When the idea for Girl Power 2 Cure first came into my head, I didn’t tell anyone. I was so excited and could imagine the flower popping up all over the place in support of our girls and shining a beacon of strength, beauty and hope around the world.
I worked sketching different logos and flowers, I toyed with the name, I had notebooks full of ideas. But, for some reason, I couldn’t even name the folder on my computer GP2C. I named it “Rett Idea.”
I was afraid to jinx it I guess.
Then one night at a rooftop fundraiser in New York City, I looked out over the buildings and saw my message. “Girl Power” was spray painted in graffiti on the wall across the street. That was it -- GIRL POWER!
When I launched, the flower got mixed reviews. Some people felt the colors and look were too happy for such a devastating disorder. My response? When you’re sick or sad or lonely, do you want people to pull down the blinds and turn out the lights? Or let the sun in and bring you flowers?
Fast forward 10 years.
Ten years of 14-hour work days, 7 days a week. Ten years of struggling emotionally as my own daughter battled against the Rett monster. Ten years of highs and lows of research breakthroughs and girls who left us too soon to have a chance at benefiting from any of them.
Recently, the best surprise came in my mailbox. A gift I knew would come but didn’t know when or how. Page 2 of the Mayer Johnson catalog. Our flower. Our little flower printed in the legend to represent Rett Syndrome. It was completely unexpected. I was excited that Susan Norwell's Flip Books for Rett University were included in the catalog, but had no idea about being included in the legend.
"That it’s our flower representing Rett Syndrome is indescribable. I am so grateful for each and every staff member, volunteer, family, teacher, donor, student, business and mentor who has helped tend to our flower along the way; nurturing, sharing and representing to the world what we are all about."
-- Ingrid Harding, GP2C Founder and President
Any product in the catalog that is suited for a student with Rett Syndrome NOW has the GP2C flower next to it. Our flower, that flower I dreamed of adding meaning and representation of Girl Power and Rett Syndrome to educational tools and resources suited especially for our girls, our families, and our educators and therapists working every day to give our girls quality communication, language and literacy.
Our GP2C Flower, representing hope, possibilities and encouragement that now today, we understand so much more than we did 10 years ago about all our beautiful and smart girls can do. Tools and resources that work for them. The only other special call out was for Autism with the puzzle piece logo. And our GP2C flower was even listed ahead of them.
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I jumped up and down then ran around the house showing everyone in my family. Then I took a picture of it and started to share with staff and then everyone I ran into. We've come so far as a community in encouraging and inspiring others to see what we see -- competence, intelligence and worth.
Our vision is literally coming true and we all, including each and every one of you, have worked hard to carve a place for Rett in the special needs community. It’s our time, our girls' time and for our flower to grow even bigger than I could have ever imagined 10 years ago on that rooftop in New York City.
That it’s our flower representing Rett Syndrome is indescribable. I am so grateful for each and every staff member, volunteer, family, teacher, donor, student, business and mentor who has helped tend to our flower along the way; nurturing, sharing and representing to the world what we are all about.
Special thanks to Mayer Johnson and parent company Tobii Dynavox for seeing and believing what we do- hope, possibilities and worth for all of our girls. So hold on world, here we come! #powertheflower #untilshecan #dreambigforher.
For more information about Girl Power 2 Cure as well as news about our latest fundraiser The Revlon Million Dollar Challenge, please visit girlpower2cure.org and dreambigforher.org.
Ingrid Harding, mother of a daughter with Rett Syndrome, founded Girl Power 2 Cure, Inc. in May 2006. She wanted to find a way to engage young girls with their special needs peers after watching wonderful bonds form between her own daughter and her classmates in school.
Ingrid hopes Girl Power 2 Cure, Inc. will bring mainstream awareness of Rett Syndrome and help raise the millions of dollars it will take to cure tens of thousands of suffering girls.
Ingrid is also the co-founder and a Trustee of the Rett Syndrome Research Trust. Prior to Girl Power 2 Cure, Inc., Ingrid was CEO Program Director for PlayhouseRadio.com, an Internet children’s music station.
Girl Power 2 Cure's office is in Amelia Island, Florida where Ingrid resides with her husband Peter and three children: Pierce (18), Sarah (15) and Gretchen (13).All Posts
In February 2013, our two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Girl Power 2 Cure (GP2C), their staff, members, and supporters, have become a beacon of light for me and my family. They bring an air of excitement, youthfulness, and fun to a very serious diagnosis.