We all have turning points in our lives. People we meet. Stories we hear. Experiences that mold our life purpose. I’d like to share one of mine with you.
It’s about a young mother named Liberty. At the age of 24 she gave birth to her second child, a beautiful, nine-pound baby boy she named Indigo. When he was just three weeks old, significant green mucus started forming in Indigo’s mouth. Liberty took him to the doctor and thinking it was thrush, he prescribed antibiotics.
One week. Two weeks. Three weeks. Nothing changed.
After seeing more and more doctors who prescribed more and more antibiotics, still nothing changed. Liberty was lost.
Five months later, Indigo developed a hole in his tongue “the size of a quarter,” says Liberty. “Red, open flesh that made it impossible for him to nurse or to eat in general. I had to force feed him with an eyedropper every hour and a half with the breast milk I was pumping every two hours.”
Can you imagine?
While in and out of emergency rooms for months on end, Indigo’s condition worsened. Eventually, Liberty found a medical specialist that treated environmental conditions. After extensive testing, Indigo was finally diagnosed with formaldehyde poisoning – one of the many toxic chemicals found in conventional carpets. It was the formaldehyde out-gassing from the new carpet in his nursery that was poisoning Indigo.
“A baby crawling on a conventional carpet inhales the equivalent of four cigarettes a day.”
–Scientific American Magazine
After treating Indigo for both formaldehyde and asbestos poisoning, his mucus finally subsided and the hole in his tongue started to heal. However, by this time he had been severely compromised. “It created a permanent immune disorder and his body was unable to completely heal,” says Liberty.
At the age of two, Indigo contracted Haemophilus influenza and passed away within six hours, in this mother’s arms.
This devastating loss tore Liberty’s family apart. But something deep inside her would not let Indigo go. After months and months of grieving, Liberty found within herself the courage, strength and tenacity to keep his story alive.
That’s when Liberty Phoenix Lord decided to open the first green building store in Gainesville Florida. She named it Indigo Green Building Store. Her mission: To educate her community on what’s really inside some of the common products we bring into our homes. And offer her customers alternatives so no parent would ever have to go through what she and her family did. Ever.
Hearing this story and many others is the reason I started Women Of Green, an online community bringing awareness to the many women (and men) who are stepping up to solve some of the most daunting environmental and social ills on the planet.
2016 will be a very Big Year for us. We’re stepping out in a Big Way to support women, like Liberty, who are putting their missions where their mouths are.
For the past few months, we’ve been planning a live conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico (October 6-8, 2016), online coaching training and a video series called “Women As Game Changers” that provides both personal leadership and strategic business training to women who are changing the world so they can ROCK their businesses and community projects in 2016. Our conference concludes with a live performance called The Way of the Rain created by Sibylle Szaggars Redford, environmental artist and wife of Robert Redford.
What’s not to love?
I am reaching out to you now for financial support to breathe life into this amazing gathering of women who are fully dedicated to bringing new ideas, paths and systems needed for true transformation in their work, communities and world.
Whether it is $5, $25, $50, $100 or $1,000, or more, we are so grateful for anything you can give right now. What’s more, Women Of Green’s non-profit fiscal partner, The Partnership for Responsible Business, is a 501(c)(3) so that means your generous contribution is tax deductible.
From the deepest part of me, thank you…thank you…thank you! I wish you and your family a beautiful holiday.
Let’s make 2016 a game changer! We can, with your help…
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Listen to Carolyn’s “Women As Game Changers” interview with Barbara Gaughen-Muller, President of the United Nations Association.