Ballerina Balm: The Launching of a Labor of Love for Laurin

Five-year-old Cindy Holland found her first friend in the world at 1500 Hibiscus Street in McAllen. Laurin Huber lived only two doors down from her. They jumped on the trampoline together, played with Barbie dolls, rode their bikes to Dairy Queen and danced at Melba’s Dance School.

Because Laurin was a year older, Cindy always looked up to her. More than 47 years later, Laurin is now looking up to Cindy from the bed where she receives 24/7 nursing to stay alive. In 1980, Laurin’s life changed forever when she almost died in a car wreck that has left her helpless to do anything for herself.

Until recently, the last time Cindy saw Laurin was in high school. Like most news these days, Cindy learned through Facebook about the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. She wanted to visit Laurin but was a little hesitant. When Lupe Enriquez posted about a reunion party to visit with Laurin, Cindy knew she couldn’t stay away any longer and drove straight to McAllen from San Antonio.

Laurin is reunited with her childhood friend Cindy.

Laurin is reunited with her childhood friend Cindy.

“When I saw Laurin for the first time, I didn’t feel sad like I thought I would,” said Cindy. “I felt blessed to be able to spend time with her. All the little annoyances and problems of my life felt so insignificant. Visiting Laurin brings me joy and puts things in perspective for me.”

Shortly thereafter, Cindy had a poignant idea to help her childhood friend and dance buddy. She and her daughter Andrea have dedicated 10% of the Ballerina Balm sales nationwide to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust as a way to help with the tremendous expense of her care. “I remember what an amazing dancer and tumbler Laurin was,” said Cindy. “I felt this was a good way that we could help with her support.”

Ballerina Balm is designed specifically to soothe the soreness and aches of dancers’ feet. The average ballerina exerts 220 psi of pressure on her feet when dancing en pointe.

10% of Sales to be Given to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust

10% of Sales Will be Given to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust, which helps to cover Laurin’s medical expenses.

“One of the main ingredients in the secret formula is peppermint, which is so rejuvenating,” said Cindy. “In the McAllen area, Ballerina Balm will be available exclusively at Melba’s Dance School.”

Ballerina Balm is part of the new Chalet Cosmetic line that Cindy and her daughter are launching nationally. Cindy grew up in the cosmetic industry. Sue Holland, her mother, owned and operated Merle Norman stores in La Plaza Mall, Edinburg, Pharr and Weslaco.

A limited number of stage makeup kits will be available for purchase at Melba’s Dance School, along with Chalet Cosmetics’ oil-absorbing pumpkin powder, cleansers, toners and moisturizers that are available exclusively at Melba’s Dance School, located at 2100 N. 10th Street in McAllen, Texas.

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Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” (this is for gift checks outside of the ad program described under Laurin’s Angels; ad program checks should be payable to “Melba’s”) and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours.

If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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A Most Welcome Visit

Laurin always loves it when her friends come to visit her. She absolutely lights up, grinning, laughing and watching intently, making sure she absorbs every detail. I think she especially loves it that her nurse dresses her up a little and puts some makeup on her. So often, when I talk to her about makeup, she gets the giggles.

Laurin’s good buddy Lupe Enriquez organized a group of her friends from high school to attend a We Love Laurin party earlier this month. The turnout was excellent, with about a dozen showing up to bless and encourage Laurin. Most or all of them also left a contribution to the We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust. Melba (Laurin’s mom) provided tasty refreshments, including chicken salad sandwiches, chips and glass-bottle Cokes. Knox Jones brought his guitar and ended up leading the group in a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Laurin has the most wonderful, amazing, caring, generous, compassionate friends!

Laurin enjoys a wonderful visit with some friends.

Laurin enjoys a wonderful visit with some friends.

