Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Call to Pittsburgh Artists, Child in Need, Bedroom Murals of Zelda and Star Wars

This is a repost for an appeal to Pittsburgh area artists who can paint bedroom murals for a child with serious medical problems. I'll cover the painting supplies if we can find a qualified artist. Email jamieholmes05(AT)comcast.net your name, some portfolio work (preferably an online link like a website or the pgh artist registry which is free) and your phone number.

Thank you for your help in spreading this info. The clock is ticking.

Rick Byerly

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A few weeks ago I was contacted for help in finding Pittsburgh area artists who would be willing and able to donate their services to help 9 year old Zachary Mulvey achieve a higher quality of life. Jamie's Dream Team is run by 23 year old Jamie Holmes and they are looking for area artists who can paint murals on his bedroom walls of interest to Zachary like Star Wars and the Legend of Zelda. I hope anyone reading this will forward this along, post on blogs not only to get the attention of area artists but also to anyone willing to donate to this amazing cause (Jamie's Dream Team is a registered 501 c 3 non-profit).

To Pittsburgh area artists who think they may be a good fit contact Jamie Holmes either by phone (412) 302-1500 )or email ( jamieholmes05(AT)comcast.net )

Jamie's Dream Team also has a website here. The donation link can be found here.

Jamie's letter below has the full story which speaks for itself...

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Rick Byerly, Uniquetake Photography, Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Mr. Byerly:


My name is Jamie Holmes, I am twenty-three (23) years old, and I am the founder of Jamie’s Dream Team. I am writing as a follow-up to the telephone conversation that you had on August 3, 2010 with my Mother, Kim Shidel, who is the First Vice-President of Jamie’s Dream Team. Jamie’s Dream Team is a nonprofit corporation that has been granted a 501(c)(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service. A copy of the 501(c)(3) determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service for Jamie’s Dream Team is enclosed. The mission of Jamie’s Dream Team is to lift the spirits of those suffering from, and ease the burden caused by serious illness, injury, disability or trauma by granting assistance and/or “dreams” to those individuals. Jamie’s Dream Team’s purpose as a public charity is to provide assistance and/or make distributions to or on behalf of qualifying individuals who are handicapped, disabled, terminally ill, severely injured or suffering from a serious medical condition, disease or trauma. I was born with a rare disorder known as V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome. Children born with V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome can have congenital abnormalities of the vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus and kidneys. I was born with abnormalities in all of those areas. I have had at least twenty-five (25) surgeries and/or medical procedures since my birth, including surgeries to reconstruct my esophagus, trachea, and anus, and to fuse several vertebrae in my spine. One (1) of my kidneys disintegrated and my remaining kidney does not fully function. I, however, have been fortunate throughout my numerous hospitalizations and surgeries to have had the support and love of my family, friends, doctors and nurses. Throughout my life so far I have received so much from so many, and I have dreamed for several years of being able to help others in need. Despite the pain and suffering that I have, and will continue to endure, my heart has always been with others who are suffering. As such, I started Jamie’s Dream Team to fulfill my dream of helping others who are suffering as I have suffered at times throughout my life.

Jamie’s Dream Team has fulfilled over one hundred (100) “dreams” since its inception in November 2005. These “dreams” have been granted to qualifying children
and adults and have included princess parties, carnivals, helicopter rides, airplane rides, golf outings, baseball games, motorized scooters, go-carts, computers, furniture, horse and carriage rides, amusement and water park outings, camping trips, NASCAR racing, concerts, Christmas presents and meet and greets.

I am presently working on fulfilling a “dream” for a boy who has truly touched my heart in every way possible. He is Zachary Mulvey. Zachary is only nine (9) years old and he has already received two (2) heart transplants. He received the first at the age of ten (10) months, and he received the second most recently on June 19, 2010 in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Zachary’s need for the first transplant at the age of ten (10) months was due to dialated cardiomyopathy. He recovered from that transplant very well and was on his way to living a normal life when he was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) approximately two (2) years ago. It is my understanding that PTLD is a form of cancer that transplant patients can get and the treatment for PTLD includes the cessation of the anti-rejection medications. As a result of the PTLD, Zachary could no longer take his anti-rejection medications for his heart transplant. On May 10, 2010, Zachary went into cardiac arrest while he was getting ready for school. CPR was performed on Zachary for anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. As a last resort, Zachary was placed on an ECMO machine which is similar to a heart-lung machine. The following day Zachary’s Mother, Crystal Mulvey, was told that Zachary was not expected to have any brain function. As Zachary’s family was preparing for the worst, a miracle truly happened. Zachary woke up and was responsive to his medical team! Zachary was then placed on a ventricular assist device (VAD), which is like an artificial heart, while he waited for a new heart. Five (5) weeks later on June 19, 2010, a heart became available for Zachary. Zachary was discharged from Children’s Hospital with his transplanted heart on July 7, 2010. Zachary is doing well but he still cannot take the anti-rejection medications due to the PTLD. As such, Crystal Mulvey has informed me that a day will come when Zachary’s body will likely reject his new heart and she is fearful that Zachary will not be as lucky the next time.


Unlike other little boys his age, Zachary is unable to play sports, ride a bike or travel. As a result, Zachary has occupied his time and entertained himself by playing video games. He is truly a video game aficionado! His favorite video games include the various Legend of Zelda games. The “dream” that I am working on for Zachary includes a makeover for his bedroom. I would like to include as part of the makeover, a painted mural of video game characters on Zachary’s bedroom walls. I am writing to inquire whether you, or any other artists that you know, would be willing to donate your services to paint such a mural for Zachary.


Like me, Zachary has a dream to help others like himself who are suffering from a serious medical condition. The Community Coed Softball League (CCSC) in the Port Vue/Liberty Borough area has been fundraising for Zachary. On August 8, 2010, at the conclusion of its season, CCSC will be presenting a check to Zachary for the proceeds
from its fundraising. Zachary, however, intends to, in turn, donate those proceeds to Jamie’s Dream Team to be used to help those who are sick like him. Zachary is truly an amazing and inspirational child! Please contact me to let me know if you, or anyone you know, can assist Jamie’s Dream Team in fulfilling this “dream” for Zachary Mulvey. I can be reached by email at jamieholmes05@comcast.net and by cell phone at (412) 302-1500. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
Jamie Holmes


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The Pittsburgh Art Blog

The Pittsburgh Art Blog features selected pittsburgh artists and upcoming exhibits with photos from the artists and galleries. since the major press outlets do not go beyond a directory listing of exhibits, blogs are needed to promote pittsburgh artists and their work. the blog also calls attention to the inferiority complex of pittsburgh art and how it's perpetuated by the major players in town. Started on August 20, 2007.pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site www.PghGalleries.com.the blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and pittsburgh art advocate rick byerly, www.RickByerly.com.