Former VIP Taylor Vander Well - "We Are All Connected"- April 2017
Taylor Vander Well attracted the attention of PATYL because of her project, “See Through Stories”. This project is Taylor’s heart and soul. With this project Taylor shares the stories of people who have been diagnosed with dementia in the early stages in order to capture their life stories before they’ve been forgotten and to raise awareness about what having dementia is really like for the diagnosed and those that love them. She developed the project from her graduate studies and own experience of working as a nursing assistant on a dementia unit. She stated that she struggled with never really knowing anything about the histories of the people she was caring for each week. Then her grandmother was diagnosed. This hit her hard and the first story she ever wrote was that of her grandmother’s, Jeanne.
Taylor is committed to preserving the narratives of those who’ve been impacted by dementia in a personal and dignified way. She wants us all to remember that “We Are All Connected.” Taylor makes sure to give her undivided attention to each person…in each moment…as they unfold (usually over coffee) in order to create connections that allow both her and her subjects to be vulnerable, sad, sarcastic, silly, and honest with one another.
Take some time to connect and read the incredible stories of Jeanne, Charlie, Kay, and Shelley on the See Through Stories site and to find out more about Taylor’s inspiring project. Support Taylor on her mission to bring love, light, and dignity those affected by dementia by wearing and sharing her message.
Former VIP Kevin Martin- "You Are Loved"- March 2017
Kevin Martin was the very first PATYL VIP. I was instantly impacted by Kevin’s story. I couldn’t have been more honored to share his story with you. Kevin chose the message "You Are Loved" for his collection as it represents his personal quest bring as much love and inspiration into the world as he possibly can.
Kevin Martin is 22 years old. He grew up in a small town about 100 miles west of the big city that is Cleveland, Ohio. He is a survivor. Kevin will tell you that he faced many “monsters, challenges, and painful experiences” in his youth and adolescence. He has struggled with anxiety, depression, and self-hatred. He tried committing suicide and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. He came out on the other side of all of this having learned to embrace positivity and kindness and community.
By day, Kevin is a social worker committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth. In his “spare time,” Kevin runs a non-profit organization called To Love and Inspire. YOU CAN FIND OUT ALL ABOUT TLAI HERE! The mission and values of To Love and Inspire are a direct reflection of Kevin. He will tell you, “I am not here for myself; I am here for a reason that goes beyond just me, so being able to give to others in a way that hopefully brings them love and inspiration is what gives me life.” TLAI partners with a variety of causes seeking to resolve social issues and inequalities through empowerment and collaboration. They are committed to helping people. A mental health professional is available via chat on their website 24 hours a day for anyone that needs someone to talk to. They hit the streets and share tangible messages of love, inspiration, and kindness with others. Kevin and his organization are paying attention and they are making an impact.
Kevin used the proceeds from his You Are Loved collection to help him grow his non-profit organization To Love and Inspire. You can keep up with Kevin and his amazing organization on Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter .