Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beautiful Editor

We loved hanging out with Johanna at her Real Beauty shoot!  We walked all over downtown while she told us the story of how she came to be the editor of the fabulous local magazine, Lynchburg Living.  Johanna used to be on a more fast-paced and stressful career path, but she made the decision to go in a different direction.  Since Johanna came to Lynchburg Living, the company that owns it (Prototype Media, Inc.) has gone from that one publication to five!  But this Beautiful Girl didn’t give up her career for her family, she just tweaked it to make it fit better!   Johanna is proof that we really can ‘have our cake and eat it, too’, we can have a fulfilling career AND keep our family priority number one.  She gets to work closely with her husband and they both make sure to schedule plenty of time with their new baby daughter.

  Johanna loves working with a local magazine, and she loves showcasing local businesses and people.  We were even stopped on the street by a local business owner who wanted to thank Johanna for a recent story in the magazine. 

  Besides her career accomplishments, Johanna is an encouraging and sweet Beautiful Girl.  She had never met Aubrianah, but she chatted with her, gave her tips (Johanna is a photographer, too!), and made Aubrianah feel like her work on the Real Beauty project is worthwhile.  Thank you, Johanna, for participating in the project, we had a blast with you! 

Check out Lynchburg Living, and all the other Prototype Media, Inc. publications.  They are all free, and you can find them at many local businesses!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Beautiful Healer

Today’s Beautiful Girl is special to me and Aubrianah.  She may be special to you, too, if your child is a patient at Rimland Center.  Aubrianah spent many years just being sick.  She saw specialists and had tests and tried medications, but every ‘cure’ was short-lived and she was soon sick again.  I remember the last time I took her to her previous doctor, he told me that if I wasn’t interested in her taking the medication (it had severe side-effects) or allowing more invasive tests, there was just nothing else that could be done.  She’d just have to live with it.  I cried that day. 

  Then someone told me about Dr. Mumper.  “She stays up on the research,” they said.  “She takes a different approach,” they encouraged.  “Couldn’t hurt,” I thought, and made the appointment.  I switched Aubrianah’s records over from her former pediatrician, went for a consultation with Dr. Mumper, held Aubrianah’s hand through one last battery of bloodwork, got the results, did the things Dr. Mumper told us to do, and three months later, after seven years of off-and-on sickness,  Aubrianah was healed.  To top it off, the things Dr. Mumper had us do didn’t have anything to do with strong drugs or invasive tests.  That was about three years ago, and my daughter has not had one relapse.  In fact, we haven’t even SEEN Dr. Mumper in a very long time, until we went to do her Real Beauty photo shoot.  Aubrianah’s former pediatrician got a sick visit from us about once a month!

  Our story about this beautiful doctor is not the most dramatic in town, by far!  Dr. Mumper works a lot in autism research, and Aubrianah’s symptoms had nothing to do with autism.   But my friend Krista, whose son Gideon was on the autism spectrum and now IS NOT on the autism spectrum, has a much more dramatic story.  The plot is the same:  Child is diagnosed with something other doctors say he will just have to live with, mom takes child to Dr. Mumper, child does not have to live with that diagnosis after all.  Krista says, “I used to compare Gideon to Pinnochio and say that Dr. Mumper turned our 'wooden' boy into a real boy. Our boy who didn't make eye contact or understand language, who was afraid of everything and didn't really seem to know that he belonged with his family, was turned into a boy who interacts freely and comfortably with everyone, without irrational fears and who knows how to express affection. 

I don’t want to tout Dr. Mumper as a miracle-worker, and I know she wouldn’t want me to do that.  But she does what others in her profession don’t often do.  She and her staff are committed to staying up on research.  They are interested in the things that make our children sick, not just the medications that are available to fix them.  She cares for her little patients, she cares for their parents, she listens, and she doesn’t get so proud of herself that she thinks she knows everything!  She is always interested and always learning.  Because of her humility and willingness to discover new things, she is sometimes able to heal children who have previously been left to ‘live with’ their illnesses.  Thank you, Dr. Mumper, you are our Beautiful Healer! 

If you’d like more information about Dr. Mumper’s work with Autism or other conditions, and/or the Rimland Center, you can find it here:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Courageous Beauty

Cindi~  When I look at this picture, I see a gorgeous mother (Susanne) and daughter (Hannah)…..healthy, happy, beautiful.  You would never suspect the trials they have had the past two and a half years.  Hannah was only 6 years old when she started having bruising, a rash and extreme fatigue.  A parent’s worst nightmare – Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia.  In an instant, their whole world changed. 
Now 8 years old, Hannah has been given over 20 spinal treatments, 10 different chemotherapies, and multiple blood transfusions.   Susanne said Hannah endured all of this with a smile on her face, never complaining – what courage!!  It’s amazing now to see how God has restored Hannah – you would never guess what she has been through.
Talking to Susanne was so uplifting and encouraging for me.  I asked her about how she has dealt with everything.  She said this experience has been life-changing and that in the beginning, they had to completely release Hannah to God.  I can’t even fathom the anguish of that type of prayer, knowing that Hannah is a gift from God and that they may not have her much longer.
What a praise that God has been merciful and allowed the leukemia to go into remission.  Treatments ended in April, but Hannah will be closely monitored for relapse.  As life for their family returns to a semi-normal state, the possibility of the leukemia returning is always in the back of their mind.  Please add this precious family to your prayer list!  They have carepages to keep you updated, and the link is below.  You will see from the journal the tremendous strength, courage and awesome testimony they have displayed throughout this journey.  An excerpt is below as well.
Hebrews 6:18-19 "....We who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls."
 “ We have learned such valuable, precious insights as a family, that we would not have learned without going through the darkness, all the uncertainty and not-knowing, with Hannah's cancer. The complete dependency on the Lord, when it was out of our hands....realizing all we do, is not for our agenda...but it's God's agenda for our lives.... learning to trust when we didn't understand or see what He was doing......placing our faith in an uncertain place, knowing God is and will always be at work in our lives for our good. And I could list so many other treasures learned in a hard place. But no matter what you're facing now or will face, know that the trial can change your life....allowing you to never be the's all in the heart response to it that matters!”