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Monday, December 15, 2008


Drew, Dana, and their beautiful daughter Maren were this year's winners of my free Thanksgiving session and were nominated by their best friend (and OWP client) Nicole.

Nicole nominated her best friend Dana on the eve of Thanksgiving. I remember it so clearly. It was late, I was sitting in bed on my laptop, waiting for my bread dough to rise. It was quiet at my house as everyone was asleep. I was feeling the rush and stress of the holidays and I was tired and maybe feeling a little whiny. I read Nicole's nomination for her best friend Dana and I literally sat in my bed SOBBING (I'm tearing up typing this!). I was so touched by their story and Nicole's loving words. At that moment, I felt so completely *THANKFUL*. It just really made me think about life, how precious it is, and God's wonderful miracles. It taught me to *BELIEVE* against all odds that amazing things can happen!

Dana was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma at the young age of 24. She fought through chemo and radiation, lost her hair, and eventually was given a clean bill of health. Drew and Dana were very excited and wanted nothing more than to start a family. Unfortunately, Dana's Hodgkins came back and she had to battle another stronger round of chemo and radiation. After also undergoing a stem cell transplant and a long recovery, her dreams of starting a family were shattered. She was basically told that she had no chances of ever becoming pregnant. They were devastated and started looking into adoption. Against all odds, they found out that Dana was pregnant and soon delivered a beautiful healthy girl!

(this is an excerpt from Nicole's nomination)
"... Maren Elizabeth was born on April 6 after a beautiful, healthy pregnancy and a drug-free water birth. She is a gorgeous baby and a true miracle. After Dana got pregnant, I couldn't help but jump on the band wagon and be preggo with my best friend. Bridget is 6 weeks 5 days younger than Maren. They'll be best friends...they have no choice.

Long story not so short. I'm nominating my friends Dana, Drew & their beautiful baby girl for photos because they could never afford to do so on their own. Because they have been through more than any young couple should. Because they love each other like crazy. Because Dana is an amazing mother to Maren and loves her daughter to beat the bandits. And because I love them dearly. I hope they win."

Thank you Nicole! Drew and Dana... it was such a pleasure working with you! Your story has truly touched my life and it will never be the same. :)


Sheila Peltier said...

Brought tears to my eyes, just beautiful!!! What a precious gift for you Drew and Dana and so well deserved! Thanks for sharing with us!!

Laurie said...

Great story - and super sweet baby! OMG look at those cheeks!

I hope the blessings continue to multiply for this family - and yours Olivia!