My amazing BFF since college, Tracy Brown and her terrific husband Ryan are not only fabulous parents to their wonderful son Ian, but have faced the unthinkable, an ill child. Their son Ian was diagnosed with LCH as a toddler. Many of us would have just focused on just healing our child and not raising money for a finding a cure, but Tracy and Ryan in their tireless efforts to fight this disease created the Histio Hike Shenandoah.
Here is some of the Brown family story from last year's hike:
In May 2006, when our son Ian was just 11 months old, we noticed a swollen lymph node in his groin that we thought was a hernia. After several months with no answers and watching it wax and wane, a biopsy was finally performed in October 2006. When we received a phone call with the diagnosis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), our world changed in an instant. We had entered the world of Rare Disease Land.
Ian, now 9.5 years old, endured nearly 4 years of chemotherapy and steroid treatments while battling this disease.We suffered the heartache of not just that original diagnosis but also three recurrences. However, through it all we had an amazing support group of family, friends, fellow histio families, and the Histiocytosis Association. We continue to be encouraged by amazing doctors who decide to make histiocytosis their life's work and tirelessly search for a cause and a cure. We also remain amazed at the financial generosity of friends and family who know that every single dollar raised for histio research and family support is critical to our lives and those affected by histiocytosis.
After Ian's diagnosis we hosted or attended several fundraising events, and in 2010 we decided we wanted to provide families with a chance to experience the camaraderie that comes from working toward a common cause with those who understand. We chose a hike because we felt the challenge of hiking the mountains of Shenandoah National Park reflected the challenges we were facing with histiocytosis. The peaks and valleys of the histio journey mirrored the vistas and canyons of the park. Our goal was to provide histio families and their loved ones with a place to meet and share their experiences, while also raising much needed funds and raising awareness.
Since 2010 the Brown family has gathered with other Histio families and supporters to hike and raise money for a cure. In support of the Brown family efforts a percentage of all my proceeds from now until January 31 will be donated to the Histio Hike Shenandoah in honor of Ian Brown.
Not only has Tracy educated me about LCH about about NORD as well. Here is a video of Tracy and Ian speaking at the 2013 NORD Gala.
I want my art to bring joy and healing to others AND help fund research for a cure of this rare disease.
Visit my SHOP or donate directly to the Histo here. Be sure to select "in honor of" and put Histio Hike Shenandoah.
Thank you for helping to support funding for research for finding a cure for this rare disease.