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this summer we’re making it happen

Jen and I have a really phenomenal connection with each other. I think that this (and lots of crazy love for each other) is how we have made it this far in our marriage while facing so many challenges.

I want to make one thing clear though… keeping it all together and keeping it ‘real’ is very challenging. It became very clear to us that we cannot work full time jobs 7 years ago when Sam was not yet diagnosed. For the past 7 years through the challenges of receiving Sam’s ASD, Hypotonia, executive function disorder, and communication disorder diagnosis we’ve been meeting each challenge with as much positivity and determination to adapt as possible. Somehow we’ve made it this far by creatively keeping our bills paid. As of June, we are each small business owners; Jen with She Saw Things Photography, me with He Says Things (social media marketing consulting, copy writing, and writing service) and I’m not sure if we’re crazy or brilliant (time will tell).

This summer we’ve decided to make things happen. It has become clear to both of us that we cannot do this alone and we have launched the first of many ways for us to raise money.

The first is something called FundRazr. This is a fundraising service that we used in 2010 to raise money to help fund the cost of Sam’s speech therapy. In less than 1 week over 60 people donated money to that cause and we were stunned, humbled and extremely thankful. We’re using this campaign again and are in the process of planning many other events this summer.

We have a commitment and determination to our family and to the family blog. The blog’s purpose is to give people a very real and honest view of our ups and downs as we raise two amazing children and find a way to celebrate living with Autism (rather than mourning it).

The funds that we receive will be used for the following:

  1. Occupational Therapy (Sam’s response to the OT sessions in the Spring was remarkable. The medical insurance that we pay out-of-pocket for is coming to an end. The kids will be able to qualify for a state funded medical insurance program at no cost to us, but the services Sam needs in order to address his communication and executive function disorders has little or no coverage)
  2. Speech Therapy (Like OT, Sam’s progress with communication is astonishing but we need help. We’ve been on hiatus with his therapist due to a lack of funds and would love to be able to see her again soon)
  3. The new iPad (We received an iPad as a donation from a dear friend of ours. This device has been an amazing tool in helping Sam with everything from fine motor skills to communication. The new iPad has a built-in camera will help us to better utilize the adaptive communication apps that we’re using to help Sam through his daily routines during summer vacation)
  4. ‘McDowner Family On Tour’ in August (Jen is taking her photography ‘on the road’ from Portland to Northern California. She’ll be working by doing photo sessions along the way while the rest of the gang is tagging along. We may use a portion of the funds to help cover the cost of fuel as well as a day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)
  5. upsidedowner.org (We’d love to be able to cover the cost associated with running the website; domain name fees, hosting, etc.)

If you would like to help, the FundRazr can be accessed HERE.

If you cannot donate would you please help to pass this along to friends and family who might be? You can send the following link: http://goo.gl/g1ZAd

Last of all, we want to thank you all for keeping up with us here. We enjoy sharing and connecting with people!

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