Lone Cyprus

Lone Cyprus

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fabulous talent from a fabulous friend

This is a recent blog entry by my friend, Nicole. She's a fabulously talented photographer and is using her talent and big heart to help me! Please, check it out!!

Photography for a Cause | Beth
Beth was the kind of girl who was everyone’s friend. How could you not like Beth? She had a contagious laugh, a giving spirit and the kindest heart. When I met her, I was a freshman at Indiana State University, and Beth was a senior. She took me under her wing for the short time we attended ISU together. We went on mission trips together, did women’s Bible studies as well as hung out and laughed about things only we thought were funny. So after graduation had come and gone, I figured it would be unlikely I’d ever see her again.

Then randomly, while shopping in Evansville, I saw from a distance someone who looked awfully familiar. When I finally realized it was Beth, I didn’t hesitate to give her a hug. From that point forward, we decided to keep in touch. Of course, Facebook helped facilitate that.

And it was also Facebook that was the bearer of the bad news. I’ll never forget reading Beth’s heartfelt note on Facebook that spoke of her newly diagnosed, terminal disease. My heart sunk with every word I read. But through her words, Beth showed that she was strong and she was going to fight this head on.

And I’ve decided I’ll help her fight this fight Scleroderma, too. I am offering a headshot night on August 4 at 5:30 p.m. at The Old Courthouse in downtown Evansville. The cost is a $10 donation to Beth’s transplant fund, and you get the images emailed directly to you for personal use such as on blogs, resumes and web sites such as Facebook and MySpace, just to name a few. Everyone who participates in the headshot event will be entered to win a portrait session from me as well as will get the DVD of images for free (a $350 value!).

I offered to do a photo shoot for Beth to help her raise awareness of her disease and how others can help make a difference. And really, what girl doesn’t want pretty pictures of herself? Here are a few of our favorites:

(You'll need to go to the blog to check out the pics for now! http://www.nicoleneffphotography.com/blog/?p=1320
You should go for sure!)

I also asked Beth to let my blog readers know a little bit about what she’s going through and how you can help. Here is her story, in her own words:

My name is Beth and I’m 30 years old. I have a terminal disease called Scleroderma. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the tissues in your body and causes you to overproduce collagen. When first diagnosed, I had what my doctors and specialists considered a less severe form that caused me discomfort but allowed me to go on with life normally. However about a year ago my condition worsened. I was then diagnosed with the most severe form of Scleroderma. This affected my lungs and reduced their function as well as affected major areas of skin on my body. It also causes me to be very fatigued. Due to this I am unable to work and without insurance.

Most people with this form of Schleroderma only live about 5 years. This is my fifth year since diagnosis. There is no cure for this rare disorder. However, there is one thing that I can do. I have become eligible for a stem cell transplant. This procedure will essentially reboot my immune system using my own stem cells and allowing my body to go back to a more normal state. Then I can hopefully return to the Beth that once was. However, this procedure costs $100,000 and is being paid out of pocket. My family and friends have been working non-stop to raise money for this procedure. Also, the procedure is being performed in Chicago and I will be there for 2 months with my mom incurring the expense of the stay.

So, I need your help. Please check out my website to donate and learn more about my journey and the fundraising efforts at: www.aplanforbethann.com
Also, it’s very helpful to forward my website on to all you know to help spread awareness. Thank you!


You can also order prints from Beth’s session by going to www.nicoleneffphotography.com/clients, creating an account and then entering the password “Beth”. All proceeds from print sales will go directly to help Beth pay for her transplant.
So whether you choose to get your headshot, purchase a print or donate directly to Beth’s fund by going to www.aplanforbethann.com, you’ll be helping save a life. My friend’s life.

Nicole Neff

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Update...better late than never!

When my brother (who manages the site) and I began my website and decided to add an Update page, I had planned to post updates much more often than I have. I'm sorry for being so tardy in my posting. I promise to do better! So before I tell you what's coming, let me update you on where I've been!

The past 6 weeks or so have been very busy. We had a great turnout at the benefit dinner/dance/auction in the middle of June. I had a great time seeing so many of my friends and family in the same place. We raised nearly $19,000 that night for the fund. It was such a great success and it was so satisfying to see it all work out after all the hard work I know was put in to planning and organizing.

Since then we've had numerous food concession stands at auctions, fairs and picnics as well as face painting and balloons at the 4H fair! We've had a yard sale and bake sale as well as a 4th of July picnic of our own at my dad's place, the New Boston Tavern. We've also had a jewelry party and an open house fundraiser selling great products from Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Avon, Mia Bella Candles, etc. We even had a great time at the Cornhole Tournament at Johnny B's in Owensboro. Each event has been such a blessing and a complete success!

In the little time away from fundraisers I've managed to get in a few little trips and events that were a little more personal in nature and a great need to maintain sanity and sustain joy! I've been to Nashville a couple times to stay with a friend overnight and see some live music, one of my true loves! I even went to a New Kids on The Block concert in Indy with my oldest and closest high school friends! Before you judge, let me tell you it was one of the funniest most refreshing times I've had in the past months, whether they're a silly old boy band or not!

I was even lucky enough to get my wisdom teeth pulled between all of this in the past few weeks. I had them pulled one side at a time with the first going much more smoothly than the second! All is well now though and unfortunately, I only have more dental work to be done in the coming weeks before the transplant. This I am NOT excited about!

Also in the coming weeks I plan to attend another concert in Indy with those same silly high school friends. (Do we see a theme here?) Only this time, a little more rock n roll and a little less pop-like. We're seeing Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick. I grew up listening to this stuff and I'm excited to get to see them!

Next weekend is the final fundraiser that is planned at this point. (There may be more in the future, but none have been scheduled.) One of my oldest and dearest friends has organized a fundraiser in Indianapolis at a comedy club in conjunction with her birthday. I'm so excited to go and laugh with and at her. Details for this fundraiser are on the Fundraising Events page.

We hope transplant time will be mid August. I promise to keep you all better informed and will write again after the Comedy night! Thanks so much for checking in on me and be sure to stop in and sign the guestbook! I love hearing from everyone!

God Bless!