Our journey and passion for finding healing and recovery for Chase (and myself) has merged with my passion for painting and writing. I knew when I quit my job earlier this year that writing and painting were both passions I wanted to explore further, but also wanted to have a purpose for doing both. Helping people by sharing our journey has always been one of the main reasons for my writing. When I started painting again, though, I wasn’t sure what it would look like or how it would evolve. I’ve prayed for months for clarity and “purpose” with how to grow this passion for painting and yesterday it came.
For years, longer than not, Chase has been on a very clean diet (you can read more about that here). That was the first step we took when we learned about all of the underlying inflammation contributing to his Autism symptoms. Since then, we have done A LOT of testing, treatments, protocols (most not covered by insurance) to address underlying issues: inflammation, auto-immune, Lyme, heavy metal toxicity and more. A couple of years ago we began researching stem cell therapy when Duke was enrolling children for an ongoing study using umbilical cord blood stem cells for Autism treatment. We applied, along with most all of our local friends who had a child with Autism as well, but we didn’t get in (due to the fact that Chase is non-verbal) and were devastated. We soon realized it wasn’t in God’s plan for Chase at that time though.
Last spring I started learning about another option for stem cell therapy in Panama (The Stem Cell Institute) that treats Autism, among many other things, with umbilical cord stem cells. We applied, got accepted and were seriously considering going, but around that time I began to have symptoms of Lyme. We knew Chase had chronic Lyme disease, so I got tested and it came back showing I was positive for previous and current Lyme and co-infections as well. We put Panama on the back burner, knowing that these issues needed to be addressed first and started researching Lyme doctors instead. I found a LLMD (Lyme Literate Medical Doctor) in Philadelphia and Chase and I both have been seeing him for almost a year now.
When we began treating the Lyme I knew it would be a long journey and not a quick fix treatment, but I committed to a year with this doctor/protocol before exploring other options and that year is coming to an end soon.
WHERE WE ARE NOW:
Over the last several weeks going to Panama has been pulling at my heart strings once again. My gut is telling me that the timing is right now, and God has shown me countless times, through conversations and coincidences, that we should give it a shot. This is where the “purpose” for my paintings come into play…
The cost for each treatment and trip to Panama (which will likely need to be 3-4 trips every 8-12 months) are close to $20,000 (not covered by insurance at all), money we don’t just have available to go. In discussing our options, I had the idea to use the sale of my paintings as a way to raise money towards a trip (hopefully early this summer) for Chase to receive the stem cell therapy.
I have created an Instagram and Facebook account – Maggie Herndon Art (@maggieherndonart) that I will be sharing both custom pieces and art work for sale – for a cause! All purchases will go towards getting Chase to Panama, as many times as God allows. So please know that the paintings you are receiving are going to a greater cause, very near and dear to our hearts!
If you are interested in any custom art work please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM (direct message) me through Instagram or Facebook.
*Disclaimer: Stem cell therapy can be a controversial topic; however, The Stem Cell Institute strictly uses donated umbilical cords that have undergone extensive testing and screening.