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Faith & Salvation

Faith & Salvation

Roby Baird’s Journey

“I’m going through the toughest time of my life. My tumor is back, and it is cancer. This time I am going where God is leading me. Therefore, I am going to worry about nothing  and pray about everything. I know God will take care of me. God has a plan for me.” ~ Roby Baird 8/30/18

At home, in the back yard. An emotional moment of words spoken. Saint Augustine, FL, 8/30/18

I know many people that have a strong faith in God, but I must say Mr. Roby Baird is quite unique, someone special; his faith is definitely on a higher level. I think he would make a wonderful minister or youth leader. I know for some people that the talk of religion is uncomfortable. I’m also fully aware whether you are religious or non religious, or of a different belief system, that it doesn’t make you any more or any less of a good person.

As a person of faith myself, the way I see it is that anyone can go to church, or anyone can work in a church, but that doesn’t mean that they have full faith or deep understanding of what it is like to be a believer in Jesus. There are those that after the church doors swing closed,  “followers” go back out into the world picking up where they left off; being hypocritical, judgmental, uncompassionate, and lacking empathy for others. It’s called ‘Talk without action.’ I have seen it. So, please don’t be turned away by the talk of religion.

Religion is important to this story because this is Roby’s story. He wants to share his journey, and in Roby’s heart, his faith is as much a critical component to conquering his cancer, as is his choice in cancer treatment.

Tattoo, ‘By His Grace’, Saint Augustine, FL, 8/30/18

So, for anyone who is not religious, religious, or is of a different belief, I hope you will be inspired by the journey that Roby is about to take. Because this is not just a story about him battling brain cancer, it’s an inspirational story about his faith in a higher being. I believe we are all brothers and sisters, so my hope is you all will take this journey with him. Universal love and support is what he needs, as well as compassion and understanding for his choices in going through a holistic approach to heal himself.

In 2104 Roby had undergone surgery on the left side of his brain for a benign tumor that was the size of a walnut. ( original story here). In March of 2018, Roby began having those similar warnings that he was all too familiar with; he was having recurring headaches, dizzy spells, and feeling completely worn out. Roby went in for an MRI. The MRI showed a “blip” as he calls it, where the last tumor had been. The size of the newest “blip” measured 8 by 9 millimeters in size. The hope was that perhaps it was scar tissue.

But, in June the symptoms became more frequent, and he began having trouble getting out of bed without falling over.

On June 16th, Roby had another MRI, and it revealed the “blip” had grown, showing to be 14 by 15 millimeters in size. Another, more invasive MRI was performed. These results confirmed he now had a grade 3, malignant astrocytoma. Though the new astrocytoma is smaller in size than the one in 2014, (about the size of a piece of corn), it is cancer.

On August 1, 2018, Roby’s tumor was removed.

Roby’s physicians wanted to begin chemo and radiation immediately after, but Roby has opted out of that option. He has been researching the benefits of going the holistic approach for years, since the time his ex-wife had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It was then that Roby saw firsthand the medicinal, healing benefits the cannabis plant could have. With all that Roby has researched, with firm conviction, he feels confident in his decision, and believes strongly that God is with him every step of the way.

Roby arrived in California on September 6th to seek treatment at Green Bridge Medical in Santa Monica. When Roby decided that Green Bridge Medical is where he wanted to go, he began researching for a place to reside during his time there.  He decided that it was worth traveling up the coast to Redding, CA., to be near a church he has long wanted to attend; Bethal Church. The distance between Santa Monica and Redding is a long 10 hour drive, but being that medical marijuana is legal in the state of California, Roby is able to have his medication mailed to him. Being this is the most difficult time of his life, and so far away from his family and friends, he wants to be able to worship and spend his time building his relationship with God at a place he has long desired to be. He went on to say, “Happiness comes from circumstances and when you go through good times in your life you tend to be happy. But, when we go through trials and painful times in our lives, happiness is usually not there.  And, the beautiful aspect of having an intimate relationship with Jesus is that He brings joy.” Roby feels he has been lead to the right place at the right time.

Roby met with Dr. Allan Frankel on September, 7th for his consultation, and on Monday, September 9th, Roby began his first dose of treatment on Tuesday, September 18th at 6pm. He is on what is called the “Quad Regimen”, 5 mg of Delta 9 THC, 5mg of CBD, 5 mg THC - A, and 5mg of CBD -A.

Note: Roby is in California to receive full plant extract because it is not legal in the state of Florida.

I spoke to Roby today,  Roby feels the reason he has been having painful episodes such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, muscle spasms that occur first in individual parts of the body, then spread out through his body creating whole body spasms. Roby believes this is because the cannabis is doing its work, and healing his body.

So, our story will continue, as Roby will  update us from time to time. I personally feel blessed to have Roby as a dear friend, and humbled that he is allowing me to share with you all this most important time in his life.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalms 30:5, Roby recited.

I could feel those words. I could feel them for him, and I feel they are good, reassuring words for anyone going through trials and tribulations.

The sun will shine in the morning.

~ Jennifer Kaczmarek

Roby Baird, Saint Augustine, FL., 8/30/18

Helpers of Roby started a Go Fund me page to help him with his living expenses and treatment expenses until he is able to work again. If you would like to donate, you may do so here






Welcoming Jason Greene

I am honored and excited to join the Taking Focus team as the Multimedia Director.  I have worked with Love For Alyssa in the past, so the development of Taking Focus has been very dear to me over the past few years. I am looking forward to all of the things Taking Focus will be developing.

