Monday, October 24, 2011

Please Join Us for a Photo Fundraiser

Gather your friends or family and pose for portraits taken by Brian Kratzer, a photojournalism professor at MU with more than 20 years of experience.

Not only will you have an updated family portrait for the holidays, you’ll also be supporting research for eosinophilic disorders. All proceeds will be given to the CURED Foundation. The suggested donation to participate is $100. You’ll have 30 minutes for as many pictures and poses as you would like.

We’ll have some props, and you are welcome to bring your own. You may even have time for a quick change of clothes. You’ll be photographed in front of a studio backdrop.
A week after the event, you’ll receive a CD with all the images color corrected and cropped for a variety of print sizes. The images will also be uploaded to Kodak Gallery to make ordering prints even easier. You’ll own all the images, so you can take them to any print place and make as many copies as you want. This really is a fabulous deal!
Here are a few examples of photos from a previous fundraiser:

All day Nov. 5, 6 & 13

MU campus - Lee Hills Hall, room 101.

Please email your preferred time and date to or call 573.356.2346.

Why are we raising money for the CURED Foundation?
Because my kids want to eat real food.

Clutching a dandelion with both hands, my oldest daughter closed her eyes, took a deep breath and recited a secret wish. She exhaled quickly and smiled as all the seeds floated away, a sure sign that her dream would come true. “What is your wish?” I asked, already knowing the answer. She whispered:

"I wish that I could eat food."

Kedzie and her three siblings (Zoe, Owen and Zackary) have eosinophilic disorders that cause their bodies to confuse food protein with parasites. When they eat, their bodies release a type of white blood cell called eosinophils that travel to the esophagus, stomach or intestines. The eosinophils release toxins, and the pain is agonizing. Medications that are helping other patients have not worked for our kids, so the only way to avoid pain is to avoid food. This means they can’t have a single grape, a bite of bread or a cup of juice. They are allowed ice, water, sugar (see photo of Kedzie's sugar lollipop birthday cake) and a special amino acid formula that tastes awful.

Living with these restrictions is challenging. My kids want to eat. Brian and I desperately want them to eat. You can help.

We are hosting a fundraiser for the
CURED Foundation, which gives 100% of donations to researchers. CURED has donated more than $2.5 million so far. The money is needed because few grants are available in this field, and many questions remain.

Doctors don’t know what causes the disease. They have recently discovered a genetic link, but it is NOT common for all siblings in a family to be affected. The number of cases are growing, and researchers now estimate that 1 in 1,000 people have eosinophilic esophagitis, the most common form.

Although life is not easy for my kids, I am mindful that it could be much worse. Every day I feel blessed to have four funny, active, noisy munchkins. But like Kedzie, I often wish that they could just eat food. It’s important to show them that we can do more than wish - we can take action to raise money for the researchers. This is our third year to host a fundraiser, and it’s our first in Columbia. Please consider participating or making a donation to CURED in their honor. Every penny helps.

Last night I asked Kedzie what she would wish for if her disease were gone and she no longer needed to wish about food. She thought for several minutes. I expected her to announce a more typical childhood desire, such as a puppy or a trip to Disney World. Her answer surprised and saddened me:

“I would wish to never get another disease again.”

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