Home » Family » Thinking about a friend of mine…

Thinking about a friend of mine…


Some days I sit and laugh when I remember my college days.  I have some pretty great memories running around with roommates, laughing about nonsense, creating chaos, baking treats (or buying them) at 2 am, sharing secrets, imagining our futures, playing silly pranks, practicing makeup tricks, (and yes, I went to class too), etc. 


I have been thinking a lot about one of my past roommates a lot lately.  Her name is Katie.  And she and I were crazy together.  We were both tall (our roommates called us the twin towers), both laughed a lot, and both loved to stay up late talking about our day/love interests/neighborhood gossip.  We often laughed about nonsense.  And made fun out of boredom.  And ate goat cheese (and chips) late at night.  We had a lot of random fun.


winter 2004 065
  • Save

(Pics are from 2003-2004)



Katie and I have been through a lot together.  And she was even there on my wedding day. 

(I can’t find a real wedding snapshop of us together right this second…..but here’s a random one of us chatting by the stairs.)


She has been such a dear friend to me.

. . .



When Katie had her second baby boy a little over a year ago, they found out that little Dylan was born with a surprise.  They call that surprise his “lucky leg” (like ‘Finding Nemo’).  Dylan was born with a condition called called Fibular Hemimelia and Congenital Short Femur.  And because of that condition, his left leg is about 30% shorter than his right one. (He has no fibula in his lower leg and his femur bone is shorter.)


Here he is as a tiny baby.  His foot from his full grown leg is on the left and the foot from the shorter leg is on the right.

  • Save
  • Save



Dylan has otherwise been growing perfectly well.  And is increasingly curious and independent.  Oh, and he pretty much has the most gorgeous set of blue eyes/lashes I’ve ever seen.  (Except his older brother has a darn beautiful set too!)

  • Save
  • Save



That little leg has made a fighter out of of this now little 13 month old boy.  He has some serious fire in his blood.  Check him out cruising on his lucky leg.





And it’s because of Dylan that I have been thinking a lot about Katie lately.  Well, and her whole family.  I just know she and her husband Bryson have a lot on their plate.  And worry a lot about little Dylan.  They have done a lot of research, asked a lot of questions, and prayed many prayers……and have decided that it would be best to amputate little Dylan’s leg.  They know that he will have a much better quality of life, using a prosthetic leg. 





Little Dylan is all set for surgery for this Wednesday, January 11th.  Yay.


Katie and Bryson have been really optimistic since having baby Dylan.  They know all things happen for a reason and they have a lot of faith that all will be well with Dylan.  But I know they have bad days.  And I know they worry.   So if you have a moment, please include Dylan (and the whole family) in your prayers.  And if you aren’t the praying type, please send good thoughts and well wishes their way.  They would appreciate it.



I just love that little Dylan……..and I love his momma dearly!

So I just had to share a little piece of their story here. 

  • Save




And share my admiration for this sweet little 13 month old boy.

(all images from here)



Best of luck Dylan! 

Our prayers are with you kiddo!  Can’t wait to see you cruisin’ around on your NEW lucky leg!!  

. . .



If you want to read more about Dylan and his leg journey, Katie writes a blog all about him here

(And if you want to ask Katie any questions, I’m sure she would love to answer them.  She’s become an expert on this topic!!)



Ashley Johnston
  • Save

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
katie collage2
  • Save


  1. Sharon says:

    I just came across your story about little Dylan. It is a tough time right now for all concerned but being an above knee amputee myself all will be well in Dylan’s world growing up with an artificial leg. I became an amputee at the age of 30 due to osteosarcoma but nothing has stood in my way and I an old! Your friends family sounds like they have a good foundation and with close friends like you they have great support. Dylan will grow up to be a well adjusted, determined, happy guy. If there is any way I can be of help to your friend please give her my email. You are all in my thoughts.

  2. Andrea says:

    Thank you for sharing. Dylan and his family are in my thoughts and prayers. I can’t tell you how much his story touched me.

  3. Emily Guerra says:

    I just read your post and wanted you to know that my family and I are in a similar situation. My son has PFFD (Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency) and Fibular Hemomilia in both legs. I understand the emotions that you go through when you find out about this and then have to plan on what has to be done to make sure that your child grows up healthy and happy.

    I pray for you and your family and anyone else that has limb deficiencies in their family. Please email me should you want to talk. You can also read about our progress with my son on my blog. You can email me if you are interested in reading about it.