 

Laurin and the girls

Laurin and the girls

Laurin’s Angels

Many thanks to the following kind friends who came to cheer Laurin and to help her meet her ongoing medical expenses:

Mariano & Estela Bocanegra
Nora LaFranco
Alex Gamboa
Knox Jones
Omar Trevino
Harvey Balli
Leslie Law Tanner
Gay Hargis
Ben Garcia
David Carrales
Lupe Enriquez

Some other friends who couldn’t make it to the party sent donations as well:

Denis and Arimon Sanchez
Reba Showers
Gladys Law
Paulette Moore

Other recent donors include:

Penelope Hatch
Carrales & Co.
Danielle Travis
Valerie Blackburn
Melissa Jalomo
Jayne Freeland
Terry Cuevas

Thank you so much to all who are pitching in to help Laurin continue to have the excellent, constant medical care that she needs. You are all a vital lifeline for Laurin.

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know. If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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Enjoying Life When Your Body Is a Prison

I thought I’d take a moment to share a little about how Laurin enjoys life in her post-accident reality. Yes, I said “enjoys.” I know most people have a hard time imagining how someone with “locked-in syndrome” could possibly have a positive life experience.

TOUGH SITUATION
I know it’s easy to think of all the negatives about Laurin’s situation. She can’t move (except her head and eyes), speak, drink or eat. She is stuck in the same room most of the time. If her nose itches, wouldn’t that be enough to drive her crazy? She can’t even let someone know she’d prefer a different TV channel. I used to tease her about watching too many soap operas (she would laugh so hard over this!), hoping the nurses would overhear and think about giving her something more substantial to watch.

SILVER LINING
On the positive side, I think Laurin’s situation has made her the most patient person in the world. Every little event in her daily routine must be something she looks forward to with eager anticipation. Each nursing shift change; bath time; TV time; seeing her grandmother wake up in the bed across the room; watching the yard work being done outside her window. When it gets quiet, I’m sure she watches the birds and squirrels out her window, looks at her photos and memorabilia and takes long naps. Her favorite times are when she’s surrounded by people, especially old friends. This is when she lights up and smiles the most. She appreciates a funny line and will laugh big. She loves to look at pictures, so she’s a willing, captive audience for all our vacation photos.

Laurin enjoys her brother's vacation photos.

Laurin enjoys her brother’s vacation photos.

If she gets to go out, even just to the doctor, that is a great day! The trip to see the “Annie” performance was huge for her. Once near Christmas, we bundled her up and took her out in her wheelchair to look at the Hidalgo light display. She had the BEST time!

Laurin accompanied brother Carey and sister-in-law Lisa to see the Christmas light display in Hidalgo. Check out her facial expressions!

Laurin accompanied brother Carey and sister-in-law Lisa to see the Christmas light display in Hidalgo. Check out her facial expression!

Carey_Laurin_toysoldier_Christmas2006-w

VISITING LAURIN
Any of her friends who might want to visit her, but feel intimidated by her condition, please try to put that aside. It does take a little getting-used-to when you have to carry on a one-sided conversation, but she certainly enjoys it. Just think of a few stories to share with her, maybe some pictures to show her. You could even read to her. Just give Melba a call before you stop by if you want to make sure Laurin is ready to receive visitors (i.e., not asleep or in the bath).

FINAL THOUGHTS
Here’s the biggest reason I think Laurin still enjoys life. Since she trusted the Lord as her Savior in childhood (well before her accident), we know she is a Christian and are quite sure she prays. That must a fulfilling way for her to spend her time. It is also probably a great relief to communicate to Someone who understands her completely. She gets emotional and tears up during worship music or when we talk to her about God and heaven or read scripture. Anything about the Lord obviously strikes a deep chord in her. This undoubtedly has made the biggest difference for her. Her body may be “locked-in,” but her spirit is free as a bird!

Keep an eye on this blog, and “like” Laurin’s Facebook page to get the latest info: www.Facebook.com/welovelaurin.

If YOU have a fundraising idea you’d like to try, please let us know.

If you can give towards Laurin’s medical expenses, please make your check payable to “We Love Laurin Special Needs Trust” and mail it to 605 N. McColl Circle, McAllen, TX 78501. You may also drop your gift checks at Melba’s Dance School during business hours. If you’d prefer to give online, please use the “Donate” button below.

#laurinsangels  #welovelaurin

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