We LOVE creative fundraisers! This is Lenn — a beard-loving man. But he loves his sons, Owen and Landry, even more. The Johnson family challenged their friends to help them raise $1,000 for SMA research — and if they did, Lenn would shave that beard. To Lenn's surprise, the goal was blown away in just a matter of days!
From Lenn's wife, Gayle:
Our oldest son, Bentley, was challenged to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As he was getting ready to do it we talked about how ALS is like SMA but in adults. “I want to come up with something for SMA”, he said. As we were talking Lenn was over playing with Owen and said “I'll shave my beard if we can raise $1000 for SMA.” I don't think he thought I would act on this but as soon as I got the chance I posted it on Facebook. I knew after I posted it he couldn't take it back.
Our SMA journey began about 6 1/2 years ago with the birth of our third child, Owen. We had no idea what SMA was, no idea that this could happen to us!! We hoped to go to Primary Children's where they could 'fix' our baby so we could take him home and get back to our normal lives. We soon found out that our 'normal' lives would now have to find a new 'normal'.
Almost two and half years later, our son, Landry was born with the same low muscle tone. Twenty three days later he returned to his Heavenly Father because his little weak body could no longer keep him here.
We feel very blessed to still have Owen with us, he is a fighter! I would give anything to be able to see him walk, run and play with his older siblings or even get on the bus in the morning to go to school. Instead we go to him, in his bed to play, sing, smile and visit with him. To visit little Landry we have to go to the cemetery or sit quietly to feel his spirit around us.
We would love for a cure to be found so that no other family ever has to deal with this!
THANK YOU doesn't even come close to expressing the gratitude I have felt through this fundraiser! I really can't believe we made it! We couldn't have done it without such wonderful people in our lives. I don't think Lenn thought we could raise that much. You all surprised him.
Way to go Lenn for being such a good sport. Thank you Johnson family! $1,250 has been raised because of you and this money makes a big difference. Because of your creativity and the generosity of your friends and family, that is more time in the lab and more researchers to focus on this brutal disease.
Anything can become an opportunity to raise funds for theGSF to help support our mission to end SMA – absolutely anything. NEVER GIVE UP.