Day 347- Jennifer Cleary & Tweet 4 Cams

I know, I know. I’ve been grossly neglecting you guys! I’m going crazy here. I’ve been working on getting photos up on Facebook, and I’m currently editing a video that I can’t wait to share with you all.

I’ve discovered, however, that editing video is not as easy as it seems, even on a Mac. But I’ll post it someday, I promise!

Right now I want to tell you briefly about two awesome heroes I had the privilege of meeting last night. I had heard recently that Jennifer Cleary and her little brother Cameron “Cams” were going to be in Orlando for only a few days. I’ve read Jenn’s blog, Tweet4Cams, and I was so anxious to meet them!

After much calculation on both our parts, we agreed to meet at Downtown Disney yesterday after dinner.

Cams was born with a rare disorder known as infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy (INAD), and as a result, he cannot walk or talk. At 11 years old, the doctors believe Cams has the mental capacity of an 18-month-old, but are not entirely sure.

Jenn started an amazing blog in an attempt to figure out what Cams might be thinking in different situations. The blog soon transformed into something entirely different– a crusade to shed light on the rare disorder Cams lives with, so that others might be educated about it.

Tweet4Cams is a moving and heartfelt testimony such as only a devoted sister could write. In the past few years, Jenn has become involved with fundraising efforts with the Make-A-Wish Foundation‘s Michigan chapter.

I initially “met” Jenn via Twitter, through our mutual friend, Jenn Bechard. I don’t think I realized right away Jenn C.’s connection to our “community” of people with different challenges, until one day I decided to check out her blog.

I was blown away by Jenn’s determination, so similar to my own, to reach out to others, educate them, and make a difference.

Having graduated from the University of Michigan in May with a degree in Communications, Jenn says she is now eager to work with a non-profit organization. She already has the experience of an internship with Make-A-Wish under her belt.

For me, meeting Jenn and Cams was a no-brainer; I simply had to! When I finally saw them in person for the very first time, I was initially wary of doing anything that might overwhelm Cams. I was so moved and delighted when Cams smiled at me! We got along great, except for the fact that he has [shamelessly] stolen my heart. (He kept trying to take my water bottle, too, he he! I guess he was thirsty.)

Spending some quality time with Jenn and Cams was one of the best experiences I’ve had. I later got to meet the whole family, and their parents and siblings are among the most extraordinary people I’ve met. They’re all so down-to-earth, bubbly, willing to chat it up for a while with my mother and me. We were able to share how mutually inspired we were by one another, and it was awesome to be an encouragement to one another.

Meeting Cams reaffirmed what’s important for me– to make a difference, no matter how small or large. It is my goal to be the cause of some of those million-watt grins like only Cams can give!

Love you both,

Laurita ♥

 

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