We are participating in a Flat Charlie project with other CHARGE families. I'd never really heard of this before, so if you're like me, Flat Charlie is a beloved paper boy that travels from family to family. He is given a new article for his 'outfit' and gets his picture taken in various places around town. Later this year, Charlie will be visiting us in the "Rose City", at which point, we will play tour guide to him and show him the sights, sounds and smells of Portland. We're debating our "addition" to Charlie's ensemble. Anyone familiar with the show Portlandia, knows we want to "put a bird on it!" But, not everyone will get that. Then there's the itch to give him a bike, a six-bin recycling system, or simply a rose with solar panels that will provide power for the next 60 homes he visits. Yes, the noggin' is brewing with the options and plethora of opportunities that we will embrace with our hippiesque gusto. Well, seriously, Portland isn't just that - it's the home of Nike, Addias, Intel, the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi river, the microbrew capital of the U.S.. So, we'll likely doll Charlie up in a variety of sportswear, get him drunk, buy him some books and get him a tattoo that will one day be completely inappropriate.
That being said, this Flat Charlie Project is really a fundraiser for the CHARGE Foundation. Guaranteed that most of the people that read Andi Bean, had NEVER heard of CHARGE Syndrome before meeting the Beano. I know I'd never heard of it prior to Andi. Everyone has heard of Autism, or Down's Syndrome, even Trisomy has garnered more press... that all boils down to $MONEY$, in my mind. The more money a syndrome has, the more money they can use to educate the masses. Until I write my book and gain the attention of the big daytime shows, I can use my voice here and ask you to break out your wallets and donate to our Flat Charlie Project - as it all wraps around and embraces CHARGE Syndrome, awareness, education, and most of all, the love, laughter and smiles of the little girl you read about here -- Andi Bean. She's been through seven layers of hell, and yet, she smiles bigger than most. She refuses the word, "no!" and she keeps fighting every single day to do the things that most of us never think twice about, like standing up without fighting balance issues. So, with that being said, please consider breaking open your checkbooks and giving under 'Anna Miller' to support the Flat Charlie Project. Even if you give $5., every dollar will help! We would appreciate it. And trust me, I know for most, even $5. hurts... so, give if you can... and if you can't let's go out and donate some blood in honor of the Bean and some blood she received during heart surgery. There are ways to contribute, even if it's not financially.
There's a big walk for the March Of Dimes -- "for Healthy Babies", coming up here in town at the end of next month. While I'm debating walking in that, I can't help cringe at the idea that Andi is already here, been through hell, and yet no one knew the birth defects that she would be saddled with due to CHARGE Syndrome. March of Dimes is a well-known name. They were in the NICU to offer support when I was so not ready to deal with them. They haven't been a service to us, but yet, they probably bring in big bucks because they are known for doing good helping more healthy babies be born. Well, without getting too angry or political, I can only say, they have the money -- and the CHARGE Foundation does not... so maybe it's time to start funding those smaller, less known syndromes that aren't being adequately addressed. So, again, please consider contributing to our Flat Charlie Project. Here's the link:
FLAT CHARLIE PROJECT DONATIONS
and again, if it's simply not in your budget -- like mine... then go visit your local Red Cross and give a pint. Although - I must admit that when I hear 'pint!' I revert back to my beer-drinking days! So, maybe we'll take Charlie down the street to Widmer Brewery, or Portland Brewing, or maybe we'll take him to donate a pint...as the paper fibers used to make him probably had some sort of beginning in Oregon... he will be embraced and welcomed here. It will be fun.