What is Turtle Girl Designs?
Turtle Girl Designs consists of me, Mindy Hollingshead, and my dear friend Stephanie Blaschke. We live in Little Elm, TX where I am a SAHM and Stephanie works in our local school system. We work to raise funds for research, awareness and patient/family support in the world of pediatric cancer.
We know all too well how things are in the world of pediatric cancer. Mike and Stephanie Blaschke’s baby daughter, Dani Marie, was diagnosed with Lymphoma in August 2005. Dani endured numerous rounds of harsh chemo, clinic visits, hospital stays and in October 2005 she developed a life threatening fungal infection. Dani spent the next 5 weeks on a ventilator. She recovered from that experience and continued treatment. Dani was cancer free and almost past the harshest phase of her treatment when she contracted the adenovirus in March of this year. In healthy children, the adenovirus causes common upper respiratory infections. For little Dani and her compromised immune system, it was much more destructive. It attacked her respiratory system and destroyed her liver. Dani passed away on March 7, 2006 surrounded by her loving family and friends. Dani was only 18 months old. There are many stories that take place during those precious 7 months of Dani‘s battle with cancer. Stories of donut holes and IV poles. Many stories that you will hear as we continue this journey.
When we lost Dani it was devastating. It still is. But, we knew immediately that we wanted to do something that would give back to everyone who reached out to Dani and her family. Something that would honor Dani's memory and continue her fight for a cure. We wanted to do something to give hope to other families experiencing this crisis in their lives. We wanted to achieve these goals doing something we enjoy and can get passionate about! Stephanie saw my stamping/crafting projects and thought that people would PAY to have things like this. We began tossing ideas around and before you know it we were knee deep in the card/gift making business. We needed a name and since Stephanie had collected turtles for Dani since before Dani was even born we knew the turtle was our "mascot". It was upon waking around 3 am one morning with a head full of ideas that the name "Turtle Girl Designs" was given to me and here we are today. OUR goal was to just go local craft fairs, bazaars and try to build a name locally for private orders. Well.....after only telling a few people what we were doing and having ONE craft show...things just kind of took off and TGD has taken on a life of its own!
We hand craft, paint and stamp cards, gifts, accessories and home decor to sell at local craft show, stores and to anyone who will buy! Several of the products we design and produce (using and crediting various stamp company images) are named after a child who is in the battle or has battled cancer. We will also provide information about each child so that our customers and volunteers get an inside look into the REAL world of pediatric cancer and who they are helping by supporting our cause. For now, all of our proceeds go to various research and support organizations. Turtle Girls will also sponsor several fundraising events and blood drives throughout the year.
We have many friends who are still in the battle with the beast called cancer. Periodically we will introduce you to some of our friends. We will share with you their stories, ask you to pray for their specific needs and allow ourselves a reminder of WHY we do this. Something has to be done to give those kids hope for a CURE. To find a cure there has to be more research. For more research there has to be more funding and more advocacy. We have a voice. We owe it to Dani, to our children, to your children, and to OURSELVES to use that voice and any talents we may possess to provide these kids with a better future. A future WITHOUT cancer. Eventually....prayerfully in OUR lifetimes...they day will come that no other child will lose precious childhood moments to battle cancer. No other child will lose their life to this monstrous disease or complications associated with treatment.
This is the vision of Turtle Girl Designs.