Take 2 Seconds to Donate $10 via PayPal to Feel Good & Receive My Illustration in Honor of Baby Saoirse

Friends of mine, Mike and Kezia Fitzgerald, lost their 18-month old girl to cancer a week ago today.

I’ve been so encouraged by donations they’ve been receiving since my blog post yesterday.

The warm emails I’ve received from people I don’t even know have been so uplifting. I hope Mike and Kezia know how much people care.

But I gotta be honest, I would like to see more. A LOT more.

And I know you can take 2 seconds to make a super quick and easy PayPal donation of just 10 bucks to the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund.

In honor of her memory, I drew a 5” x 7” print of Saoirse dressed up in costume as Uncle Fester, which is who she was for Halloween this year. I also drew her faithful, loving, and loyal dog, Fallon, a beautiful boxer of the Fitzgeralds.

If it matters to you, my illustrations have appeared in work for Southern Comfort, Pei Wei Asian Diner, VeeV Açaí Spirit, and Grolsch Brewery, just to name a few. (Haha, yes, I’m aware a lot of them are in the alcoholic beverage category. Yay! But that’s for another conversation.)

What I’m asking you to do is the following:

  1. Make a minimum of a $10 donation to the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund via their Facebook page or by sending a check to:

    Fitzgerald Cancer Fund

    Care of People’s United Bank

    1 Conant St.

    Danvers, MA 01923 

  2. Email me a copy or screenshot of your PayPal receipt or check at aireen@aerialardour.com, subject line: Saoirse and Fallon Print. You can blur out or black out any personal financial info. Basically, prove that you’ve donated.
  3. Email me your mailing address so I can send you my 5” x 7” signed and numbered art print of Saoirse and Fallon.
  4. This last step is a bonus, but it’s probably pretty important: pass this on. Post this link on Facebook, tweet the crap out of it, whatevs. We all know how powerful word of mouth can be. (Just ask your gossipy neighbor, right? ;P)

And if cash is way too tight, which I completely understand, but you still want to express your support and condolence, feel free to visit the the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund’s Facebook page and write on their Wall.

I’ve been keeping up with her dad, Mike’s, blog, and it just breaks my heart. He writes about how angry he is, and how he feels like he has failed his little girl somehow… that she died too soon and that maybe they missed something.

I believe they did everything that was humanly possible.

Let’s help the Fitzgeralds keep up their faith.

It’s easy to think, “Well, there’s nothing I can do – but I’m praying for them.” For just 10 bucks, you can feel like you’ve done something AND you can get a sweet illustration of a lil girl in happier times with her loving dog. ‘Tis the season. Let’s get to it.

Help me prove baby Saoirse did not lose to cancer in vain.

Happy Monday, guys. I’m sorry to start your week – Christmas week – with this news:

Last week on Tuesday morning December 13, Saoirse Craig Fitzgerald died of cancer. She was 18 months old.

Saoirse (SHEER-suh) fought neuroblastoma, a disease that turns the nervous system into tumors, for 7 arduous months.

Saoirse with her glowing smile around the time of diagnosis in spring 2011.

She was robbed of her life, and her parents were robbed of seeing their beautiful girl grow up.

She was robbed of the chance to learn that her dad, Mike, loves riding his Harley around town and that his mom, Kezia, is a wonderfully talented photographer. (Kezia, by the way, fought cancer herself and was diagnosed just months before Saoirse was, with an unrelated cancer. Yeah.)

Saoirse was robbed of the stories that Mike, Kezia, and I would’ve told about the classes the three of us roughed through at Columbia. I would’ve told her that her parents’ warm personalities, genuine smiles, and infectious laughs made it way too easy to become fast friends with them.

My life stayed in Chicago, and Mike and Kezia started their lives together in Boston. We kept in touch for a bit and then lost touch, unfortunately. The next time they came into my life again was this past summer, when Kezia and I found each other on Facebook. I did what any person who becomes new FB friends with someone does: I did a quick check of her profile and Wall.

“What have the Fitzgeralds been up to?”

I learned that Kezia and her daughter have been fighting cancer together.

I also learned that both Mike and Kezia and stopped working in order to fully commit themselves to Saoirse’s grueling chemo and treatment schedule.

Oh man.

