On July 31, 2018, April Robson’s world was shattered when her family received an unexpected diagnosis for their two year old daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte was diagnosed with Leukodystrophy, a rare, incurable and terminal condition.
Over the past year, many of you have followed along and been so inspired by April’s grace and poise through this difficult diagnosis. Her commitment to filling her home with joy while navigating this journey is truly remarkable and has touched so many of our lives too.
In honor of Charlotte, and the joy that she brings to anyone she meets, please consider contributing joy through a random act of kindness for someone else on July 31. Tag @charlottesjoy and #joy4charlotte on your Instagram story or Instagram post to join the movement as a way to show our support and give April and her family a big virtual hug on this day.
Friends — if you would like to help promote the Joy For Charlotte Kindness Movement prior to July 31, you can find various versions of the logo for download HERE. Please help spread the word to your friends and community.
A deeper dive into Charlotte Robson’s story
When Baby Charlotte was only taking a few steps unassisted at 12 months old, April and her husband, Ian, became worried. Despite their pediatrician reassuring them that every child develops at their own pace, the family’s concern continued to grow over the next few months as Charlotte was still not walking independently at 18 months old despite weekly physical therapy. Additional signs of other developmental regressions began to arrive which led to meetings with specialists, strabismus surgery and a slew of testing (bloodwork, genetic testing, MRI, EEG and more).
On July 31, 2018, the Robson family found themselves in a terrifying emergency room situation after Charlotte was experiencing difficulty swallowing. A repeat MRI would be done and the family would anxiously await the answers they had been searching for for months. Their lives would never again be the same as the doctors delivered the devastating news that Charlotte has leukodystrophy, a rare progressive genetic disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. The days and months that would follow would be a whirlwind as the family adjusted to their new life.
Despite the daily trials, the Robson family, which also includes 5 year old Camille and 1 year old Lochlan, continue to focus on joy, which is so evident to all who have been following their journey.
Many of you fell in love with April many years ago and have felt connected to her family as she shared their life through her blog, A.Liz Adventures which later became Smidge of This. Many of us would recreate her recipes, swoon over her calligraphy, celebrate her first, second and third pregnancies, purchase bows, jewelry, lipsticks and more from her shops, tune in for her grocery hauls and look forward to the clips of her everyday life as a rockstar wife and mama to 3!
Whether you’ve been virtually following April for almost a decade or found her more recently through Charlotte’s story, it is evident that the Robson family’s commitment to focusing on joy and filling Charlotte’s life with as much happiness and love as possible is truly inspirational.
Please consider joining the Joy for Charlotte movement on July 31 to support this incredibly inspiring family.
50 RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS IDEAS
- Leave a generous tip
- Buy coffee or lunch for someone behind you
- Leave a treat in the mailbox for the mailman
- Leave a nice note on a car
- Write a thank you note “just because”
- Offer to babysit for a struggling parent
- Buy flowers for a friend
- Leave dinner on a friend’s doorstep
- Donate canned goods to a local food bank
- Drop off donuts to the police or fire station
- Take a cup of coffee to your child’s teacher
- Write encouraging words to runners on a running path
- Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant
- Forgive someone
- Offer to help someone
- Write a letter or send a care package to a soldier
- Tell 5 people to have a good day
- Stop and hold the door today for someone
- Bake cookies for an elderly neighbor
- Visit the nursing home
- Pass out 5 compliments to strangers
- Buy from a small business
- Encourage someone to take the kindness challenge
- Donate blankets, towels, dog food or cat food to an animal shelter
- Let someone go ahead of you line
- Pick up litter
- Leave a happy note in a library book
- Donate your toys
- Pay off a school lunch account for a child
- Put someone’s grocery cart away
- Invite someone over for dinner
- Freely offer your skills to help someone
- Pray for someone
- Clean out your closets and donate your clothes
- Send a card to someone for no reason
- Tape money to a vending machine
- Pay for the toll for someone behind you
- Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
- Donate blood
- Sponsor a child in need at a local school
- Give someone a hug that needs it
- Post a positive review for a small business
- Offer your seat to someone
- Leave a positive comment on someone’s blog or Instagram
- Check in on an elderly neighbor
- Tell a manager how good your service was
- Tell your principal how great your teacher is
- Tell someone how much you love them
- Bring your neighbor’s garbage cans in for them
- Buy extra school supplies for the class