Awesome mug to benefit the MS Society

I have to pass this on for a friend (SBiM), a worthy cause (The MS Society), and a very cool tiki mug. This article is by Jon Bartholomew.

MS Mug

Why a mug to benefit the MS Society?
An explanation of motivation by Suffering Bastard in Maine, aka Jon Bartholomew

Traci I met Traci ten years ago while living in Tacoma. Besides an instant physical attraction, we quickly found we were the absolute best possible match for each other. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love. About a year after we met, we moved into an apartment together and one of the first things we added to it was a really cool bar we found in an antique/retro shop in town. This bar had a fantastic shape to it, but needed something. I bought some bamboo and added it to the exterior, and voila, a tiki bar! I already had a couple of tiki mugs but this was really the start of our mutual enjoyment of the tiki culture.

Since then, the bar has come with us as we moved around the country (currently in Portland, ME) and we have had a great time participating in the tiki world. We have traveled to Tiki Oasis in San Diego, we have gone on the first Northeast Tiki Tour (and will be on the second!) and have met tons of great people through all of our activities. Many of those great people are here in New England where I have been honored to be part of the Queequeg Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Moai.

About three years ago now, we were delivered a blow. Over a Thanksgiving weekend, Traci rapidly lost sight in one of her eyes. After going to an eye doctor, we were referred to a neurologist who soon confirmed that Traci has Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a strange disease that nobody knows the cause of, but at least today there are some treatments. Unfortunately those treatments involve regular shots she has to give herself. Every other day. And Traci hates hates hates needles!!

MS is basically the body’s immune system attacking the coating of nerves. Therefore the impact can be many different things. It can be a lack of balance, it can be numbness or tingling in a body part, it can be blindness, lack of energy, or forgetfulness. You don’t see someone and say, “Oh, that person has MS,” as it’s not that obvious. However, many people with MS end up in wheelchairs because of the permanent damage it can cause to the nervous system.

For my part, it’s difficult to watch the woman I love so much have to give herself shots, suffer from symptoms, and have the fear that she may one day lose her mobility. And there’s nothing I can do.

But there is.

The National MS Society was there right from the beginning offering a support group for Traci. They provided information that made this easier for both of us. They have been advocating for increased research into the causes and treatments for MS. The MS Society does a great amount of work to make those living with MS have better lives.

So the one thing I can do to battle MS is to support the National MS Society. And what do I have at my fingertips to help with that? I have a connection to the big ol’ Tiki Ohana!!

I proposed the idea of doing a mug to benefit the MS Society to my fellows in the FOM Queequeg Chapter. Everyone thought it was a great idea. We hashed out a design and I took it to Holden at Tiki Farm. Holden was happy to work with me and has bent over backwards to make this work out! He wanted to make sure it was great, so he connected us with Squid who took our ideas and turned them into this freaking awesome mug! Both Holden and Squid have reduced their rates as they are truly part of the Ohana as well. Thank you guys!!!

The mug itself has a few interesting features you might not realize right off the bat. The basic design is that of a Moai, because, well, we are the Fraternal Order of MOAI! And our Queequeg Chapter was named after the character in Moby Dick who had Maori-style tattoos all over him. Therefore, we included tattoos that symbolize health and life (the sun) and rebirth/renewal (the “koru” swirls). Since this is to benefit the MS Society, we figured that symbolism was appropriate. Another little bit is that the mug has feet. We know Moai don’t have feet, but these Moai in New England have walked together in the MS Walk, so we figured, hey! We’re the walking Moai! Give the mug some feet!

So today, we offer this mug to you in the spirit of fellowship, friendship and love. We hope you will buy at least one, perhaps donate a little extra and tell a friend.

And to you I say a humble MAHALO! for supporting the cause.

You can buy the mug from the link below, and help a worthy cause.