Every once in awhile, if you're lucky, you meet someone who you just know is having a profound impact on the lives of everyone around them.
Lisa Borodychuk is one such person.
Lisa has walked through the unimaginable. When her daughter, Olivia, was 10 months old, she began to lose her ability to function. Eventually she was diagnosed with Alexander Disease- an extremely rare degenerative brain disease. Over the course of the next 8 years of Olivia's life, Lisa and her family were thrust into the strange, and often scary, world of hospitals, in-home care, medications, insurance nightmares, and watching their daughter lose brain function and her ability to move.
Olivia joined God's family of angels on April 28, 2017, but her legacy lives on in the hearts of her family, and through the Olivia Kay Foundation.
As I sit here typing this, I still can't quite conceive that the bubbly, gracious, kind-spirited woman I had a photoshoot with just last week, has had to bear the intense weight of not only being the primary caregiver for a family member with a degenerative disease, but also ultimately physically losing her child.
Even though we only just met, I am immensely grateful for Lisa. She is a testament to finding light in the darkness, and using faith and her experience as a gift to other families facing similar situations.
When Olivia was sick, Lisa started making positioning pillows as a way to keep Olivia comfortable. The #PillowProject has become a movement. To date, Lisa and her family have made over 8000 pillows (IN THEIR HOME!) and regularly donate the pillows to several Michigan hospitals (including Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor) hospitals across several states, and have even shipped into Canada!
In addition to the donation of these handmade positioning pillows, the Olivia Kay Foundation has also helped provide handicap ramps, respite gift cards for caregivers, Disney character visits to local hospitals, and the purchase of a van for a single mother with a severely impaired child.
What began as one family's struggle through an unimaginable situation, beautifully blossomed into a ministry for so many other families going through similar trials. Lisa mentioned that her and her husband "needed help steering the path," after Olivia's diagnosis, and so now they are motivated to be that help for other families.
But Lisa's journey doesn't stop there. In addition to running the Olivia Kay Foundation, she has also started a blog- The Multipurpose Mom. After spending 8 years being the primary caregiver for her daughter, Lisa realized that she was going to have to rediscover her purpose. "Who am I without my daughter?" was a question that she knew she had to answer. So, as a creative individual who had always loved photography, painting, and fashion, she decided to delve into the world of blogging (AND modeling for small boutiques in her hometown area of Dewitt, Michigan.) Lisa told me that the blog started out as an extremely personal thing- a creative outlet- and that it has not only morphed into something of a ministry to others, but it also helps her in her own healing process.
Lisa is the a shining example of a Fearless Female. It's not that she doesn't have any fear- I can only imagine that there have been an inumerable number of moments of fear for her throughout these past 10 years- it's that with every struggle, with every trial, she has forged ahead and made something beautiful out of it.
If you are interested in donating or becoming involved with the Olivia Kay Foundation, click here. Donations can be made towards the making of even more greatly cherished positioning pillows. You can also get involved by marking your calendars for the the 7th Annual Olivia's Walk- their biggest fundraiser of the year. Follow Lisa on her journey as a Multipurpose Mom walking through her healing process in her own creative way by clicking here.