Back Bone: Team Rosie Lives On In All Of Us

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As some of you may know, we lost my Uncle Randy unexpectedly this year. What you may or may not know is he was incredibly passionate about supporting Down in the Southland on behalf of his daughter Rosemary. A few years ago he started Team Rosie to help raise money for their Annual Fundraiser Walk.

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This is the last thing he posted on Facebook before he passed away…

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I am walking again this year to keep his legacy going strong for my cousin and to help raise money for this wonderful foundation he wholeheartedly believed in!

How can you help?

Donate: Simply make a donation on my fundraising page at https://give.classy.org/nicatnight to support Down in the Southland on behalf of Team Rosie. No amount is too small and every dollar helps us to reach our goal. The process is fast, easy, and secure. I truly appreciate any support you can provide and it will benefit a great cause that means so much to my family!

Share: Help me reach my fundraising goal by sharing this page on social media and emailing it to your connections to help raise awareness!

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Let’s make my Uncle proud! GO TEAM ROSIE!

Stay Spooky & Supportive!
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LDG Nicole

Back Bone: AWFF 2018 Donation

awff flierA few weeks ago I finished up judging for the annual AxWound Film Festival and now I am mailing out up my donation package that will be used for the raffle prizes.

I decided my “Twisted” portrait of the Soska Sisters would be the ideal prize for anyone who supports us women in horror (with some added goodies of corpse). As an artist who loves supporting other artists, I am honored each year that I am asked to donate my time and work for this amazing cause.

Living Dead Girl Nicole AWFF Donation

Hannah Neurotica started this event to help support female horror filmmakers. She is also the creator of Women In Horror Month that I and many others actively support and celebrate every February. In other words, Hannah is doing amazing things for women in the horror industry and I love backing her up and being a part of her visions. To see more of the projects I have supported with my art, visit the Back Bone section of my portfolio page.

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole

Speak up for HR1187 Today!

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For those of us living with the daily challenges of a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder (feel free to read my own personal journey here) or if you know someone who is, your voice is needed to create change! Today is IFFGD‘s Virtual Advocacy Day that was put into place to be our inspiration to make Congress aware of the importance of HR1187.

Here is the list IFFGD has provided to us to help share why we need to raise awareness for functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders (FGIMDs) and my added inputs for each……

  • Because FGIMDs are the most common digestive problems in the general population, affecting 1 in 4 people in the US.

Why are there not stricter labels and restrictions on our food? Why are there so many new GI conditions? This is not a fad this is an epidemic and it’s on the rise.

  • Because many are characterized by chronic and debilitating symptoms, often requiring a lifetime of care.

For me, a total colectomy was the answer to my colonic inertia and tortuous dead large intestine. But I still live every day controlled on how my body decides to react to things now that I have no large intestine, no gallbladder and developed adhesions and complications from my surgery.

  • Because some can be life-threatening, robbing those affected of their lives and their family members and friends of their loved ones.

Try living with the worst stomach ache that you have ever had and be made to live and function like a regular person. To have it happen unpredictably to you and control everything you do in life. Having to have your spouse turn into your caregiver and miss work to take care of you. Not being sure if you can make plans with others or travel because it all depends on how you feel. And when you do make those plans have to bring a purse full of medications to control unpredictable symptoms and your heating pad for overnight stays just to be comfortable. And let’s not forget how this effects those suffering with finding employment to not only stay financially stable but to pay all your medical expenses. Not everyone can be approved for disability, not all employers are understanding and there are not enough remote work from home opportunities for those of us who actually need them (I know cause I am still actively looking).

  • Because they remain poorly understood, and those affected are often misdiagnosed or mistreated.

I was misdiagnosed for 8 years and had every test imaginable. It was not until I traveled to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and saw their specialist that I was able to finally get answers and the proper surgery I needed. Doctors here were telling me I had IBS and acid reflux and the whole time my large intestine was literally dieing inside of me. I was also told by one surgeon that I needed a colostomy bag to diagnosis what was wrong with me. Luckily I stuck to my gut (pun intended) and didn’t trust what these doctors were telling me. I literally had to go online and research my symptoms and talk to others who were also suffering to get answers. At many times after doing so I would have to ask doctors to perform tests on me that they didn’t even think to try.

  • Because no cures and few effective treatments exist

During my misdiagnosed years the doctors were trying to pump me with fiber and other medications that was actually making my symptoms worse. Many of us suffering can not get approved for medical marijuana for pain, nausea and to help with appetite because our conditions are not cookie cutter and on a list. Yet we can be prescribed narcotics/opiates that help with the pain but actually cause other organs in our body to fail, our symptoms to get worse, and are contributing to the rise of addiction. On top of all of that, many of us have new conditions (anxiety, depression, other organs issues) caused by the years of not getting treatment that we needed and trying to live and function like everyone else.

For all of these reasons, and more, we are taking a stand for the millions of Americans affected by asking our House Members of Congress to cosponsor The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (HR 1187).

Here are 3 ways you can take action:

  1. Find your House Congressional Representative and send an email (use this sample letter for inspiration).
  2. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Representative’s healthcare staff member.
  3. Find your Representative’s Twitter handle or Facebook profile and share your message on social media with #HR1187.

Working together on Advocacy Day and throughout the year, we carry a clear, impactful message — that research needs to happen NOW! By speaking up, you can help expand critical research, initiate important legislation, and facilitate the development of new treatment options, cures, stricter food labels, disability/job protection, and doctors to be re-educated to stop misdiagnosing! If you share anything today let it be this post!

Stay Spooky & Supportive,
LDG Nicole

Deadly Designs: Love For Lexi Benefit

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Here is the finished flier that I was commissioned to design for a very special benefit that my friend Regina is helping put together. After admiring please feel free to share it. They can use all the donations they can get for little Lexi.

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To see more of my desktop publishing design work check out the Deadly Designs page of my portfolio website. To see other ways I have used my art to help great causes, visit the Back Bone page! Need something designed for your next event? Contact me!

Stay Spooky!
LDG Nicole