Thursday will mark 10 years since founder and president Kipra Anderson established Let There Be Mom by helping its first parent, Amanda Moon.
Anderson is encouraging the community to wear purple Thursday, Aug. 10, in memory and celebration of Moon and the many parents the organization has served in its 10 years.
"We want to celebrate this family, and the families we have served and will serve," Anderson said. "The more people wearing purple, the more attention it gets. I hope so many people in the community are wearing purple tomorrow that the question comes up, 'Why is everyone wearing purple?' I hope it makes us known to the people who could use our services and didn't know about us."
The Greenville-based nonprofit organization serves local moms and dads who are battling a life-threatening illness. Volunteers, led by Anderson, work with those families to preserve memories and stories that can be shared with their young children, helping them get to know their terminally ill parents later in life.
Amanda Moon was a 27-year-old mother, wife and daughter battling recurrent cervical cancer. When LTBM stepped in to help her family — on Aug. 10, 2007 — Amanda had a 3-year-old daughter, Madison, who Amanda wanted to preserve her legacy for. The organization arranged for Amanda and her daughter to paint a cake platter.
According to the LTBM website, "Each placed their painted hand on the platter that was brought to their home by a pottery studio. Daddy and Grandma (Janet) also joined in on the fun, as together the four of them, created dessert plates. While there, a special clay was used to take an impression of Amanda’s thumbprint. This casting turns to pure silver when heated, making a perfect charm that will be given to Madison with a special note from her Mommy at a later time. A photographer was at the home to capture the entire event. The emotions that were recorded in those pictures will forever remind Madison of her mother’s love."
Volunteers also compiled a scrapbook of Amanda's life and worked with Amanda to make a record of her story for Madison to have.
Amanda Moon passed away Aug. 30, 2007, but she was only the first of many parents the organization has since served.
Anderson said she has stayed in touch with Amanda's family throughout the years. Madison is now a student at Mauldin High School, where she is a varsity cheerleader, she said. Amanda's husband remarried, and Madison now has sisters.
"It's a great story of that family's journey through grief and then healing and finding hope in their new life," Anderson said. "It's hard to see when you're in the middle of that grieving stage, which is where I usually am with these families, so it's great to see the survivors in families living life and healing."
It Started With One Mom But Continues With Many
Anderson, a mom of three, recalls having the idea for Let There Be Mom in October 2006 after she envisioned what it would be like to be diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and given a short amount of time to live. At the time, her children were 4, 6 and 8 years old.
"There was so much to do, to organize, to say, to plan, to make happen," she wrote on her website. "I was under enormous stress and I was only imagining this scenario. There was an intense desire to bring peace to those who were actually face to face with this reality."
Anderson prayed to God, asking him to use her in his work.The next day, she met a 29-year-old mother of two who was fighting a serious illness, worried about what would happen to her children. Let There Be Mom was founded shortly thereafter, and Anderson admits she had no long-term goals in mind 10 years ago. She seemed humbled it has had such an impact.
"I'm excited for the milestone and so grateful to the volunteers and sponsors and the community that have supported our mission," she said. "The organization wouldn't be what it is without them."
She hopes to continue that mission — posted on the organization's website — for many years to come.
"I hope that Let There Be Mom touches many lives," Anderson says on the website. "Whether you are a healthy parent, or one battling an illness, we are all only here for a short time. Moms, Dads, treasure the moments you have, pass on traditions, and make a record of what you can, because one day, they won’t be able to ask you for your famous double chocolate, peanut butter, chunk cookie recipe."
For more information about Let There Be Mom, visit the website https://lettherebemom.org.