Ashton and I have been the best of friends since I met her when I moved to Utah in the 4th grade. We played barbies together, experimented with cooking together, drew dream-home floor plans together, trick-or-treated together, travelled together...and basically did everything together through college when we were roommates and then afterward until I moved out to DC.
I can honestly say she's one of the most beautiful people (inside and out) that I've ever met. She's hard-working, easy-going and never complains when things are difficult. She's the epitome of generosity and knows how to create beauty (seemingly effortlessly) wherever she goes. She's the sister I never had, but always wanted.
As you can imagine, it's heartbreaking for me that her two gorgeous little boys have a rare genetic disorder called Cystinosis. Cystinosis is so rare, in fact, that only around 500 people in the country have it. You can read more about the symptoms of Cystinosis here.
As Ashton and her husband mention in their letter, Cystinosis is so rare that it does not receive much government attention or funding. So, in honor of her older son Sam's third birthday, Ashton and her husband Stephen started a non-profit to raise money for Cystinosis research.
If you're looking for a cause to support, I would be overjoyed if you chose to support one that's near and dear to my heart: Sam's Hope for a Cure. If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so here.
Here's to Ashton, Stephen, Sam and Lars! Here's to helping find a cure!