additionally, we are proud to announce the launch of the Jogging With Jon Andrew Facebook page. The purpose of our Facebook page is to continue to raise awareness for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and also to honor the memory of Jon Andrew. We are aiming to log 2,015 race miles in his honor. And we want YOU to jog with Jon Andrew too! All you have to do is participate in an organized race, take a picture wearing a Jogging With Jon Andrew wristband, and post it on Facebook. Be sure to post the distance you ran and feel free to brag about how fast (or slow) you did it! Any distance race will do - 1 mile, 5k, half marathon, marathon, ultra marathon...just get out there and run/jog/walk/crawl! We will give you lots of applause and add your mileage to the mileage total on our Facebook page.
If you don't have a Jogging With Jon Andrew wristband but plan to run in an organized race, let me know and I'll get you a loaner. Or you can donate at least $25 to the campaign and keep it forever!!!