I have an immense amount of respect for Sam Wedll and Jessica Gregario. At just 20 months old, Silas has been diagnosed with Leukemia and receives treatment at the University of California, San Francisco (SCSF) Medical Center. Sam and Jessica have teamed up with Silas’ family to lead a fund-raising campaign to help pay the medical bills for little Silas. I want to share with you this heartwarming story.
Sam Wedll lives and works out of his home in Blue Lake, California. He has two kids that he attributes to for his inspiration and motivation. Sam serves on the Board of Directors of the Blue Lake Education Foundation as the Technology Director. Sam is a close friend of Silas’ parents.
Jessica Gregario is a case worker for adults with disabilities and helps do marketing and PR for festivals. She is a close family friend to Silas & family, and has assumed aunt as the kids call her “Aunt Jeka” (because they can’t pronounce Jessica too well). She also makes and sells a lot of jewelry.
What’s the story behind the Strength for Silas campaign?
“On the morning of May 12, 2013 (Mother’s Day of all days), Silas’ parents took him to the emergency room at Mad River Hospital. Doctors there consulted with SCSF doctors and it was determined that Silas was in immediate need of a blood transfusion and he was airlifted to UCSF. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.”
“The name came about while creating the Facebook page for the family. I wrote down a few ideas but this one looked, sounded and felt right. I ran it by Ashley and she agreed. The Tedescos are a strong family by nature, and now little Silas has to be even stronger. Mike and Ashley need the extra strength for Silas and Gia, and themselves, too. Receiving positive and encouraging support from their friends, family, community and strangers the Tedescos can feel the strength in their hearts and minds. I believe this contributes to a strong body. Strength for Silas is about letting Silas and his family know that they are not fighting this battle alone.”
Why did you decide to use Ribbon to collect donations?
“I read about Ribbon several months ago and was intrigued by the idea. The ability to sell products directly through social media streams is very appealing to me as I work on a number of collaborations from artists to store owners, that could benefit from using Ribbon. So, as I was putting together strengthforsilas.com, it was a natural fit to include the Ribbon service for accepting donations.
Ribbon is fresh, easy to use, and created by people who are passionate about what they do. This creates the perfect environment for us to be able to focus on what needs to get done instead of being worried about technical merchant logistics. And if I have a question or need help I know I’ll be able to speak with someone who actually cares.”
How has your experience been using Ribbon?
“Ribbon is extremely easy to setup and incorporate into social media and/or into another existing website. It truly is as simple as copy & pasting a link after setting up your product. The staff at Ribbon have been more than helpful – above and beyond in fact. Daniel, Dan, and Sean all put in extra effort to make sure my code was functioning properly. I am grateful for their help.”
“Using Ribbon has been a clean, clear and fun tool to use for our fundraising efforts.”
What will money collected from donations be used for?
“We are still working on determining fundraising goals and policies to ensure that Silas and his family continue to receive services. Silas’ treatment regimen requires that he spend one out of every 3 months at UCSF for the next 3.5 years. As you can imagine, this will make it hard to maintain regular employment. So the immediate need is to raise funds for the family’s day-to-day needs. And longer term fundraising goals will include options to help pay for Silas’ treatment, possible donations to ‘cure’ for leukemia causes, etc. I am collaborating with the Blue Lake Rancheria and Blue Lake Casino on a possible annual event to raise funds for all Humboldt County children battling cancer.”
How can we help support your campaign?
“The immediate need is for donations to help the family with their day-to-day expenses. You can visit www.StrengthforSilas.com to donate via Ribbon. Other ways would include donations to help fund finding a cure for leukemia.”
“Any help helps! Be it monetary donations, cards or letters to Silas and the family, gifts or just healing thoughts! You can also wear your support and strength for Silas by purchasing a special tee shirt, sweatshirt or mug! You can browse all the items for sale and other ways to help at www.StrengthforSilas.com.”