Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Giving is Awesome" Winner

I was amazed at the number of entries that I had for the Giving is Awesome giveaway! I had to ask my friends to help me vote for a winner because there was no way I could do it on my own. I thought that by having others I trust read the emails that this would be an easy feat. I would tally up the votes and tada- a winner. Not so easy! It was tough on them too. But, finally a decision was made and the particular family that has been awarded with the "Giving is Awesome" package is "The Mason Family". Here is the email that was sent to MLP by someone who would like to remain anonymous...

"I know a young couple, Todd and Rebecca Mason, who are going through an extremely difficult time in their lives. When I saw your blog post, I immediately thought of them. Todd is in his 30s and has had heart trouble for some time. He had to quit his job with ECB last year because of complications. He has had several procedures and tried several different approaches to treat his condition, none of which worked. He was told a few months ago that a heart transplant was one of his only remaining options. He and Becca decided the transplant was what they wanted. Todd has been in and out of the hospital for several months and has recently spent a great amount of time at UNC hospital in Chapel Hill.

Just last month Todd had a LVAD procedure done, which I am told is a stepping stone to receive a heart transplant. Once this procedure was done, Todd had to be removed from the transplant list for 30 days, but will be put back on it as soon as that 30 day period is up. He will be close to the top of the list, but I've been told that his transplant will be hard to match. He currently has to have a battery pack or electric power hooked to him at all times to run the LVAD. I think this device actually pumps his heart for him. [They recently had to leave their home that they've lived in for the past 7-8 years.] They moved to Greenville last summer so that Todd could be closer to his doctors. Becca continued to work back home at Social Services, spending Monday - Friday there and the weekends with Todd and their girls in Greenville. Todd and Becca have 2 girls, Porsha is about 13 and Mary is about 7. Becca had Porsha when she and Todd got married and Todd adopted her. Once Todd's condition worsened in November, he was in the hospital at UNC for long stays, sometimes 2-3 weeks at the time. Becca didn't feel like she could continue her job back home and be away from Todd, so she opted to take a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act. Last month Becca's request for additional FMLA time was denied and she resigned from her job. I know that they have had financial struggles since they have both had to quit their jobs. Not only has this been a very difficult time for Todd and Becca, but also for their families. Todd's mother and father have taken care of the girls while Becca and Todd were in the hospital. Todd's sister has also been very helpful for them.

Even though Todd has struggled so much with his condition, he continues to have a positive attitude and a sense of humor. Becca has been by his side and I can’t imagine what she must be going through as well. She continually updates all of their friends and family through facebook posts. I know a photo shoot may be difficult to schedule with them since they are going through so much right now, but I had to nominate them. I know this couple because I have worked with Becca and we became friends during that time. She and Todd are both very sweet, loving and faithful people. It breaks my heart that they have to go through this at such a young age."

Rebecca and Todd have won a session with Megan Lane Photography as well as a print package to include: one 8x10, four 5x7s, and 16 wallets (valued at $175).

Thank you to all who entered a deserving family! This wont be the last Giving is Awesome giveaway, so stay tuned! XOXO

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