We are excited to share with you that our blog, Hope for Katherine Belle, has been nominated for the Liebster Award, an award created to give recognition to new bloggers.
We would like to thank Modified Mamas for your support and for nominating us for this fantastic award.
Here’s how the process works: Bloggers are nominated by their peers. Once they are nominated, they look for blogs that speak to them and have less than 200 readers per month, and then they nominate those bloggers – paying it forward.
Upon nomination, The Liebster Award Nominees are asked to answer 10 questions.
Here are the 10 questions Brandy and Nicole at Modified Mamas asked us:
Q: What made you decide to start a blog?
A: When we received the soul-crushing news that our then two-year old daughter, Katherine Belle, had a progressive, neurodegenerative disease in 2013, we were utterly devastated. We needed an outlet to express what we were feeling, but also on a practical level, we needed a way to give community updates to friends and family at once so we didn’t have to keep repeating very complicated, painful information.
Q: What is the number one way you market your blog?
A: Over time, our blog has become more than just a place for community updates, although that is still very much an important component. As we’ve moved through our rare disease journey, this blog provides a way to get our story out into the world to help us find other patients like our daughter, which is especially important now that we founded a non-profit to research her mitochondrial disease and grow the patient population. The number one way we market our blog is through a companion Facebook page, Hope for Katherine Belle.
Q: Where do you see your blog in 5 years?
A: We see this blog as an ever-evolving public journal of our rare disease journey. When we started blogging, we sat down together and discussed what this blog meant to us. Given the grim odds our daughter faces, coupled with our immense grief over learning that she’s slowly dying from a rare mitochondrial disease, we understood that our family had a long, rough road ahead. In the beginning, we were told there was no hope for Katherine. Together, we decided to reject this opinion – both medically and spiritually – because we believe there’s always hope. Excerpts from our first blog posts established the tone of our blog (and journey):
But this is not a blog about hopelessness. Far from it. It is a blog about hope. It is about faith. Above all, it is about love. While we have faced many hard days in the wake of this news — and will face more in the days to come — we have also felt and seen the redeeming power of hope, have been buoyed by the love given us by family, friends and complete strangers and have been astounded by the ability of faith to change things for the better, whether it is faith in a benevolent God, faith in each other or faith in a miraculous child.
Each day I share my photographs with friends and family and tell them a story that does not always require words, and that sometimes cannot be expressed with them. It is a story of faith, hope, love, and determination. As we continue ahead on our journey toward a diagnosis, I see a brave and thriving girl who is progressing, not regressing. I see a happy and joyful child who meets every obstacle or challenge with the biggest smile and the most positive attitude. I see a future with many more photographs of accomplishments, milestones, and laughter. In all of my pictures, I see faith, hope and love. Above all, I see an abundance of love.
Three years later and we still feel the same way. Where do we see this blog in five years? Ideally, in five years (even sooner) we hope we’re sharing groundbreaking research about cures/treatments for mitochondrial disease, along with photos of a happy and thriving 11-year-old Katherine Belle. We hope that people will understand that when we received devastating news in 2013 that we didn’t just sit down and hope for the best; instead, we stood up and looked mitochondrial disease squarely in the eyes and fought with everything we had – we pushed for a diagnosis, treatments, and cures, and advocated for our child every single day. Our greatest hope is that five years from now our hopes and hard work to fund treatments and cures will be a reality, not just for our own child, but for all those affected by mitochondrial disease.
Q: What do you do in your downtime/do you have a hobby other than blogging?
A: In our downtime we run a non-profit, the NUBPL Foundation, to raise awareness and fund research to cure mitochondrial disease. We try our best to carve out time for self-care (so very important!), which usually involves reading, biking, gardening, and home projects.
Q: What one piece of advice would you give other new bloggers?
A: Keep writing and searching for your authentic voice and purpose.
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Angle of Repose (Glenda); I, Claudius (Dave)
Q: Do you have a phrase (or code) you live by?
A: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” (Glenda)
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” (Dave)
Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Coffee (Glenda), Diet Coke (Dave)
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A: During the week our iPhone alarm clock. On the weekends, a chipper six-year old saying “Rise and shine!”
Q: What is the last thing you do at night before you close your eyes?
A: Kiss one another and say goodnight.
Now it’s our turn to nominate some fellow bloggers.
Our 6 nominees for the Liebster Award 2017:
- Annie from This Rare Day
- Cristina at Overcoming Movement Disorder
- Aimee at Teeny and the Bee
- Cristy at The Spooner Girls Foundation Blog
- Carrie at Little Miss Hannah
- Michelle at Chasing the Cleavers
- Desiree at Life is RADD
- Nerissa at Lucky Seven Family
Upon accepting this nomination, it becomes your turn to write your Liebster Award 2017 acceptance and nominate some fellow deserving blogs. In your post you’ll need to follow these Liebster Award rules:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you for the Liebster Award (www.hopeforkatherinebelle.com)
- Link back to the blogger who awarded you – that would be us – www.hopeforkatherinebelle.com
- Upload the award to your blog. It can be done as a blog or on the sidebar.
- Answer the questions you have been asked. (see below)
- Nominate 5 blogs with followers less than 200 that you believe deserve to receive the award. If you feel others deserve the award, then you are welcome to nominate more.
- Notify the nominated bloggers so that they can accept the award. Bloggers can be nominated more than once, giving their readers more chances to learn more about them.
Our Questions for Our Nominees Are:
- Can you tell readers about yourself and your blog?
- Something surprising you’ve learned from starting your own blog?
- Do you have periods when you want to abandon your blog, and if so, what brings you back?
- Where would you go if you could travel anywhere in the world?
- Do you have a blogging mentor?
- What was your proudest achievement (life in general)?
- What is your favorite quote?
- What do you think your blog says about you?
- Where do you see your blog in five years?
- How do you relieve stress and unwind?
We are inspired by each of you and look forward to your responses!
Glenda & Dave
2 thoughts on “The Liebster Award”
I was very moved by the article in the Penn Gazette “Hope for Katherine Belle”. The article also left me wondering if you all were aware of the possible benefits of hypoxia treatment for mitochondrial disorders. Pre-clinical experiments in mice have shown that reducing oxygen exposure can mitigate symptoms associated with compromised mitochondria. Hypoxia treatment is a potential low-tech option that might be achievable with something as simple as an overnight breathing apparatus. (Science Magazine, April 1, 2016. pages 31-32 and pages 54-61)
PhD Biophysics, 1990
University of Pennsylvania
Thank you for reading our article in the Penn Gazette and reaching out to us. The great thing about having a zebrafish model with our daughter’s specific mutations is we can test various options such as hypoxia treatment, among others, to see if it will be beneficial to her particular type of mitochondrial disease. Thanks!