March 31, 2011

“How Can I Help?”- an idea!

The past few months have been super heavy. My life has begun to take a new perspective, and the things I didn’t used to see, I now see. I see beauty, joy, love, and light everywhere. It sounds a bit Disney, and maybe you might think that the next sentence will include unicorns or rainbows, but I am being completely honest. The day I heard that my client Maddie James would be saying good-bye to this world, is the day that I started to see things differently. That crack on my phone, that ache in my neck, that pile of laundry all seemed so small. The little things that bothered me were suddenly all put into a normal perspective. I am blessed beyond what I could ever deserve. My child is healthy, I have a home and a job, and I am happy. And now I have a new goal: How can I stay this way FOREVER. How can I keep this perspective without waiting for tragedy to come along and force me into submission of gratefulness?I have a small picture of Maddie up in my office to remind me that her joy and love for life has spread to thousands at the mention of her story.

There have been countless emails and conversations from people asking “How can I help?” I have brainstormed with a good friend of the family, Alex and have elicited help from two very dear friends Michelle Nicoloff and Jennifer Lenzen on what we can do. Here is the idea…..

Maddie’s parents have decided that they will raise one million dollars to donate to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. They would love to encourage their child’s love for the ocean to grow inside as many children as possible. They would love a part of Maddie that made her so special to flourish in those children that she never had the chance to meet. I would love to help her parents reach that goal. If you donate $50 to the foundation, you can sign up for a mini-mini five minute session at the Ocean Institute and in return you will receive two 5×7 prints. Michelle, Jennifer and I will be donating all of our time and products for this event, and we hope that you can take the time with your family to come meet us there and capture the beauty and blessings that you are so generously given.

Because of the high volume we are hoping to bring to this event, please email directly to Alex at to reserve your spot.


  1. marla

    Noel, you are amazing to do this. I thought those beautiful portraits of Maddie were done by you. Sweet, sweet little girl. I will try to make it down on the 10th. xo

  2. Heather

    I love that you’re doing this…. beautiful.

    And I’m so sorry to hear the news. :( Sending the best thoughts your (and her, and her family’s) way…

leave a note