July 2018 Release Day 4: Crafting With Compassion + Introducing Celebrate You

Hello friends! Welcome to the 4th and final day of our July products! Unlike typical release weeks where new products are for sale on Fridays, ALL JULY PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE SHOP NOW.  Today's product reveal is very very special!

Today's blog post is lengthy, but it is so very important to me that I do hope you will take the time to read it from start to finish. Plus, there are some beautiful cards to see at the end :)

In 2017 my dad, Dan, became unexpectedly ill after a routine knee surgery in January 2017.  He had a series of complications following the procedure and then developed and was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) in March of 2017. CRPS is a complex, progressive disease of the nervous system. The pain is characterized as constant and extremely intense. The pain is often accompanied by swelling, skin changes, extreme sensitivity, and in most cases is debilitating. You can read much more about his journey HERE

It is difficult to put into words how much of a nightmare CRPS is, it has unfortunately earned itself the nickname "the suicide disease" because many people diagnosed with CRPS suffer so greatly that it seems like their only option. Please take a few minutes to watch this short video to get a better understanding of how life altering this disease can be.

After my dad had several failed attempts to heal through traditional medicine, including many prescribed drugs, spinal nerve blocks, traditional physical therapy, etc at the end of our ropes, I discovered Dr. Katinka van der Merwe and The Neurologic Relief Center. Dr. Katinka specializes in revolutionary, non-invasive, non-pharcaeutical therapies to treat patients suffering from CRPS. THIS is a great article written by Dr. Katinka outlining what it is they do. Treatment at this center is costly, as it is custom tailored to each patient and incredibly intensive. Insurance will not cover most of the therapies they provide. It is also 10-12 weeks of non-invasive treatment, and requires living in Arkansas near the clinic for the duration of the the treatment. 

It was entirely because of the kindness and compassion of friends, family, and the crafting community, that enough funds were raised so that my dad was able to receive care at the Center. He arrived in Arkansas in August of 2017, and at the end of October 2017, with me by his side, he was able to ring the bell at the completion of his treatment.  You can view the video of his bell ringing ceremony HERE, please keep in mind that when he had first arrived in Arkansas he had lost significant weight, was depressed and anxious, was unable to hold conversation and was easily confused, and was almost completely immobile. To see him smiling, standing and speaking just 11 short weeks later is nothing short of a miracle. In December of 2017 he was able to return to work full time, and he is just enjoying life each day now! Just yesterday he was over for our 4th of July cookout, playing baseball in the backyard with his grandkids!  I  strongly encourage you to take a look at the rest of the The Neurologic Relief Center's Facebook page to see interviews with patients, and great question and answer videos from Dr. Katinka and her staff.

Prior to seeing Dr. Katinka, we had exhausted funds trying any and all other treatments for my dad, some causing more harm than good, putting him into great debt. This is the case for most patients with CRPS. Many are just unable to afford the cost of care at The Neurologic Relief Center to begin with.  If it were not for the help of fundraising, my dad would have left the center in extreme debt which would have been such a burden to overcome given the uncertainly of his outcome at the time. 

It has been on my heart ever since then to pay it forward to others who are in a similar situation.  The biggest help in my dad's fundraising, was when Simon Says Stamp donated all the sales of Neat and Tangled's 2017 STAMPtember set to his GoFundMe, you can see more about that HERE. So many of you bought that set, and had a hand in Dan's healing whether you knew it or not! Using the same idea, I have started the Crafting With Compassion campaign, and designed our new Celebrate You stamp set and Celebrate You dies to help this cause.  All proceeds from the sales of these sets will go directly towards CRPS patients in financial need at The Neurologic Relief Center, as well as those who are still waiting to get to the center for evaluation due to financial limitations. If you wish, you can also just make a straight donation with no purchase necessary on the Neat and Tangled website. All funds raised will be donated to The Burning Limb Foundation, who in turn will work with Dr. Katinka to distribute the funds. The purpose of Crafting With Compassion is to remind us that not only should we feel empathy for those suffering, but we should also take action and do something about it. 
Please realize the power we have when we all come together. Even if everyone just does a little, it can add up to a lot. Because of the compassion of others, my dad's life was truly changed. Now, let's help change some more! 

We have some very special friends creating cards with this new set. Their blog posts will be going up throughout today and tomorrow so be sure to check them out!

Jennifer McGuire
Kathy Racoosin
Chari Moss
Jenn Shurkus
Kelly Marie Alvarez
Kristina Werner
Lydia Fiedler
Gina Krupsky

These women were some of my greatest supporters during what was very much the most difficult year of my life. Their kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness will not be forgotten!

And now for the stamp set!

