Thank you to everyone who has been following along on my Instagram and this blog over the years. These passion projects have always been for fun and aren’t something I’ve ever had an interest in monetizing. With that being said, I want to invite you to join my wife Alma and I in a unique fundraising effort for Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital here in Chicago to whom our family and countless others owe a gigantic debt of gratitude. The money we raise will go toward the retrofit of rooms containing MRI machines.
We’re hoping to use our time and love of photography to create some beautiful images for your brewery or family, in exchange for your support. In the case of breweries, I’ll share the creations on my @beeraficionado Instagram feed to show my appreciation for helping bring this project to life.
An MRI is a safe and painless way to detect a variety of conditions and can be the first step to deciphering illnesses and injuries. Entering a room with a large machine, hearing lots of loud noises, and staying still for up to 90 minutes is a difficult task for anyone, especially a child. To make this sterile environment and size of the machine less intimidating, we are partnering with Lurie’s to transform their MRI suite through artwork to calm patients’ fears and continue to provide the best care. By transforming the atmosphere inside the room, including the machinery itself, with art, we hope the colorful and friendly designs are what kids will see first.
These pleasant distractions can engage kids and help put them at ease, so they are able to complete necessary diagnostic tests. Transforming these environments can also decrease the need for sedation and ultimately leave patients with a more positive experience. The renovations will significantly change how the patients react when entering the room. They will see the calming, friendly images first, and the MRI machine second. The colorful, engaging scenery will make the room feel warm and appealing to kids of all ages, and reduce the anxiety and stress centered on having an MRI.
In 2015, shortly after my wife Alma and I got our first peek at our son Edin (pronounced Ed-Dean) via an ultrasound, we knew something wasn’t right by the technician’s reaction. She spotted a mass on his left lung called a Congenital Pulmonary Airway Malformation (CPAM). When he was born, a team of surgeons was on-hand, prepared to respond if he wasn’t breathing. Everything turned out well, except part of his lung needed to be removed before he turned one. Watching your baby get injected with dye then sent into a CT scanner is really hard. Watching a team of surgeons wheel him away at only seven months of age, for a four hour surgery, is absolutely gut wrenching.
The team at Lurie Children’s Hospital are real, live superheroes. They were able to remove the lower left lobe of his lung laparoscopically using cameras, with three incisions the size of my fingertips. The surgery was a big success and Edin was home 2-3 days later, playing with his toys. Because of his young age, his remaining functioning lung filled in the empty space within weeks. We’ve had to go back to Lurie’s a number of times, most recently for an X-ray. The fear in his eyes in these sterile rooms, similar to the CT Scan room and an MRI room, causes him to panic and we have to pull out every trick in the book to get him to sit still enough.
Why Focus on MRI vs. CT Scan or X-Ray?
How you can help?
After helping Mitchell finish off his original MRI room, Alma and I decided to take on an entire additional room using our love of photography, the beer industry, and the friendships we’ve made. We are specifically taking the lead on the room that will feature Autumn. I am asking my friends and beer industry peers to consider one of the following tax-deductible donations to help us make this happen.
The Friends and Family Tier (Any $) - From outside of Chicago, don't work at a brewery, but still want to help? Well that is amazing, thank you! You can donate any amount of your choosing on my Lurie Fundraising page: http://foundation.luriechildrens.org/goto/veliky
The Doug Tier ($250) - Photoshoot of a beer or beers for your brewery
The Alma Tier ($300) - Family photoshoot - Over the last five years, Alma has honed her photography skills by capturing lifestyle images of families around Chicago. You’ll need to be among the first 10 to reach out.
The Beeraficionado Tier ($500) - The Doug Tier, plus a stop-action animation of a beer or beers for your brewery, in addition to a set of still images. See examples here.
To reserve your photo session, just make a donation here: