On March 27th, John Rett posted this on his Facebook page:
"Great news!!!! Mercy hospital in Des Moines called to let Alex and I know that we have been approved for the kidney surgery. So on May 20th I will have the privilege to give my kidney to my little buddy! It has been over a year now and 3 hospitals later but we were able to get this done. Continue to wear those bracelets and keep us in your prayers! I just want to thank everyone for all your support and God Himself for letting me help Alex. This maybe the greatest day of my life!!"
Well said Rotten one!
Yes, John and Alex received the news from their surgical team of Dr. Scholl and Dr. Pepper. You can visit them online at the Transplant Center of Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.
We echo the request for prayers. While John has been both optimistic and determined through this entire process, we shan't leave nothing to chance. We ask that the Lord keep Alex, John and the entire medical team healthy, not only for the transplant, but for the weeks and months following the surgery.
As for support, the involvement of many has helped ease the stress of the process. While Alex continues with dialysis (and that's no fun,) the sense of community over the past several months has somehow made this better.
We have collected photos from quite a few supporters over the past few weeks, which we will share, along with some commentary. We will list them in order of rank, starting with the Colonel. Yes, Colonel Sanders leads the list of our celebrities spotted wearing the donor green Share the Spare wristband. (Don't forget to hover over the photos for additional comments.) Colonel SandersColonel Sanders really got into the spirit of the cause, wearing not only a green wristband, but matching sunglasses as well.
Speaking of determination, next up would be Olympic Gold medalist Dan Gable. He certainly isn't used to being second, but then he didn't found the second largest restaurant chain in the world either, like Harland did. (CJ used to fry chicken for KFC, so he was on a first name basis with the Colonel :-) As far as our research goes, through his high school, collegiate, freestyle and international wrestling career, and coaching at the University of Iowa, Dan came out on top 96% of the time. We will pray for even better odds of success for young Alex and old John.
We did get quite a few ski pictures but it's hard to believe between the Rettenmeiers and Brimeyers, we only have one snowmobile picture, but thank goodness for Treats.
Somewhere after her brother ran the King of Clubs and CJ played ball for Dave and Maggie at the White House, the world-famous Pammy Murphy would have been our favorite bar owner. Here she is adding a little of the luck of the Irish to the Share the Spare effort:
Always a smooth operator, Johnny Rotten has submitted a number of photos. We will try to get some of the names right in the captions of the photos that follow:
And last, but not least, Nick and Andrea get into the act at the Pretzelmaker in Kennedy Mall:
Well, that should about do it for now. If you want to be famous, submit your photo to [email protected]
Don't have anything new to report, but we sure did get some nice Share the Spare pictures from all over the world. Our prize for the farthest away goes to Tom McLaughlin and Max Jorgensen, who were in Caracas on the first anniversary of the death of Hugo Chavez. Apparently Tom knocked the dust off his old Brownie to get this shot:
Okay, maybe that photo came from Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean...doesn't matter - most of the rest came from Midwest locations like Chicago, St. Louis and Peoria. Being the world travelers that we are, Nancy and I got a couple shots from the outer perimeter of our yard. But, as you will see, we had to work for those shots by tunneling through twenty foot snow banks.
Here's a slideshow:
We were tempted to save some photos for another blog, but we will take it on Faith that we will have more when needed. In the meantime, continue to Wear, Care and offer Prayer that John can Share the Spare!
When we first started doing this, our motivation was sincere; Our main goal was to create some awareness for Al's need for a kidney, acknowledge John's contribution and take a fun approach in asking for prayers. As the effort for John to Share the Spare continued to evolve, we developed a sense of obligation to report on Alex and John's progress.
CJ relies on Nancy and John for updates, and frankly, none of the three are very reliable when it comes to medical reports. That responsibility normally lies with Nurse Ruth and Sammy Sonar, but, alas, we do our best.
We'll start this blog out with the stuff we do best - photos and fun - but we will offer a very important educational slide at the end, so please bear with us...
We'll lead off with some of Al's good friends. We tried for more of an urban feel in our editing.
Some of Nancy's friends, Jillie and Willie, got into the Spirit of Share the Spare:
Coyote Joe submitted the next two pictures, both taken at a recent ski competition.
Cast SigningNancy commissioned Joe to take some photos on one of the boy's ski competitions. Being a man of obligation, and knowing not to disappoint Nancy when she wants a picture, Joe got the shot: Ski Pole Salute to Share the SpareThis is the shot that Nancy has been asking for. You is a good boy Joe!
Rotten takes the Share the Spare photos very seriously, and is a frequent contributor. He submitted a few pictures with friends, including the last one, which features Monsignor Ressler - that's gotta count for something!
Most would assume that John submitted this next photo, but surprisingly that is not the case. This was submitted by the "Less Rotten" Twin (you notice we didn't say "Good Twin" :-) Joe in one of the famous beer brewing cities in the Great State of Wisconsin. (Not sure why he is showing beer from St. Louis and Denver.)
