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Monday, November 4, 2019

Beautiful People #EndNF by @JacquieRogers #KindnessMatters

Strong and Beautiful

My daughter and I have had quite a lesson about Facebook this week and it's been a heckuva ride.  First, a little background.

Mercedes in kindergarten
Mercedes Christesen was born with neurofibromatosis (NF1), spontaneous mutation, and is active in the NF community to raise both awareness and research money for the Children's Tumor Foundation.  NF is more than a disfiguring disorder--it causes pain, severe itching, can cause blindness, deafness, cancer, and many other issues, as well as learning disorders.  NF is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.

In Mercedes's case, she has some dyslexia, lots of tumors all over her body, inside and out, to the point where she can't stand or sit for any period of time.  There are many issues with these painful tumors that others might not think about.  Wearing anything restrictive would be one.  Bras and anything tight are out of the question.  Shoes are a huge problem because she has tumors on top and on the soles.  For her, walking is like walking barefoot over sharp gravel. 

But with all this, she is the sunniest person I have ever met.  She's a born optimist and she never lets anything get her down--at least, not for long.  That's why I wrote a book using her personality. 

So here's the Facebook post that has us all stunned.

That's 185 reactions, 227 comments, and 200 shares.

I created this graphic in 2017 for NF Awareness Month (which is May) and we both posted it on our Facebook pages.  I think my post got 30 or 40 reactions and one share--and that was from my other daughter.  Mercedes posted the graphic and got a dozen or so likes and no shares.  We're both at a loss as to why her repost went viral. Well, pretty viral anyway. LOL.  But not only has it been shared from her page, it's also been shared from several groups she's in.  So all told, over 300 shares as of this writing.

The more shares she gets, the more awareness for NF, so feel free to share on your page.  To go to the original post, click here.

Mercedes is a tireless worker for her cause.  I host a reader party at Silver City, Idaho, every year and one of the events is a charity auction for NF.  The featured authors and other kind souls donate baskets and we auction them off.  Many times the baskets are auctioned two or three times because people are generous enough to give money and donate the basket again.  In the photo below, Mercedes is explaining what NF is and why we need to raise research money while auctioneer Kim Garland looks on.

In the next picture, she's standing behind me with her friend Brew after we just completed the one-mile NF Walk.  Mercedes worked long and hard to get donations for the auction and raffle baskets.

Mercedes, moi, Brew
And here Mercedes is with her friends who worked hard to make the
NF Walk a success.
She's in the back row, second from the left.
Mercedes is definitely a NF Hero and I'm very proud of her.  To be honest, I'm not half as strong as she is.  She's amazing.  So of course I had to write a book that had a heroine who was as strong, optimistic, and determined as my daughter.  And this is it:  

American Mail-Order Brides #43

One woman bent on saving her family. One rancher determined to save his own heart. Is her love enough to save them all?

Mercy Eaton has come to Idaho to marry the man of her father’s choosing in order to help her family make ends meet back home. She just knows it’ll all work out. That's what she's told her sister and her traveling companions all the way from Massachusetts to Owyhee County, Idaho. Then she meets her groom. He's seventy years old. She nearly faints.

Quill Roderick has no intention of marrying. Ever. As far as he’s seen, women leave—first his mother, then his great-aunt, then his first flame. Quill sees no reason to open his heart again, especially to some mail-order bride his crazy old uncle brought for him. But Mercy tempts him like no other with her unruly long red hair, sunshine smile, and the most alluring eyes he's ever seen. Can he keep his heart barricaded from this dangerous fireball, or are her kisses the master key needed to unlock his heart to a whole new world... Love.

"No matter what happens Mercy is determined to be up for the job. She is determined that things go right even if it doesn't. She is also determined to put a smile on her face even if she isn't so sure about it. Quill is determined that he is a lifelong bachelor. See for yourself which one wins!" ~~Amazon reviewer

Mercy: Bride of Idaho is connected to a book by Caroline Clemmons, Patience Bride of Washington.

Happy reading!  

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  1. Thank you mom, for all you do to help me.

  2. A great blog! I'm one of the 300 shares and I'm always very happy to do anything I can to help raise awareness for NF. I'll just go share this blog now...

  3. Mercedes is definitely one of my heroes. I can't imagine having to tolerate what she does constantly. She got that spunk from her mama.

    1. You are definitely correct there.

    2. I'm not nearly as determined (stubborn?) as Mercedes! Not even close.

  4. Thank you for making us aware of this disease, Jacquie. I can't imagine what Mercedes has gone through. But when you said she has a sunny disposition through it all, I thought, "My goodness!" The Lord is using this young lady as a witness to those she meets.


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