A number of years ago, when we were in the thick of reactions, hospitalizations and testing, trying to figure out what was wrong with our little one, I struggled to find a church home where I could find peace, solace, understanding and renewed faith. I struggled, because it seemed the churches we visited were set up for neurotypical children and families with no health issues or concerns. At the height of my frustration and as I was ready to throw in the towel, I happened upon this blog, Autism and the Church, and instantly I knew I was not alone in my religious journey.
After I read Thinking Moms Revolution book, I further connected with the author of that blog, Melanie (aka Booty Kicker) and found such comfort in reading her blogs about special needs, autism and church and faith. This blog hit another nerve, after moving to a new city and starting our search for a new church home all over again, and being met with candy, cookies, artificial everything, EVERY SUNDAY, with a child who cannot eat any of it (due to allergies, intolerance and metabolic concerns), again I was not alone in my struggles… BK had been there and felt that. Melanie’s words and blogs have really changed how I view religion, faith and church… I have a strong desire to be part of the solution now, and not complain about the problem. While I still haven’t figured out exactly how I fit into God’s plan to help other in the church religious realm, I do know that he has brought some amazing people into my life recently (including Melanie) that have similar concerns and desires to make His love know to ALL our children, not just the ones who can sit quietly in a pew!
Well, tonight I am writing this blog because it is time to give back and pay it forward. Melanie, who has already fought and beat breast cancer and bone cancer, is facing cancer for a third time. My heart is broken that this is happening again to such a sweet, faithful and caring soul. Many in the autism (and beyond) communities are rallying together for a fundraiser for Melanie and her family, to help with treatment and with care for her autistic son while she heals.
Please consider doing what you can, be it prayers, good wishes, words of encouragement or a donation to her fundraiser.
Text from fundraiser:
Thinking Mom Melanie Baldwin suffers spine, liver cancer after having beat breast and bone. Son suffers profound autism: please donate!
An amazing woman by the name of Melanie Hamilton Baldwin changed the face of autism and cancer culture by telling her story to thousands as “Booty Kicker” in the Thinking Moms’ Revolution’s book Autism Beyond the Spectrum. Having once beaten breast and bone (hip) cancer; she now suffers liver, spine, and bone cancer in her other hip. For anyone who knows Melanie, two words come to mind. “Faithful” and “Godly.” As she struggles to overcome her current issues, her severely affected son Luke, still requires 24/7 care and attention as he is self-injurious and quite ill, suffering the lingering effects of severe autism. Please consider donating generously to help her family care for Luke as she regains her health, and please help their family establish financial security that will help them thrive during her absence.
***Note to other Bloggers… If you would like to help by writing a blog, Give Forward is willing to donate $ to this fundraiser for each blog post written and shared about Melanie’s fundraiser. For more information, leave a comment or send a message to us.
Editor’s Note- It is with extreme saddness that I post this. Melanie passed away last evening- October,, 5, 2014. Her family still needs our prayers, love and support- financial and otherwise. RIP Melanie- thank you for sharing your faith with all of us.