In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s focus on things we love. While we live in challenging — or shall we say “interesting” — times, there’s much to behold that signals hope and promise. Here are just a few of those highlighted in the TH in the past week.
Heart-warming and truly remarkable is the story of Piper Droessler, of Platteville, who was born in November with spinal muscular atrophy, a rare muscle-wasting disease. SMA affects a child’s ability to walk, talk, swallow and breathe, often becoming fatal. In December, Piper became the state’s first child to get a new gene therapy for SMA, identified through screening before symptoms developed, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. By administering the treatment before the condition takes hold, the gene therapy is thought to be a cure, allowing Piper to live a normal life.
For her parents, Ben and Caiti, this medical first is nothing short of miraculous.
We’re managing to raise caring kids in the tri-states, with a great example coming from East Dubuque school district, where fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students sewed pouches for animals orphaned by Australian wildfires. Appreciate this: The project didn’t involve students in front of computer screens; they were on actual sewing machines, learning to sew, to help baby animals halfway around the world. Love.
For those who found Platteville’s Driftless Market to be a favorite deli or grocery or simply a welcoming space, an ownership change is maintaining the vibe of the store. Since its 2008 founding, Driftless Market has become a favorite for its locally sourced foods, deli items and its community connection. It became a haven and hangout for the student LGBTQ community. Now, new owners have every intention of carrying on that legacy. Huzzah — drift on and prosper.
Speaking of restaurants thriving in their own space, cheers to Convivium Urban Farmstead proprietors who instituted a monthly Pay-What-You-Can Day, allowing customers to ignore traditional menu prices and, instead, decide what they can afford.
Co-owner Leslie Shalabi said she hopes the event will help raise awareness of food-access issues and connect with new communities. Great idea. Here’s hoping for a successful venture.
Partners and participants with Dubuque’s Fountain of Youth shared success stories recently of how the program has helped impoverished community members. The Anamosa State Penitentiary warden and the deputy director of Iowa Workforce Development both spoke highly of the inspirational work being done by Fountain of Youth founder Caprice Jones and his team.
A Dubuque native and local mural artist is getting some cool traction in the art world with an exhibit now open in New York City. Thérèse Mulgrew’s “Unfolding” will run through Sunday, March 15, at Freight + Volume. Locals can view her 2019 Voices Productions mural, “T.J.M. Still Life,” at 30 Main St.
Here’s to Valentine’s Day and finding something to love in our communities every day.