A few months ago an Instagram photo, "liked" earlier in the day by a friend of mine, came across my feed and caught my eye. I followed the photo back to its page - the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation - and started reading about the little girl for whom the foundation was named. Gwendolyn was born (she shares a birthday with and came into the world exactly one year after Will) with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the #1 genetic killer of infants and children. According to the GSF website, "there is no treatment, there is no cure. SMA is degenerative, eventually hindering the ability to walk, stand, eat, speak, breath, and swallow. The mind is never affected."
I started following the family's Instagram and blog, not because I know Gwendolyn - or anyone with SMA, for that matter - but because I loved reading about how she and her parents filled her life with adventure, about her academic accomplishments, and about her family's efforts to cure SMA. I was truly heartbroken when Gwendolyn passed away in July.
Around that same time her family, through their foundation, released this t-shirt in their apparel shop.
I immediately bought one for myself, and several of my friends bought shirts for themselves and their children. (Will and Hallie's shirts are coming for Christmas. Don't tell them.) I can't think of a better message to wear, share, and bear in mind as we travel through life beside one another.
I have no affiliation with the GSFoundation, nor did I receive compensation of any kind for this post, but I highly recommend you visit their online shop!