We promised to offer a medical update, so we thought we would use the opportunity to show off the incredible knowledge we have all gained about kidneys.
You might want to take a second to get any children out of the room. The following illustration is intended for mature audiences only. Viewer discretion is advised. This diagram shows the kidney that young Alex will receive from his Rotten Uncle John:
Okay, so that wasn't much of a medical update, but the good news is that things continue to progress in the right direction. John has had faith from the start, but we're hoping the previous picture helps underscore why we continue to ask for your prayers.
Keep those pictures coming. If you have a unique idea, or if you just want to show your support, send photos to [email protected] .
We have pictures to share and an update from Johnny Rotten.
First, the photos. Here are some of Alex's friends in Austin and Andrew in Los Angeles:
University of Iowa Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz joins the growing list of celebrities seen wearing the green.
Otis and Chester, aka Odie and Eddie, occasionally referred to as "Dumb and Dumber" get into the act, shown here wearing their wristbands on a snowy day in Iowa. (Haven't had many of those around here, eh? :-)
Otis and EddieThe notorious snow puppies wear their Share the Spare fare somewhere out there. Otis looking goodEven after eleven months of snow in Iowa this winter, Odie still likes tromping around wearing his Share the Spare collar accessory. Chester EddieCan't remember if this Dumb or Dumber, but either way, the green Share the Spare wrist band looks great around Chester's shock collar.
And, even Jenni and Emma got into the spirit of things after a photo shoot at the Pictures by Pape home studio:
Although the update is not official, John optimistically reported that the Doctor told him that he was qualified for the transplant. The hospital in Des Moines still wants to do an Echo Stress test, but we are all praying that is just a formality. The surgery is tentatively scheduled for May 20th. Keep up the good work with the prayers, they seem to be working. And we will keep you posted.
I see I am getting some green wristband photos from far-away places, so I want to sneak in a quick blog about some changes we've made to our Pictures by Pape photography business.
First off, we are very pleased to announce that we have a new look to our website. We will include some screenshots below to show what we have done. Hopefully you have a chance to dig into the Pictures by Pape site in the near future.
Second, we have surpassed over 10,000 pictures on the site, so we have to start scaling things back by removing some galleries. To manage things in a more systematic manner going forward, we will have to begin putting expiration dates on the galleries as we upload client pictures. We will start with 45 to 60 day expiration periods, so hopefully that doesn't cause an inconvenience for anyone. It is our understanding that we can reopen a gallery later if the need arises. We are testing how that works.
Finally, we are going to start password protecting all of our client galleries. As we go through the process of eliminating galleries, we will email passwords to clients for anything that is less than a year old, and give customers a chance to take a quick look through the galleries to see if there is anything they would like to order.
Below is our Home page. It will still roll through a slideshow of some of our favorite pictures from over the years. We have shot nearly 200,000 photographs, so we have a few to choose from. You will see many familiar photos in the slideshow, but we will be adding some new ones as we go through the process of cleaning up our galleries. Here's a useful tip you can use, not only on our site, but others as well: If you don't like how a page loads or views, try holding the Control (ctrl) Key down and click either the "+" or "-" key to make a page larger or smaller. (Just sayin' :-)
Below is our About page. You will see we added that little Sammy here, and to our business card as well. She helps us out with editing, so we thought we better acknowledge her contributions. (It was cheaper than paying her :-) As a Sonographer, she does take pictures for a living, after all! TJ took the picture for us at Five Guys in Chicago when we were over there to celebrate Tanner's birthday.
As we get rid of galleries and start password protecting galleries, we needed a mechanism to show what we do. We have two new tabs on our website. One is called "Pictures" and the other is called "By Pape" - Pretty clever, huh? Under the Pictures tab, we will have examples of Children and Family Portraits, Senior Graduation Pictures and Event Photography. Under the By Pape tab, we will have examples of some of the Creative Photo Editing that we do.
Below is our Children Portraits page, which is an example of what you will see under any of those tabs:
As mentioned, under the "By Pape" tab, we are showing some of the Creative Photo Editing that we do. There are also menu items in the drop-down list to see Original Artwork that we have for sale, examples of Graphic Design work we have done, Commercial projects, a link to our Photo Story Books and DVD Slideshows. If you have never looked at our books or videos, you should take some time to do that. They are really fun, and they will give you an idea of our creativity as photographers.
We'd also encourage you to look at some of the collages we have for sale in the Dubuque and Holy Spirit collections. They make really nice presents as prints, framed art, canvas gallery wraps or specialty items such as metal murals.
Below is a screenshot of our Creative Photo Editing page, which shows some of the techniques we use. We've invested in some really nice filters for Lightroom and Photoshop that we are really excited about.
Sorry for such a long post, but we thought it was important to give you some notification of what we were doing before you stumbled on to it yourself. Like we said earlier, we will be sending out passwords as we begin making galleries private, and we will give recent clients notification before we start removing galleries that are less than a year old.
And, be on the lookout for an updates on Alex and John's Share the Spare adventure.
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