  4. Jodi says:

    Wow, it seems like such a small world. My husband was friends with Katie in College as well his first year up there before his mission. We have been praying for her little boy as they have such a big surgery today. What a sweet post you did.

  5. Vicki says:

    What a lovely family, and I’m certainly wishing all the best to Dylan on his surgery.

  6. Natalie says:

    I am lifiting Dylan and his family in prayer. I read this the other night and have had them on my heart since. Thank you for sharing this post, which I will share with my church to keep in prayer also. Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5

  7. Stephanie says:

    Many prayers for this little guy’s health, the doctors hands, and his momma & daddy’s hearts!

    I’m in tears reading this beautiful story of love, strength, and trust in the Lord!

    I LOVE that you captured this part of his life in these beautiful pictures.

  8. Rebekah @ Justfordaisy says:

    What a beautiful little boy.
    Praying for this family at this challenging time xxx

  9. Cami says:

    Thanks for sharing. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them. Just curious from the pics, did you go to BYU-I? I was there those same years from your pictures. Thought I would ask.

  10. tiffanie says:

    Wow! Dylan is so cute:) Those eyes just melt me. My prayers are with him and his family and docotors!

    Please keep us posted
    and thanks for shring

  11. Sunni says:

    Oh my goodness, this just brought tears to my eyes. I just had my first child two months ago and I can’t imagine going through the same thing. Your friend and her family must be so strong! My prayers are definitely with them!!!!

  12. Laura @ Laura's Crafty Life says:

    Dylan is a doll! What a cutie. I am so grateful every day to have healthy kids. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must be on your friend, Katie, and her family. Such tough decisions to make. Sending well wishes her way!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wow Ashley, now I am crying not just because of beautiful Dylan and his family, but also because of the faith of these people you may or may not know. There is so much good in the world and it is nice to see the genuin concern that people have for others. Thinking of you and thanks for the post they are in my prayers!

  14. Marisa says:

    Wow, that is some amazing courage to make that decision, I am crying just thinking about it. Sending prayers for your friend’s little one and grateful once again for healthy babies.

  15. Becky says:

    Prayers coming!

  16. Chrissy Brannan says:

    I was so touched with this story. I am a massage therapist, and see clients all day, some with cerebal, or MS, and this story just touched my heart really deeply. Especially after seeing how amazing of a share it was for others. I just love to see others build each other up. GOD is amazing, and I know for a FACT, that God is using this blog, these lives and your wonderful hearts and families for the better good of others lives. Amazing, thank you for that wonderful ray of sunlight.

    And I will pray for all that are looking into answers and procedures, for comfort and recovery.

    College Station, Tx.

  17. Karin says:

    Dear Ashley –
    Thank you so very much for posting Katie and Dylan’s story. A friend of mine who reads your blog sent me the link to your blog and to Katie’s as well. I am 30 weeks pregnant with a baby who has the EXACT SAME CONDITION as Dylan. We are scared and worried …. but hearing Katie’s words has brought comfort to our family. Words can not express how grateful I am to have found Dylan’s story. Thank you so very much — you’ll never know how posting a story about your friend has touched others lives!

  18. Heather says:

    Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!


  19. Melinda says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to learn about Dylan and his surgery and for reminding us all to be grateful for the things we have. What a sweet family and a very special little boy. Please keep us updated on his surgery, and his recovery, and his progress as he and his family go through this difficult process. I will be praying for them often…DO they still live in the Idaho Falls area? Just curious as I do and would love to do something to help, maybe bring more awareness about their situation? About this type of birth defect? And the surgery? It is sure to touch many here in our community as it has in the online community…anything to help. Thanks again and God Bless. Melinda

  20. ellen says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Dylan and his family. Thank you for sharing his story. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

  21. Kate says:

    Thank you so much for passing along the opportunity to pray for this family. What a sweet boy!

  22. jennifer says:

    What a handsome boy! I am keeping this family in my thoughts and prayers,

  23. Amy W says:

    katie is actually my old visiting teaching companion from our BYUI married student ward, like 2 1/2 years ago! she really is such a sweet person. i wish i had gotten to know her better. but i love reading her blog about her cute little family and admire her SO MUCH. the amount of faith and courage they have is truly amazing. definitely keeping their family, especially adorable little dylan, in our prayers.

