With a Little Help From My Friends

2017 is rolling on by and sometimes I feel like I can barely stop to catch my breath. We are just a few days away from packing up our apartment and hitting the road for our new home in Olympia, Washington. And like the overachiever I am, I also planned the second annual Art + Handmade Auction for MG in the weeks leading up to our move. While I wish that this year I had more time and energy to grow the auction, I am so thrilled with the 11 friends who hand-raised to use their art to raise funds and awareness for the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America.

The auction is small, and I guess some could wonder why aiming to raise about $1,000 every year for the MGFA matters. This small auction has given me an avenue to speak about MG in a new way that doesn’t use statistics or hospital photos, but instead uses something beautiful and tangible to bring awareness to a disease that has very little in terms of research and name-recognition. Its helped me tell my story better as an artist that is also an advocate – something I’ve come to learn that I can’t segment from each other.

Want to know the wildest part? Most of the friends who have said, “yes, I want to help” are people I work closely with, but have never met in person. My job with Rising Tide Society and HoneyBook has connected me with some of the most talented artists and makers around the US + Canada, and has given me the opportunity to form meaningful friendships that I would have otherwise missed out on!

These 4 pieces are from women I’ve met through my job at Rising Tide Society and HoneyBook.

And these are from artists I know through Rising Tide and the Creative and Chronically Ill TuesdaysTogether network.

These pieces are from family members of MG patients that I’ve come to know through the vast online network of MG support online.

The next 3 are from women who have walked the road of diagnosis with me. My mom and Nora, a friend of nearly 16 years.

Lastly, there are a few pieces in there that I’ve made as well.

While rare disease can be isolating and lonely, I am reminded by opportunities like this auction of how well loved and supported I am, even by people I only know through phone calls and emails. And not just those who have donated their time and talents, but the friends and family who share and buy every year, and those who stick with me even when times are desperate and discouraging. Thank you, my friends. I couldn’t do this without you.

If you’d like to bid, you still have time. Request to join here. Bidding is open through Monday June 26 at 8pm EST. If you’d like to donate without bidding, you can support my annual fundraising efforts here.