My name is Bridget Kleiderlein and I am a blessed grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren, ages 5 – 16. Three years ago in May, we lost our precious twin grand daughter Ava at the age of 2 1/2 to an undiagnosed illness. Needless to say, it was devastating. Throughout our journey of grief we prayed and asked God as to how He would use us to to help others who had gone through an experience similar to ours.
Before Ava was born, our daughter in law spent 6 weeks prior and 1 week after the birth of their twins at a Ronald McDonald House next to the hospital in Aurora, CO (near Denver.) It was a rough start for both the twins as Ava had an enlarged bladder and digestive issues and her twin brother Trace had craniosynstosis surgery to repair his fused skull plates a few months after birth. The Ronald McDonald house again became became a place of refuge and help during their stay a few years later, as Ava’s digestive issues progressed to the point of almost death. It was their home for almost 5 weeks as Ava went through surgeries and many tests to see if they could identify her illness and find ways to help her digestion work properly. It was amazing what this house provided during their stays: housing, food, supplies, rides, errands, but most of all love and support that a worn out and grieving parent needs as their little ones go through their stays in the hospital. And as you can see, the Ronald McDonald House has become very dear to our hearts – the one highlight of our hospital stays during a time of sorrow and pain.
After the loss of Ava, we began asking God as to where and what He wanted us to do to honor this beautiful little life. We were lead to start a foundation in her name and our goal is to help families in need of financial assistance with long stays in the hospital with their little ones. There began “The Ava Marlo Kleiderlein Foundation“, with the surname of Ava’s Angels as we represent Gods messengers bringing help and hope to those in need.
With our son and his family living in Wyoming and with me being a “Mimi” here in California, I desired to contribute to the foundation with my gifts and talents that God had given me. So, I began to create and craft embossed and inked note cards, trinket boxes and lots of shabby chic goodies to sell at craft fairs and donate all of the proceeds to her foundation. This has been a rewarding and blessed time for me as God uses my hands to help heal my heart.
As for my connection to the community to sell my items to benefit the foundation, I have limited time to make large numbers of my craft items. Though they are available, so far people have found me to purchase them by word of mouth.
I am excited to see where and how God will use me to bring beauty from ashes, not only in my life, but in the lives of others that I can touch through my creations!