One of my goals as a visual storyteller has been to bring a sense of balance to all of what I do.  As a graduate candidate at the Syracuse University, I have spent my time further developing stories about underprivileged individuals and families. I am very exited to bring my experiences as a photographer and editor to the team.

One of the projects that I am currently working on is a story about the juvenile justice system in the state of NY. I am currently telling the story of James, who is currently under house arrest but is trying to make changes in his life. For James, producing hip-hop is a driving force in his life—a skill he is developing as a positive outlet under the guidance of his mentor Hasan. This project will develop over the next few months with several aspects.

For more information about me or my work please visit www.greenephoto.com

Miracles Do Happen

{All images on this post are the exclusive property of Jennifer Kaczmarek and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws. The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Jennifer Kaczmarek. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted @2016 Jennifer Kaczmarek}

    Survived 14 months with no car, with 3 children

 Survived 14 months with no car, with 3 children

On the evening of February 18, 2013, I was just getting into my car when my cell phone rang with such astounding news. Elizabeth Coberg was on the line telling me that she had a car to donate to the Vanhoutte family. The news was so amazing and unexpected. The initial shock left me frozen,  I may have come across sounding ungrateful because I could not, at that moment, find the words to speak. The information was slowly registering .

The timing of her call was perfect, I was just heading over to the Vanhoutte’s to have cake with them to celebrate Tyler turning 15.  It was in his card that I delivered the news.

Mr. and Mrs. Fadi Coberg and their son Daniel attend the same church as I, Trinity Presbyterian. This is the family that changed the lives of the Vanhouttes with the donation of their vehicle.

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3 Million Dollar Baby + News

Please share this video of 2-year-old Joseph Parthemore with others.  We believe social media is an important outlet to funnel such important messages. Many thanks to documentary photographer and filmmaker Jason Greene for creating this video. Thank you so much for your friendship and sharing your talent. RECENT NEWS- we are happy to say that we are now a 501c3 tax-deductible organization!

If you would like to make a donation you may do so here - DONATION

If you missed our CNN feature, the links are down below.

Thank you and please share with others.

Big Giveaways!

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ENTER A CHANCE TO WIN!

We would like to thank the Club at Hammock Beach for helping us in our fundraising efforts, they have graciously given us 2 great giveaways we know you will love!  We are going to raffle off these items starting today.  You may purchase tickets now until the night of the exhibition, May 12th, when the drawing will take place.  We will have two separate drawings for these items that evening. Tickets will be just  $5 dollars or 5 for $20 dollars. There is no limit to the amount of tickets you may purchase, and you do not need to be at the event to participate, though we would love it if you could be there!

Proceeds from your donations will go towards assisting in the care of both Alyssa Hagstrom and 2-year-old Joseph Parthemore, also born with Arthrogryposis.

 Out- of- towners may want to participate, Hammock Beach Resorts is a wonderful getaway!

* 2 NIGHT / 3 DAY STAY IN A 3 BEDROOM OCEAN VIEW SUITE AT HAMMOCK BEACH RESORT

 OR

 * ONE ROUND OF GOLF FOR 4 PLAYERS AT THE CONSERVATORY GOLF COURSE

How to play

  After purchasing your tickets, you will need to inform us which drawing you are participating in by contacting us at  loveforalyssa@gmail.com

1.  click on the donation link at the top of the page.

2. use the pay pal button to make your donation for your ticket/s.  (if you are purchasing more than $20, use the non specified paypal button further below.)

3.  email loveforalyssa@gmail.com  to give us your name, address, phone number, and email address.

4.  we will email you back your raffle ticket number/s.

Please feel free to email us with any questions you may have.

Contact us if you wish to pay cash.  You may also pay cash or check for your raffle ticket/s the night of the event.

Checks may be sent to:  Love For Alyssa, Inc., P.O. Box 351025, Palm Coast, FL  32135   (please remember to add all contact information).

BEST OF LUCK!

2011 Year in Review

 

Throughout 2011 I’ve had a mixture of amazing moments and sad ones. The lowest of the lows was when one of my grandmothers passed away in the spring of 2011 and I drove to New Jersey for her funeral. It was the hardest on my sister and my mother because of their distance and closeness respectively. And yet one of the biggest successes this year, and one I know my grandmother would have been proud to hear about, was a six month internship with Zuma Press starting after the New Year. My grandmother always encouraged me that as one door closes another one most certainly opens.

In 2011 I’ve also been able to find a great community of refugees from Burma in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I will continue documenting their lives along with the community in Southern California during 2012. They have shown me what it is to be more humble, what it means to care for someone openly and empathically, plus their spirit and understanding has been amazing. I am grateful for their acceptance of my presence into their day-to-day lives, their festivals, road trips, and homes. This is why nearly half of the images in this review of 2011 are from the refugee community from Burma.

There are big plans for 2012 that will hopefully allow me to continue to work on personal projects, give back to the photo community, and build more lifelong relationships well into the future.

I wanted to thank a list of people, but it would be obnoxiously long. You know who you are. Everyone one of you I am grateful for on this journey.