Tuesday, October 7, 2014

About Us

Less than 10 days ago, my sister set up a GoFundMe fundraising account in our names. I also used GoFundMe a year ago to raise funds to help my parents after the tornado in Washington, IL. I had never used a web site like that and was stunned at how easy it was to create and how quickly and generously people gave. We raised a significant amount in online & offline donations to help my parents recover and rebuild from the tornado as well as maintain medical needs for my mom.

I never dreamed that Dan and I would need a fundraising site for ourselves. And nothing could have ever prepared me for how extraordinary it has been. We exceeded the goal my sister set within a few days! My sister raised the goal to see what could happen and people continued to give. I am surprised at the number of donors and dollar amount that has been raised (125 & $16,485 respectively as of today) but MORE astounded at the number of “shares.” “Shares” show how many times our page has been shared by viewers through social media. 

We have 621 shares. 

Wow. I can’t believe 621 people viewed our page and took the time to learn about our story and then clicked that little “share” button. There is a lot out there to “share” in social media and many stories and causes to fight for. We can’t always share everything, can we? It is overwhelming sometimes. I am so humbled that 621 people would consider us worth their time and consideration and honored that they were inspired to add us to their social media communications to encourage others to learn about us and/or donate or share. I am so full of gratitude.

For those of you who have donated or shared, or are considering doing either of these things, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about us.

“Happily ever after” isn’t without challenges and ups & downs. I always felt lucky that Dan was a strong, reliable, healthy (I mean, super healthy….he had never had a headache until recently), hard-working man. He is an Eagle Scout. He values autonomy, freedom, leadership, competition, hard work, and preparedness. He is the caretaker in our family in terms of his financial contributions and emotional stability. I am also a strong person but it has taken me a long time to figure out that I am–just because my strength doesn’t mirror his strength. I have struggled with psychological and physical illnesses since childhood. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia by age 14 and hospitalized for Depression at 20. When Dan and I decided to try to conceive in 2006, we learned I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Until recently, I defined myself by these things and my inevitable perceived weaknesses related to them. But actually, I am resilient, loyal, and imaginative. I value balance, order, belonging, tolerance, and creativity. I also am a caretaker in our family; I keep us organized, having fun, and well dressed. 🙂 For the last four years, I have been managing my conditions the best I can and have been able to contribute financially to our household. This year I also began my LuLaRoe by Leah Ruth business in addition to my day job to earn more.

Our son, Raine, turned 3 August 11th. He is no stranger to doctor offices. He has been monitored since before he was born for a kidney condition that he is slowly (thankfully) growing out of. He enjoys his “big boy daycare,” where he learns and plays Monday-Friday while we work. At home, he enjoys playing with toys, exploring outside, and meeting new people. He is friendly and sweet, confident and active. We are teaching him our family values of love, family, helping others, simplicity, generosity, and loyalty. 

We also have 2 pets. Hobbes has been with me since 2002 and Dan and I adopted Rocco in 2005. We cherish our animals and they help us keep our sense of humor... 




After a year in Portland and eight years in Sherwood, we have been living in Carlton and have fallen in love with our little rural town and its unique vibe. We are in the heart of Yamhill County wine country and enjoy the peace and quiet, beautiful views, and kind people. I have had the pleasure of getting to know a lot of folks by working at a store in McMinnville. These people donated to jars in local businesses to help support several friends and family of mine affected by the tornado last year. We love to support our local businesses and restaurants in Mac, as well as in Newberg and Carlton. It really is a unique area and we feel lucky to have found it. And overall, we freaking love Oregon! It is our bliss. Have you ever been? If not, make a trip. It’s amazing. We can recommend all kinds of awesome stuff for you and your family to explore and enjoy. 🙂

Leah Ruth

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