I want to share with you something very dear to my heart and also ask for your thoughts and prayers for my friends Brian and Joanna Perry this week and for the upcoming days to come.
When I first met Brian he and his business partner, Ryan were looking for a new image for their current business to identify with and a new web presence. They had a huge vision that matched their sense of style and uniqueness perfectly and I could not have been more excited for this opportunity. With a marketing background and a huge passion for what he did (like myself), Brian and I instantly hit it off as business colleagues that developed into a friendship shortly after.
Right before I met Brian he and his wife, Joanna Perry’s unborn son had been diagnosed with anencephaly. Anencephaly is a neural tube defect that occurs when the cephalic (head) end of the neural tube fails to close. It occurs in approximately 1 out of every 1,000 pregnancies. The statistics with babies diagnosed with anencephaly are the following: 7% die in utero, 18% die during birth, 26% lived between 1 and 60 minutes, 27% lived between 1 and 5 days, and 5% lived 6 or more days. The termination rate of babies diagnosed with anencephaly is up to 90%. When they found out on April 19th , that their son had this condition you can imagine their devastation. They had the choice to abort the baby but against most medical recommendations chose to keep their son and put the decision in God’s hands.
After a few meetings with Brian, I wanted to bring up what his family was going through but just could not find the right words to say. I wanted to let him know that I knew his story and thought he and his wife were an inspiration and I have thought and prayed for them daily since I heard of their devastating story but putting that into words was nearly impossible.
Brian and I would talk daily for sometimes an hour at a time developing their new business image and plan (Perryfield Films). One day in early June, Brian called and I could tell something was off. Brian is a very positive guy; He never seems to have a bad day and if he did you would never be able to tell. I asked Brian if everything was OK. He explained he was having a rough day and then opened up to me about Colin Patrick. In this conversation, Brian explained to me that he had never imagined he and his wife would be going through such a tragic matter and some days are harder than others, today was a hard day. He knew that it was not in his nature to be negative and he wanted to change his outlook. He went on to say that he and Joanna wanted to reach out to others and share their story with the world. Because anencephaly is so rare, finding resources and support is very difficult. Brian and Joanna’s unselfish vision was to create a website which provides the resources, support, and answers to others that might be going through a similar situation as theirs. I just listened to Brian’s vision and told him I would be honored to help him in every way that I could. That was only the beginning of www.carryingcolin.com.
Shortly after my conversation with Brian, I got the honor of meeting Joanna. I was really anxious leading up to this because once again, I just did not know how I could convey to her how heavy my heart was for her and Brian. Within minutes of meeting Joanna, all of my anxiety was gone. I felt a sense of calmness. (I like to believe it was Colin’s presence in her tiny little belly letting me know that the world is so much bigger than I ever could have imagined.) Not once did they say the word “I,” the entire conversation was about their experience as a couple and family and their love for Colin and how they wanted to do this to honor him. You could just see the love between the three of them and it made my heart smile. My life was instantly put into perspective and I knew right then there was a reason this family had come into my life.
The 3, or should I say 4 of us worked for the next several months creating www.carryingcolin.com. Brian and Joanna wanted every detail to be a perfect reflection of their family and the best representation possible for their precious son, and so did I. I have never been more honored to create a website and more touched by two people and I hope that this blog post you will help you spread the word about this amazing family.
Colin’s due date is tomorrow, October 23rd. I can’t imagine the rollercoaster of emotions my new friends are feeling. I will be thinking and praying these next 24 hours and days to come like I have never before and ask that you do the same. If you would like, you can donate a puzzle piece to help support this family. As of this morning, they were 100 pieces away from their goal of 1,000. Every little bit counts. You can find the link on their website: www.carryingcolin.com.
Here’s a picture of the Perry family just last week! You can find others on the website as well.
Lots of <3 to the Perry Family!