Sunday, April 29, 2007

Today we received the wonderful news that the documentary "Portraits of Hope" has won the Toronto Documentary Film contest. Not only did the team receive the grand prize, but also took two other prizes for their work. We will hopefully hear soon that it is playing in the Seattle Film Festival and possibly other film festivals around the globe. Jon Ward and his crew are such a wonderful group and I am touched to my core that they took this topic to the top. This seven-minute documentary features Victor and Charlotte, and the mission of Soulumination.

I am sharing a second child today from the NTSAD Conference. This little beauty is often referred to as "Little" Elise, with our Soul child Elise Ten Berge being called "Big" Elise since she is older and more grown up than this new Elise. Little Elise is also battling Tay Sachs. You can see that she has a charming younger sister and adoring parents. I was especially touched by the fact that this dad is the full-time caregiver, and he definitely had a magic touch with his daughters. Elise's mom is in our military and is another woman of amazing strength, again showing the essence of unconditional love. You all must remember that these angel children with Tay Sachs cannot communicate in the regular ways, so all of this parenting is done without the usual payback of kisses and hugs. It was an honor to work with this family, and you will see more about Elise on the gallery once we get everything mailed out and bios in place.

Since I mentioned "Big" Elise, it seemed the time to share a wonderful gift and huge surprise that I received from Sarah Mattingly shortly after arriving in Boston. She had been in a bookstore and picked up a book entitled Miami Ink, Marked for Greatness, and sure enough there is Elise's dad, John, featured with his tattoo that was shown on Miami Ink. It was such fun as Elise's family didn't know about his inclusion in this book either. I am posting a shot of how we displayed the book with Elise's family photo at the conference

I salute my friend Caty Strong for her efforts in putting together a special conference on quality end-of-life care. I had written that I was to speak and present the Soul photos, and it was a wonderful opportunity also for me to learn more about the position and efforts of the medical community around issues of life support. I met a professor at UW who is giving Soulumination a footnote in his upcoming book, a therapist who is related to a good friend of mine from Port Townsend and who recently lost her first grandchild in a still birth, many social workers and doctors who know patients that fit the profile for both children and adults of Soulumination, and a neighbor of our first angel baby, Joey. I know we will be working with some of the patients of the attendees very soon. Any work done from this conference will be held in a special place in my heart as Caty put this conference together to honor her father, a good friend of our family.

Please remember to use the "Good Search" site to do your Internet exploring and sign up giving Soulumination as your nonprofit of choice.

I close with humility and thankfulness that the work of Soul would capture the attention of film judges in Toronto. In love and peace, Lynette