Celebrate You is a 4x6 set designed by Danielle Walls to remind us all that we should always be celebrating life. Getting through all of life moments, good or bad, deserves celebration.

The set of Celebrate You dies are stand alone dies, this means that can be used own their own or with any other stamps you won. BUT, they can work nicely with the sentiments from the Celebrate You stamp set as well! Just note that they will not cut the celebrate you sentiment from the stamp set. 

And now for a look at what the design team has created! Be sure to head to each design team members blogs for details by clicking on the photos, and for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate! One person will be chosen from among comments on the design team members blogs!

Thank you so much for letting me share something so personal with you today. And thank you so much for being a part of Crafting With Compassion! I know that each of you have probably been touched by something similarly in your lives, so be sure to stop by tomorrow when we kick off our next Neat and Tangled Throwdown Challenge - you'll have a chance to link up a card, and tell me about a charity close to your heart for a chance to have us make a donation to a cause close to your heart. 

Don't forget, these products along with everything else new for July is available in the shop NOW!

See you tomorrow!


  1. Wow! What a story and such a great group of people we are part of. Love this crafting community and I'm so happy your dad is doing well. I love that you are saying thank you and rejoicing by helping others. AMAZING!

  2. What an amazing story about your dad. I'm so glad he's doing better!
    It's so generous of you to donate the profits from these stamps and dies to help others suffering.

  3. I know someone with AMPS and this may be the answer. So glad to learn about this treatment. Awesome cards!

  4. I have had CRPS in my right foot since 11/2006. It has been a very rough & painful journey. I am able to walk & work but I take strong pain medication daily...all day long. I wish I knew of this doctor back then.
    Your dad is blessed to have you helping him. My children were young when this happened. In a very stubborn person & went through lots of painful physical therapy to be able to walk & wear shoes (some days it still bothers me...flip flops in summer are my favorite). I would love to talk with you or your dad about this if your willing.
    Thank you!

  5. I am so glad to hear that this treatment was successful. After foot surgery in 2004, I also had complications that developed into CRPS. At that time in my area it was very difficult to get anyone to take it serious. Most doctors acted as if I was exaggerating. I consider myself to be a very strong person, but CRPS took me right down the drain. I had terrible reactions from the drugs that were prescribed. After suffering for 2 years I had several lumbar infusions at the pain center that eventually put me about 90% into remission. These infusions caused allergic reactions but I continued them because they were slowing down the pain. I have some residual issues, but am so relieved. As a consequence of the anesthesia, pain meds & and all sorts of other meds that were given to me I ended up with fluoride toxicity. Fluoride is a neurotoxin but is an ingredient in many medications and other things. This was another nightmare and I had to figure it out with my own research. Doctors just laughed at me. I am feeling better today than I have in over 20 years so am very thankful. And I have been able to pick up my crafting hobby again after several years of not crafting. There are people suffering life-long with the agony of CRPS. Thank you for sharing this story and bringing a wider awareness of this horrible condition. Again, I am thrilled to hear that your dad has made such amazing progress. Debbie Doud @debbie.doud (IG)

  6. What an awesome set! Thanks for sharing your story about your Dad's experience. I have a friend now who is going through something like this after her hip surgery.... and I wonder if CRPS will end up being her diagnosis. I had never heard of it before and will be following your links to read up on it!
    Great cards with the Celebrate You set!

  7. I am so glad that your Dad is finding relief and I think that you are pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing your family story. I know that it is hard to have someone you love in pain.

  8. I'm so glad that he was able to get treated. I understand to a small degree because I've been having some nerve problems for doubt 11 years, and it's scary and horrible. So I'm very glad that he was able to be relieved of his problem!!

    1. I just watched the video (after commenting), and WOW, it just made me cry. I'm so glad that you posted this in case someone I come across has a problem that sounds remotely like what these women had dealt with. I will mention it to them...THANK YOU

  9. Hi Danielle! I was in tears when I read your story. To say I'm HAPPY for your dad, doesn't describe it enough. As a sufferer from femerol neuropathy, I live in great pain, everyday. Unfortunately the only treatment has been pain medication. As of July 1st this year, ALL pain doctors in the country have been ordered by the DEA to limit dosages, to a set amount. I believe this comes from the top down. From our vets with horrific wounds to others like myself who have nerve damage (mine came from surgery to remove tumors), we are now being told by our govt, how to be treated. Doctors don't have a choice to treat their patients,on a case by case basis. I don't know where to begin to bring this to light but I know there will be millions affected. I'm so happy you're getting the word out there about complex regional pain syndrome. It's because of people like you, that make a difference! Thanks so much Danielle! :)

  10. A very touching post & a great way to pay it forward. Love the crafting community.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story, Danielle. I am so happy to hear your dad is doing so well. And how amazing of you to create Crafting With Compassion as a way to pay it forward. You are such a thoughtful and and generous person.

