This is a beautiful story of a loving community coming together to help a sweet little boy find a new kidney that he so desperately needed. Little Jack Certain had kidney issues since his time in utero. He had his first transplant at age two, receiving a kidney from his mother. By age 7, and after hours and hours and hours of hospital visits and dialysis, he was in desperate need of yet another transplant. Finding a transplant for Jack was no easy task and I jumped at the opportunity to help the cause after hearing about the event that the Gorilla Yogis were holding for Jack. My good friend Ryan Eggen, an awesome Yoga instructor here in the Twin Cities, had been helping teach the Gorilla Yogi classes for some time, and I loved what they were doing in the community. When he told me about Jack’s story it really hit home. Being the father to two little boys around Jack’s age I was deeply moved to photograph the event, in an effort to help spread awareness for Jack, and for all those in need of donors out there.
The “Live, Give, Love” 75 minute Vinyasa practice for Jack took place inside the Thorp Building in NE Minneapolis. It felt so good to be there, and to hear from Jack’s parents, his siblings, and to see the support of the heartfelt community all around them. What a special day, and the best part…there was a very happy ending to this whole story. An amazingly brave woman named Mekea donated her kidney to Jack and he is doing better than ever. Read the beautiful story here written by Minneapolis | St. Paul Magazine.
Be sure to check out Gorilla Yogis too, and all the wonderful things they are up to…from their website: “GORILLA YOGIS is a movement, a migration to yoga beyond studio walls. Gorilla Yogis gather to practice urban jungle yoga in unexpected, offbeat places. In parks, on street corners, in museums, art galleries, at cafes, in restaurants, in music venues, on barges on the Mississippi River, on rooftop decks, on farms, in barns, in lofts, abandoned spaces, baseball fields. It’s yoga out of captivity. Each month we host donation based yoga events where we raise money for organizations that are doing hard work to make this jungle an awesome place to live.”