Our First Addition to the Freely Given Favorites Collection!

We are excited to announce the Freely Given Favorites Collection!  This collection will include the top selling item from a story's limited edition collection.  This collection can be found in our online storefront under the Freely Given Favorites category.

The first addition to the Freely Given Favorites collection is the Triangle shirt from the Go Kit Go collection.  The Go Kit Go collection ran from August to October 2015 and raised over $10,200 to help alleviate the cost of in home care for Kit and her family.  You can learn more about Kit's battle with Leukemia in the blog posts below.  Kit is now paying it forward to Noah's Bandage Project as for a limited time 90% of the profits from each Go Kit Go shirt sold in the Freely Given Favorites Collection will go directly to the Noah's Bandage Project. 

About Noah's Bandage Project

Noah's Bandage Project was started by Noah Wilson (age 6) shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.  He quickly learned that his hospital did not have cool/fun bandages and he wanted to change that. He collects colorful and fun bandages and provides them to hospitals, schools, shelters, camps, and other avenues that support kids. He knows that a bandage is more than just a covering, but is a badge of courage and a source of identity to kids who have to endure scary things. He also raises money for pediatric cancer research, and brings awareness to help increase the support being provided to kids battling this illness.  Despite the grief we all have faced in losing Kit's friend and this young hero to his battle with cancer in 2015, his legacy lives on. To date, Noah has collected over 24k boxes of bandages, and raised over $65k.  Noah's Bandage Project goal is to raise $100k for our first research grant by June 2016.  You can learn more about Noah's project by visiting their website.

Where Does The Funding Go?

The funding that Noah's Bandage Project raises is going to support pediatric cancer research, specifically in the areas of Ewing Sarcoma and AML Leukemia research.  These are the 2 cancers that Noah had. The grants will support research affiliated with Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and it's teams of Dr's. 

Kit's New Normal {July 2015}

Another Wednesday, another day. 
And yet to them it wasn't. It would be an early morning and they weren't sure when they would return home. They had done this before, anticipating a few hours, finding out later days would turn into weeks within hospital walls.
They woke her up and set the alarm after. She had until seven to eat.
Because after that, it would be the wait.
The day would be full; hallways and elevators and doctors and tests lay ahead. 

There had been some weeks of life as it used to be, spending lazy mornings with breakfast together, playing in summer sunshine, dripping popsicles and finding refuge in familiarity, but today was back to their new normal. 

They had met many others walking these days, months, years ahead of their story, but the journey was often the same. Children were around them daily, flesh failing yet spirit thriving, strength exemplified. 
They had also met those broken. Destroyed by disappointment, hope burnt out, souls empty.
Yet, Kit's choice has been made from the beginning.
They'll do what it takes. They'll carry hope wherever they go, they won't let go of faith.
And when they can't, their people will carry them.
Because already, plans have been thwarted, goals missed. And they've needed those around them from the start. 
Within the month it all began, more doctors were brought on board.
Her cancer is a strong one, and early on she was moved to a high risk category.
The most terrifying statistic, a lessened chance of a smooth recovery; survival is just a little bit further from secure.

And yet, their daily can be just as formidable.
Because higher, stronger doses of chemotherapy have meant weeks of loneliness, friendships have become ones of distance as quarantine has become more frequent than not. Even family has been isolated from each other as MaryKate transports Kit, Corey picks up Connor, meeting in a waiting room they cross paths in handoff. Daily they are sequestered from childhood memories, a brother without a playmate, a sister alone in a quiet room; this is their normal now. 

Routine has changed drastically as with the prognosis, an incredibly weakened immune system and intensified medicine regimen, in home care for Kit is now required. Thus, bills have begun to pile, deductibles met within the first week of the news that changed their life followed by expenses that only seem to grow with each day, each week, each change. The emotional and financial strain has become more intense each month that passes. 

There have been breaths of good news along the way, a first checkpoint indicated remission and celebration must be chosen, grasped eagerly in the face of the daunting journey ahead, because this is just the beginning. Often misunderstood, this doesn't mean healing, but rather the right pathway, right approach chosen. And now, gaze steady on triumph, they can continue the fight. Adrenaline was short lived, appreciated while it lasted, but now in this new normal, community as it has been from the start, will continue to be their main source of strength, chief reminder of hope.

To learn more about Kit's new normal, see the film update below.

Join the story with apparel that matters by visiting the Freely Given store here.
90% of all profits from the Go Kit Go line will go towards alleviating the cost of Kit's in home care.

Kit's Chemotherapy {April 2015}

Clouds couldn't part for the morning, heavy with the pain the day would bring.
Kit's been fighting, a new normal setting in. She braves a few smiles for the nurses, they've learned her rhythm. And though no child should find home within a hospital, she knows where they park, their favorite room, already celebrated a holiday already within their walls.

But this day was different.
This day held the tears of the fight.

No step of the way will be easy, but this day hurt.
With each turn brought a moan, no relief anywhere but her mother's arms.
And when her tiny body would find moments of rest in slumber,
MaryKate and I would whisper of sweetness, salve to aching hearts-
the precious stories her brother and her tell each other each night over the phone,
the way their whole life has led to this,
even back to the afternoon she found out she was, so unexpectedly, carrying this miracle babe.
See, from the start, Kit's promise had been threatened, her life in the balance, not expected to survive, the pregnancy was deemed a miscarriage the morning after the news had been celebrated.

And, yet, just like now, they held hope.
Driving for one final check for the baby they loved already, while storms rolled in and waves crashed against the shores they followed,  MaryKate chose the name for her daughter, Kit.
Named for a loved one who had passed just before, pure, carrier of Christ,
the One who carries her now.

See, just a few days ago the tone got a little more somber.
Hope still anchors, but facing the strength they will need with realization of its magnitude is required.

As tests come and go each hundredth of a percentage is everything.
And a recent result held too much of what threatens her.
And yet,
they walk forward,
fighting even harder,
with even more faith than before.
This is just one more step in their journey.

See the film of a day in Kit's life below.

Meet Kit {February 2015}

Mondays come and go mundane. After tricycle weekends, they're often without thought. Another morning of settling back into meetings and busy and juggling. And this one started just the same. But with a pause over purpled bruises and a lump that on a different day could have been attributed to a simple childhood cold, a mother's intuition, quick visit to the doctor and within hours their life had changed.

Less than 24 hours after the initial appointment, Kit was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and underwent surgery to implant her port for the first dose of chemotherapy which she received promptly after the surgery, as well as a spinal tap for bone marrow samples.

Their journey is a hopeful one but not without fight. 86% of Kit's blood cells are leukemia cells. Blood transfusions, hemoglobin count and steroids will be a part of this family's daily vocabulary, their living, for a long time to come. Where her momma used to tousle wayward toddler strands, she'll soon run her fingers over softer, smoother skin. And, expenses, they will be many.

Her dad, Corey, posted as his little girl dosed off for the first time within strange hospital walls, "Scared, angry, afraid, heart broken..these are some of the words that could describe us the past 24 hours. 'Alone' is not one of them."

And so, from one parent to another, from one family to the next, I share these photos with a full heart of thanks in advance for the prayers they will receive.

Please pass her story on, share stories of her "fighting Irish" spunk,
but, most importantly,
be prepared to watch how this little girl fights her battle with joy, strength and triumph.

See the introduction to Kit's story in film below.