I write this post with a heavy heart and hope at the same time. I was a military brat growing up, and along the stops of our family’s journey we ended up in Oxford, Alabama. Through facebook I’ve been able to reconnect with familiar names. A familiar name I recognized was that of a beautiful lady, K. She is a very sweet girl and through her status updates I’ve learned of another familar name that I went to school with. These girls were a little older than me, so of course I don’t mind that they don’t recognize me.  Well, according to K’s status, I found out that the Waller’s gave birth to a BEAUTIFUL baby girl named Ryker Elise. Through her pictures, she was one of the most beautiful little babies I have ever seen! The only thing that bothered me was that she was hooked up to a bunch of tubes and ventilators.

 I was wondering what was wrong with baby Ryker. Why was this precious little baby hooked up on all these machines that seem to be maintaining her life? Turns out, this sweet angel had a tumor the size of an adult fist in her abdomen. Doctors quickly operated and then the waiting game began. She fought for a long and hard 5 days and then she went on home. When I found out, I broke down and cried so much. I felt so much pain for Dwain and Keeli, these new parents had to deal with the biggest nightmare in the world, a pain that I don’t think anyone could describe. 

  Dwain and Keeli mourned for their daughter, but what makes these 2 parents different than most, is that instead of grieving for their own loss, they have quickly put on brave, powerful faces and comfort other parents who have children in the NICU. Ryker’s passing gave them the power to do something bigger than themselves, they choose to live for Ryker and honor her memory by rallying and collecting money for recorders and videos for each nicu bed. Personally, I have watched Keeli read to her daughter and it was the most heart felt moment ever. These 2 are the most unselfish people I know, and I have never even met them in person. I would like to share a message that Dwain has written to people who have left their condolensces:

 I dont even know where to begin. First, our daughter Ryker is in heaven smiling down at Keeli and I. She is also smiling down at all of you who have been touched by her. Saying thank you to our family, friends and even total strangers who have offered support does not come close to doing it justice. From the bot…tom of our hearts I give you all ultimate thanks for your prayers and support. Our daughter who lived 5 days touched more people in her brief life than I have touched my 32 years. She caused people to come together, to pray, and to grow closer to not only one another but to Christ. Keeli and I are not sad. We are excited and happy!! Ryker changed Keeli and I beyond measure. She became a Mommy and I became a Daddy and that will never change. Our daughter will always be with us. I would like to challenge everyone who offered support and prayers to continue to pray, continue to grow closer to your loved ones, your children, and your friends. Life is so precious and short. Life is fragile, so dont waste time with the crap that brings you down. Love your spouse, love your children, love your family, love your friends!! Let our Ryker always be in your spirit to remind you of these things. May you always rember the impact a small little girl, who was alive for just 5 days had on people all over the world. Do not be sad for Keeli and I, be happy, because we are new parents. Be happy because we just got to spend 5 wonderful days with our daughter. It was five amazing days that we would not trade for anything. In the NICU they say that babies leave as either miracles or angels. Ryker was an exception to this saying. She left as both a miracle and an angel. We are going to have a celebration service sometime in the near future and I would like to invite anyone who was touched by our Ryker to come and celebrate with us. God Bless!!

I’ve been trying to think of what to say to these 2 amazing people for such a long time, but instead of talking, I would like to help. They have 77 NICU beds to go, and I would like to announce the RYKER WALLER/NICU SPECIAL PACKAGE.

In order to help Keeli and Dwain,  I will be donating 50% to Ryker’s memory for video recorders, voice recorders, everything they need in that NICU.

This special is  160.00

this includes:

 2-3 hour photo session

2-3 outfit change

20-30 edits

premium color edits

black and white edits



and a thank you note personally from me for helping the Waller family and my quest to fulfill their dream.

P.S. I WILL TRY TO GET PICTURES FROM DWAIN AND KEELI OF THEIR BEAUTIFUL BABY. I’m asking permission before any are posted.


~ by anneasterling1 on January 29, 2010.

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