Tuesday, October 11, 2011

SWIMMING for KATIE-Blog Hop Day 2...

I believe in MIRACLES.

I really do.   I'm just going to start off by saying that and how overwhelmed I am with the HUGE hearts around the stamping world and why I love what I do so much.   THIS is one of those times when it's truly apparent.   People REACH OUT.

Let me tell you a story about a girl I met, Katie Renz...back in 2008.  I had just won a Mother's Day Contest over on the Papertrey Ink site and was over the moon thrilled about winning one of their stamp sets.  Although I had been stamping since about 2003, I had only begun blogging shortly before this win in 08 and knew nothing...knew no one.  I had written an essay about my Mother and who knew?  I guess it touched a few people...?!  ;)

After my win, I got the sweetest email from a girl named Katie who REACHED OUT to me- she and I both had twin boys and with that as our common ground, she wrote about how touched she was by my story and we became bloggin' friends from there.  Over 3 1/2 years later, it is still AMAZING to me how much some of these women mean to me, some I've never even met.

TODAY we are here to REACH OUT to our sweet Katie. Beginning yesterday and through tomorrow, over 125 of the best stampers in the industry are coming together to KEEP SWIMMING for Katie...to encourage Katie to Keep Swimming through the hardest battle of her life-a battle FOR her life- as she continues to amaze us all with her positive and real outlook on living with Stage 4 gastric cancer. Just before Christmas last year, a few tummy aches led to this awful diagnosis but as I said, I BELIEVE in miracles.  I BELIEVE in the power of people gathering together to lift up a life, and I believe in Katie and her amazing family.

Now what was that about the AMAZING community of stampers I'm blessed to know?  Check this out- Kate from I {heart} Papers and my sweet friend Becky Oehlers have teamed up to provide this adorable digi stamp (also available in clear!) to KEEP SWIMMING for KATIE!

HERE ARE ALL THE Available ITEMS for SALE to support Katie.

This exclusive stamp used in my sample, designed by Becky Oehlers, is available as a clear stamp, as well as a SVG cut file.  100% of the profits will go to Katie's fund to help her and her young family.  Her husband Kevin and their 3 young children need our help and support.  In addition to the Keep Swimming Octopus, there are other designs available, just click the link above to shop!

Direct donations also being accepted and APPRECIATED:

If you need more information before deciding on a donation, just click HERE.

I can't imagine what her family is going through with all of the astronomical bills, hospital stays, chemo, etc. not to mention providing for their family through all of it.  Please take a moment to consider giving to the Renz family, and feel free to SHARE this on Facebook, Twitter, wherever you're connected so that we can get the word out and support our sweet friend.  The more support the better, right?

Here's how the idea for "SWIMMING for KATIE" came to be, from a post on her BLOG.  To read more about Katie's story back to her first post about her journey, click HERE.  Guys, we know TOO many people....young people...GOOD people, whose lives are being affected by cancer.   It stinks, but I know we can make a difference....and so do 125 others on this amazing hop.    Here's my card:

Please visit these wonderful souls as we embark on Day 2 of SWIMMING for Katie:

Ashley Harris

Clare Buswell

Jessica Diedrich

Lisa Somerville

Charlene Merrick

Eva Dobilas

Judy Rozema

Sharon Doolittle

Tifany DeGough

Windy Robinson

Ashley Cannon Newell

Connie McCotter

Heidi Van Laar

Karen Maldonado

Lori Craig

Melissa Phillips

Tosha Leyendekker

Amy Kolling

Angela Thomas

Angelica Suarez

Angie Blom

Becky Oehlers

Betty Wright

Bev Gerard

Brenda Weaver

Carolyn King

Chari Moss

Charlene Driggs

Claire Brennan

Corinna McGregor

Craft Critique

Karen Hunsaker (Rubbernecker Stamps Designer)

Keely Yowler

Kelly Schirmer

Keri Lee Sereika

Kim Hughes

Kimber McGray

Kittie Caracciolo

Kristin Eberline

Wendy Price

Last but definitely NOT least, if you would like to send Katie a card (I'll be sending her this one :), you can mail her some handmade love and support to:

Katie Renz
PO Box 5913
Bellingham, WA 98227-5913

Thank you SO much for stopping by and for hopping through this large list of love...I hope you did it yesterday and will come back in support tomorrow too...it's the least we can do for our Katie girl!



Joan Ervin said...

What beautiful coloring on that adorable little octopus...this is such an adorable dsesign!!!!

Corinna said...

OH I love that lil' Octopus and your card for Katie!! So excited to be part of this great cause!

Carolyn King said...

Love it :) stampers are the best!!

Angie Blom said...

beautiful in that sunshiny yellow. love it Jess.

Cindy Haffner said...


marilyn said...

Super cute and cheerful card. Love the bright colors.

whoistracy said...

What a sweet card!! I love your story about connecting with Katie, too.

i {heart} papers said...

Oh this is adorable. And I am bawling over your story. Thank you so much for helping!

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

And now I'm crying. Thanks for sharing your story, Jess! It really speaks to who Katie is! I love your bright and cheery card! So cute! Thanks for spreading the word to help Katie!

MissScrapAlot said...

Hugs and prayers her way!!!!!!!!

Nichole Bryant said...

Love the colors!

Charlene Merrick (LilLuvsStampin) said...

So cute and cheerful in yellow! How blessed you are to have a personal friendship with Katie. She sounds like a remarkable young woman.

Lisa Lara said...

Love your coloring Jessica! Thank you for doing this for Katie!

texasjodylynn said...

VERY pretty, Jessica. Your coloring on this is SO cool.

Debgem said...

Thanks for sharing your story - I've not met Katie - but I've followed her for a while - she's so inspirational. I love your card - so bright and cheery!

~amy~ said...

such a fun card..love the colors! Great event!