I saw that both Mike and Kezia blogged about their ordeal. I, along with thousands of other supporters, particularly kept up with Kezia’s blog: New Mom… New Cancer. I also kept up with them via the Facebook page of the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund.

I was devastated to learn of Saoirse losing her battle to cancer last week.

There I was, sobbing in the middle of a coffee shop. (And this was right after I saw Ron Howard and Bryce Dallas Howard’s tear-jerker, ‘when you find me’ – MAN, what an emotional wreck of a day…)

As Kezia wrote in her latest blog post, “…as hard as she fought and as much as she wanted to keep going, she knew that she was too tired and she just wanted to sleep.”

Maybe it’s no coincidence that Saoirse’s name means, “freedom.”

She’s free of needles, free of chemo, free of crying… free of pain.

Sure, things seemed really grim during the fight, but I’m the girl who always saw that the bad guys were going to die in the end, and the good guys would win and win big. After all that fighting against the disease (which, I have never heard of before hearing about Saoirse), all that treatment, all that pain that the Fitzgeralds endured…

…all for Saoirse to die.

I had to do something. So I took action.

I’m not running a marathon, or a celebrity-laden TV special, but I’m contributing in the best way I know how:

Through my art.

But I need YOUR help to do it.

I drew a 5” x 7” print of Saoirse dressed up in costume as Uncle Fester. I also drew her faithful, loving, and loyal dog, Fallon, a beautiful boxer of the Fitzgeralds.

This is YOUR chance – OUR chance – to do right by Saoirse and to not make her death be in vain.

Mike and Kezia are determined to keep fighting, and hell yeah, so am I.

What I’m asking you to do is the following:

  1. Make a minimum of a $10 donation to the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund via their Facebook page or by sending a check to:

    Fitzgerald Cancer Fund

    Care of People’s United Bank

    1 Conant St.

    Danvers, MA 01923 

  2. Email me a copy or screenshot of your PayPal receipt or check at aireen@aerialardour.com, subject line: Saoirse and Fallon Print. You can blur out or black out any personal financial info. Basically, prove that you’ve donated.
  3. Email me your mailing address so I can send you my 5” x 7” signed and numbered art print of Saoirse and Fallon.
  4. This last step is a bonus, but it’s probably pretty important: pass this on.

And if cash is way too tight, which I completely understand, but you still want to express your support and condolence, feel free to visit the the Fitzgerald Cancer Fund’s Facebook page and write on their Wall.

They have no idea I’m doing this. I just want to do it.

Will you help me?

ABOUT THE PRINT:

When Mike and Kezia started talking about how their little girl would look like without hair, they really liked the idea of dressing her up as Uncle Fester from The Addams Family for Halloween this year – so they did! Kezia wrote about this in her blog post here. (OMG, seriously, just go there to check out her pics as Uncle Fester. CUTE!)

One thing that really inspired me and actually surprised me while viewing the Fitzgeralds’ photos was seeing the great number of smiles they enjoyed together despite their ordeal. You could see how much they were cherishing those tiny moments: a soft, smiling gaze while Saoirse held Curious George; a laugh while they traipsed through Times Square on vacation; a kiss before another round of chemo.

I had never met Saoirse, but goddammit, I was thinking about her every day. I still am. Every time my temper flared up for no real good reason or whenever things didn’t go as expected, I would feel a tug in my heart, reminding me, “Hey. Chill. Your life is wonderful.” And that little voice is always there, but lately, that little voice is also accompanied with Saoirse’s face – like she’s telling me herself.

WHY YOU SHOULD HELP:

She may have lost her own physical battle to neuroblastoma, but we can keep fighting it for any other child and family around the world enduring the same thing.

If that’s a little too broad, well, the Fitzgeralds have also had mounting medical bills to pay. With both Mike and Kezia out of work, they’ve been relying on kind donations to get them through it all. And Saoirse may be gone from this earth, but her medical bills sure aren’t.

And if anything, this is pretty sweet little print. I mean come on – a little girl dressed up as Uncle Fester with a cute dog?? Seriously.

Thanks in advance for reading. Love and awesomeness to you all. ^_^

Also: Special thanks goes to Matt Wagner and his amazing team at Infocomm Print. It’s because of his generosity and phenomenal work that you’ll be receiving beautifully printed pieces featuring our angel Saoirse.