Love For Lewiston is a foundation that was created by the Olstad family + made official on what would have been Lewiston's first birthday on May 25th 2017. The foundation was created to raise money and awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), to help families going through similar tragedies and to make sure that they were aware that they are not alone and to help the Olstad's share the lessons that Lewiston taught them during is short time on earth.
You can read their whole story and everything that the foundation encompasses at www.loveforlewiston.ca but make sure you have some tissue but tears will be shed. You have been warned.
Lewiston danced his way into heaven on November 22nd, 2016 in his mama's arms. Since then, the Olstad's have vowed to choose movement, bring joy and spread love in Lewiston's honour. They have openly shared their struggle of dealing with the grief that comes along with losing a child but trying to move forward at the same time and living their best lives each and every day. I have read instagram posts and cried along with Jessica over this past year and more as she tries to live her best life for Lewiston, for Swayzie, for her husband and her friends and family. This is not our practice life and we must live intentionally and fully each and every day. Lewiston and all the other sweet babes taken way too soon have taught us that.
The heart logo was designed by friends of the Olstad's and is now recoginized around the world of what Lewiston represented and what he taught them and really all of us, in both his short life and even more so after he danced his way to heaven. The heart encompasses their motto of:
For 2017, the foundation set a goal to raise $100,000 for SMA research. They are SO CLOSE to this goal and have various fundraising options available to get that push over the edge in the next 5 weeks. They have pins,tank tops and sweatshirts available on their website right now in both kids and adult sizing. They just finished up a cocktail event where several fantastic local businesses created special Love For Lewiston Cocktails and donated all the money to the foundation. A local business, Apostle Boutique designed a necklace with the Lewiston heart and had it for sale to help get them closer to their goal. There is a dance class at The Sweat Lab hosted by Karleen Valencia on Friday night at 7pm. All proceeds will go towards the foundation and there will be full sizes on all of their merchandise for you to purchase. There are so many different ways to donate: You can purchase some apparel for your whole family or you can just flat out make a cash donation or you can buy a necklace. And I know they will have even more great ways to raise money for research.
When I picked up my package from Jessica on Monday, it was so wonderful to finally get to meet her. I have been following along on this journey for so long and even know we have never met, I felt like I knew her so well. She has been so open and real as she tries to move forward in her life while dealing with the grief and sadness of losing her sweet baby boy. Honestly, I have no idea how she does it but every single day she inspires me. She inspires me to love my kids, to love my husband and to love my family and friends. She inspires me to not let anything get me down. She inspires me to live my best life each day. Some days it is hard to do that but I try really hard.
There is an old wives tale that says that everything happens for a reason. I am not sure I have ever believed that until I joined the Olstad's on their journey with Lewiston. Lewiston was brought to them for such a short time to teach them about love and the value of life and so that they could share these lessons with us. I am grateful to have come across the instagram site and that I was able to help in some small way by purchasing an item from the foundation to help them reach that goal. I will wear my shirt with love and joy and think of Lewiston each time that I do. If you can help out the Love For Lewiston Foundation at all, please go to their website: loveforlewiston.ca or you can find them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/loveforlewiston. Every little bit goes a long way to help finding a cure for SMA.