  12. WOW! Thank you for sharing your story and I LOVE the "Crafting With Compassion" idea... what an amazing way to help!

  13. Wow--the video and your dad's story brought me to tears. Thanks for all you are doing for this cause.

  14. Oh Danielle, thank you so much for sharing...love how you're paying it forward.

  15. Such a horrible thing for anyone to go through. Thank you for being who you are and speaking up for those who have to. Such a great cause and a fabulous stamp set for it!

  16. I have been fortunate that I've made it
    through life without a lot of hardship.
    I was in a serious auto accident 30+ years
    but I recovered and went on with my life.
    There are residual effects but I've not let
    them stop me. I hope your father will be
    able to do the same. My thoughts go out
    to you. thanks for sharing a heartfelt
    story. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  17. I’m do glad all of our contributions helped your dad so much. I have FM so I empathized with him so much. I’ve been in pain so bad with lupus that I considered suicide so I understand more than most people would. I wish this kind of treatment was available in Canada.

    1. I'm am so happy for your dad & your entire family, you all deserve so much happy times now & what a fabulous thing to now help others to. I love with debilitating pain every day as I have osteoarthritis of my lower spine. I've lost my mobility, I can no longer work, my partner has to look after like a child some times when the accompanying nerve damage & shakes leave me unable to pick things up or even hold a drink. I'm a young 45 yr old mum of three but my spine is aged at over 100 yrs. I'm so glad your dad got help & fingers crossed many more people will due to your golden heart. x

  18. Sorry trying to type with shakes, I meant I live with pain believe me I do not love it. Please know I also never intended to mean I am as bad as your poor dad & others are, I just empathise with them x

  19. Oh wow! This was a wonderful blog post! What a blessing that you were able to get your Dad the help he needed and he is better. Thank God! I know a man whose wife has had extreme pain due to fibromyalgia for years and I am going to give them the information on this clinic. Thanks for sharing your story it just may help many other who are suffering with chronic pain.

  20. How fantastic that your dad was able to get treatment that works! Thank you so much for sharing!

  21. What an amazing gift to others paying it forward and I'm so happy to hear your father is doing so well. I was diagnosed with CRPS in 2007, two years after my injury. I've been through it all, physical therapy, shots in the spine, 9 surgeries including a spinal cord stimulator which ended up causing more pain. It is now removed but the only thing they give me is pain killers. I've come close to giving up a few times but choose to stick around for my kids and grandkids. I make cards and Pysanky when I can to drown out the crazy pain. Thank you so much for this wonderful information and a sense of new hope on the horizon.

  22. I’m so happy to hear that you dad is doing so much better. Also such a nice stamp set you have there and you DT made some nice things with it.

    Have a lovely day,
    Polka Dot Orchard

  23. Thank you for sharing your story. So glad to hear your Dad is now doing well! Fabulous way to help others.

  24. Thank you for bringing awareness to this cause and your generosity in helping others. What an awful experience this must have been for You, your father and family. I am so glad your father is is in remission.

  25. Thank you for sharing this. I’m lying in bed sobbing while watching and reading. What was supposed to be a badly sprained ankle six years ago, has been 6 years and 7 surgeries of horrific pain. Of course the doctors are all at their wits end because nothing has worked and it just seems to keep getting worse.

    Just knowing that there may be help out there is consoling.

  26. I’m working in ICU and work 12hr shifts and started having plantar fasciitis and orthofeet shoes have solved my problem. I wish they were a little more stylish, but at this point I choose style over function. I see that they have a new color and I will most definitely purchase these again when they need to be replaced.

  27. Oh my! What a touching story! I'm so glad your dad is doing better!!!
    You're a beautiful person!!! Thanks for what you're doing for this cause!!!
    Awesome cards!!!

  28. Wow! Thank you for sharing your Dad's story and journey. I've never heard of CRPS but reading about it is terrifying. I live with chronic migraines and I understand how hard it is to live with continuous pain, but at least I get relief at times. I'm so happy your dad was able to find treatment and relief. How wonderful of you to pay it forward! Thank you for all you're doing to help others dealing with CRPS. Thank you for helping them feel hope again.

  29. So glad to know your dad is doing good! This is a wonderful cause and I love this stampset! Thank you for sharing the inspirations with us!

  30. What a wonderful post - I'm one who bought that Stamp set from SSS, and so glad to know the funds did so much good for your dad; so glad he's up and about again and enjoying life once more!

    And this stamp & die set is awesome - I love the sentiments, especially the EVERY... ones! So perfect! A must add to my collection!

  31. and shared to a private crafty friends group on Facebook as well!

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