Monday, May 25, 2009


                         Fiesta Pears
            11" x 15" original watercolor

Do you have a child? A grandchild? Want to someday have a child?  And if your child was ill with a disease, and there was something you could do to ease that illness in some way, would you put aside everything else and do it?

I think most of us would say "Yes, I will do it." And if it took the help of others to achieve that thing you were trying to do for your child, then you would be very grateful for each person who came alongside to help.

Through a friend's blog, I found out about 7 year old Dawsyn - a beautiful and lively little girl with long hair, bright eyes and a beautiful smile. Dawsyn has a rare form of epilepsy which is called "Dravet's Syndrome", which was discovered when she was only 6 months old.  Just after receiving her DPT vaccination, she had her first seizure which was 30 minutes long!!!!!! That was just the beginning of a long and painful journey for both Dawsyn and her family.

Just recently, Dawsyn was approved to receive a Seizure Alert Assistance Dog from 4 Paws for Ability in Ohio. However, the family has to fundraise the $13,000 required to train her Service Dog. That is a great sum of money - not easily found or earned in these times.

Right now, the Harke family and friends are organizing a major fundraiser which will take place on June 12th, 2009 in Didsbury, Alberta. There will be a meal/silent auction AND a live auction with a real auctioneer. This is the main way this family hopes to raise the $13,000 dollars. However, people can also donate money to 4 Paws for Ability on behalf of Dawsyn, and that will be credited to their account.

To read Dawsyn's full story, you can go here and read the blog her mom has set up. To donate any amount of money, you must indicate it is for Dawsyn with the words "in honor of Dawsyn Harke" so that it goes toward her dog's training. You can donate by calling the organization, or by going on line at:
4 Paws for Ability
253 Dayton Ave
Xenia, Ohio 45385

I am going to meet with Dawsyn and her mom (for the first time) at the Alberta Children's Hospital as Dawsyn has one of her many treatments. I am going to give them the painting, Fiesta Pears. It will be auctioned off at the live auction, and will hopefully bring in a good amount of money. 

It is such a wonderful experience to have this kind of an opportunity to take part in something which will change Dawsyn's life, and that of her family. If you can help in any way, visit their blog and make a comment to let them know. I am sure every bit of encouragement will fill their sails with fresh wind to carry on.


Cynthia said...

You... are.... the best! Love love love this painting. Thanks friend :o)

Kim said...

Cynthia's right. You...are...the...BEST!!

Dawsyn's Mom said...

It was so nice to meet you today! I wish Dawsyn had been awake so you could have met her as well. Thank you so much for your beautiful painting!! I look forward to seeing you on the 12th!

Joanne said...

Hi Cynthia,

Hope to see you at the fundraiser... You can help me cheer on the bidding on the painting! :-)

Joanne said...

Kim - Your support means more than I can say!

Joanne said...

Hi Marvel!
I was so pleased to meet you at the hospital. I was also sorry to hear of Dawsyn's reactions to the medications. I hope she slept well, and that you were able to get her home sooner than you thought would be possible. :-)
It was my privilege to donate the painting - and I look forward to being a part of the big evening. I am very excited to see her get this wonderful dog which will change all of your lives!!!

Anonymous said...

Awesome photo going to a wonderful cause. I plan on visiting Dawsyn's site.


Joanne said...

Hi Paz,
When you read about this little girl's life, you will realize that a dog would make a huge difference to her and her family!

Anonymous said...

Joanne- this is the essence of the wondrous tentacles that blogs can provide. It takes a global village and you've just reduced the boundaries to our desks.

Really wonderful of you to facilitate something as worthwhile as this.

I hope this family gets what they need.

Joanne said...

Hi Bonnie,
Isn't it WONDERFUL when we get to participate in opportunities like this? It makes me feel that my art has a purpose much greater than selling online or in a gallery... this is about people's lives! Thanks for the visit and comments... I always look forward to hearing from you!