When a friend of ours needed help during a rough time, it was our pleasure to get to use our talents to contribute in some small way.
We worked closely with our friend Becca and her sister-in-law, Kristen to help design “Shady Strong” tees to support her dad’s battle with ALS. We talked to them about the exact design and style they wanted. I ordered all kinds of tee shirt samples and colors, they chose their favorite, and we ordered them. Then Matt created the design based on what they wanted and they loved it!
We printed everything here in Nashville and shipped it all to NY. This was such a rewarding experience for us, and an important one for the Shadys. We wanted to share the story in the hopes that it would touch you, too:
FROM KRISTEN + BECCA:
There are certain days that are ingrained in my memory; graduations, weddings, births of children, because they are such amazing memories and then there are those that hurt so deeply that they too are ingrained - just differently. One of those days was when the letters ALS became a reality for our family. We prayed that it could be Lyme disease or a stroke, anything else. Second opinions and countless tests only confirmed the worst possibility on the table, ALS. We all went through the grief/acceptance process differently, and at different times. But one thing we all did was join together and choose to support my dad in anyway that we knew how.
My dad, Bob Shady, is a veteran, served his country proudly, only to find out 60 years later, that he now has a veterans disease and has no chance of survival and a prognosis of 2-5 years. The Paralyzed Veterans Association was one of our first calls, and from that point forward, the VA and everyone we have worked with has been a blessing to our family. The amount of physical and emotional support, equipment and medical care we have received from the VA is beyond amazing. So when it was time for our family to participate in our first ALS Walk we knew we wanted to honor both my dad‘s time serving our country and this organization that has been truly a godsend. Our goal was to raise $8000 for our first ALS fundraiser and we knew we wanted to go into it looking like a solid team. We wanted a spin off of Army Strong, something that my dad vowed to be. My dad IS strong and his family and friends are now Shady strong and we will support him through every step of this terrible disease. Shady strong will continue to sell T-shirts, hold fundraisers and raise awareness for ALS research because without the research, we will continue to be held hostage by these three letters.
On August 18, the Upstate New York ALS Association raised over $75,000 with Shady strong being able to donate nearly $10,000 to honor such an amazing man. These funds will go to support ALS research as well as support the families of others with this diagnosis. And it is so needed. ALS makes the brain stop talking to the muscles, until you can't move or breathe. Right now, it's a guaranteed killer. And it works fast - usually under 5 years. Sometimes ALS runs in families. Sometimes it's random. Research has recently uncovered the protein that acts up and starts ALS. Now that we know the protein that causes the disease, we can begin to figure out how to stop it from acting up or removing it! Our family has been fortunate enough to receive medical care and support from the Paralyzed Veteran's Association. But many families don't. On average, an ALS patient will require $250,000 per year in medical care. Insurance benefits and other funds often do not cover these costs.
Shady Strong T-shirts can be purchased at $30 each, with 100% of the proceeds being donated back to ALS research
(check back soon for a link to purchase!)