Usually, I try to keep it light and funny. Or, I like to be angry. But even that is the persona of Mongo, not of myself, the author/designer. It's a character. A brand. But, I'm also a friend, a father, and a big softie when it comes to kids.
So, I'm going to get a little serious for a moment. I need to ask you a favor. I need you to reach back into that memory bank of yours and remember what it was like to be four. What did you experience? I mean that from a visual standpoint. So, let's put on our thinking caps and look back at our lives, picking out some high points, along the way. Back when life was fresh and new and full of wonder.
I turned four years old in 1979.
From that point on, I experienced the following in no particular order.
- Seeing The Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) in the theatre for the first time. (Technically, Star Wars was released in 1977 but I saw the re-release in 79.)
- Seeing two of my teams win their respective championship titles.
- Seeing the beach.
- Seeing Disney World.
- Seeing fireworks on the fourth of July.
- Seeing my own birthday cake with four candles.
- Seeing Saturday Morning Cartoons, when they were good.
- Seeing the Christmas Tree with tons of presents underneath it on Christmas Morning.
Now, let's look at what I've seen since I turned four.
- All the Indiana Jones movies, E.T., Ghostbusters, and Jurassic Park
- The sights and sounds (good and bad) of the 80s through Miami Vice and MTV.
- The evolution of video games.
- The Internet
- All the things a adolescent sees and some they shouldn't as they approach adulthood. ;)
- High School and College graduation.
- My first car.
- My bride walking down the aisle.
- My child being born, taking her first steps and writing her own name.
- My child's first experience with all the things I've already mentioned.
You get the idea, right?
The point is that we are a very visually influenced culture and a lot of our experiences are shaped and remembered by the images burned into our minds. But what if we didn't have those images. What if we never got to see the fireworks or the movies we loved growing up?
That's the reality for a friend of mine when it comes to her daughter, Finley. Finley has a rare form of Leber's Congenital Amaurosis. It is caused by the mutation of a gene called RDH12. She is four years old and losing her sight to this condition. She has a very great chance of missing out on all the visuals we have take for granted because our own sight is a given.
But instead of wallowing in self pity, my friend Jen and her husband Matt have taken to making a difference in Finley's life as well as those who come after her. As much as they want to find a cure for their own daughter, they want to raise awareness and moneys towards research to help anyone with LCA. Finley's Fighters was established to do just that. Through donations and getting the word out they are making that difference. They are also offering some pretty neat shirts to help.
Now, I am in the unique position to help because, for one, I am an old friend of Jen's. I am also a t-shirt designer and have some contacts in that business who are always willing to send up the Tee Bat Signal, as I call it. So, I'm here, not to sell my own stuff but, to point you in the direction of some great shirts created just for Finley's Fighters.
Along with selling shirts with the Finley's Fighters logo, you can also purchase custom made Braille shirts. The shirts are handmade with black or silver, lead free Precosia rhinestones for girls, and fabric paint for guys. You can chose from just about any color shirt and also what you want them to say. Below is a small sampling of some of their work along with size and price information.