  24. Staci says:

    Many positive thoughts to your friend’s family and little boy. Those eyes are amazing!!

  25. Pam Pike says:

    Just sent up a prayer for Dylan, his family and his doctors. What a beautiful little boy!

  26. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for sharing. I will be thinking and praying for little Dylan and the family.

  27. Penny says:

    I will be keeping your friend and her little man in my prayers this week. It is such a challenge to make that kind of decision for your child. At his age though I am pretty sure that he will adjust and move along just fine. I’ll share with you that my husband was born with no right forearm (even though his brain thinks he is right handed!) and he can do just about everything by himself. He golfs, sails, dresses etc just fine because when you are little and in that developmental stage, your brain just figures out “your way” of doing things. Thank God for developmental stages!! The only think he can’t do is tie a bow in shoe laces…. I think that is OK!

  28. Taylor says:

    Will be praying for this sweet family! God bless!

  29. Andrea says:

    My friend’s little brother was also born with fibular hemimelia. He had his leg amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. Today he is a police officer, a Paralympic athlete, and is honestly the most athletic person I know. Here is a link about him:

  30. amy says:

    Hugs to you and your friend and her family. What courage and love they have. Dylan is BEAUTIFUL and those eyes are amazing. Figures it is a boy who gets those eyes, and lashes. A beautiful family with a wonderful love that will see them thru all the good and bad that life throws at them. Thanks foir sharing. He will be fine.

  31. Amanda Dunne says:

    Ashley, thank you so much for bringing your friend’s plight to my attention. Life is moving so fast, we often don’t stop to think how others are dealing with the hand God gave them. Katie and her family are so strong. I can’t imagine having to make a decision with such far reaching consequences for my babies. Dylan is such a lovely young boy, with plenty of courage and determination. I wish him and his family well for his operation and in the months ahead. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  32. Kristina Noall says:

    Two Kleenexes so far. I’m a mom and pregnant, no chance I could stop the tears for this story. That is one darling little boy. My husband asked what I was crying about and he loved the pictures and the video, too. I’ll definitely keep Dylan and his dear family in my prayers. Please do post updates when you hear them!

    I also enjoyed thinking about my own roommates, at that same school (I was there starting in ’03, too! Who knows, we may have had classes together…). Funny how fast that time goes by, isn’t it? Good times. :)

  33. Chelsea says:

    I am in tears trying to imagine how it must be to make a decision like that for their little boy! I will definitely include them in my prayers. It is amazing how you have allowed me to feel connected and love toward a family that I will never meet. Thank you and thank you for everything you do as a mother and as a blog “friend” to me. :) You have taught me everything that I know about sewing and that is a very precious gift to me.

  34. Haley says:

    This blog is extremely moving. We often don’t take time out of our day to think about how others are dealing with life’s obstacles. Your friend is strong and the decision that is made is solely to benefit her beautiful baby. Thank you for sharing, I also loved the way you shared your past of the great friendship you shared through your college years! Happy New Year!

  35. aymee says:

    I have been a follower of yours for a while now. You are my favorite blog to visit. What a fun surprise to see Katie on your blog today. We grew up together (for a little time) in California. She is actually my best friend’s cousin, and I did Sunshine Generation in her house as a little kid for a couple of years. I love them and their family. Thanks for sharing their story :)

  36. Tamera says:

    What a sweet precious boy & family! Prayers for them on their journey.

  37. Jessica says:

    What a strong little boy!! Many prayers for them as they go through this journey!!

  38. Kelly.R says:

    My heart goes out to little Dylan and his family! My friend’s nephew had a lot of complications when he was born and they also had to make the tough decision to amputate one his legs. So, good luck Dylan!

  39. jo says:

    Sending positive thoughts to Dylan and his family that all goes well and that, soon, he will be running fast down that road to recovery!

  40. Ashley says:

    My twin girls turn 1 Jan. 11th. My heart goes out to Dylan and his whole family. We will be celebrating life and praying for you all. Be strong. Much Love :)

  41. Ksenia says:

    Sending well wishes to Dylan and his whole family. What a cute little dude he is. :-)

  42. Desiree says:

    Wow, that brought tears to my eyes! I think we often take for granted when are children are completely healthy and don’t spend enough time ‘in the moment’ with them. Your friend and her husband are very brave and strong parents. You can tell they are absolutely putting their child first, no matter how difficult the decision. I am lifting them up in prayer. Thanks for sharing!

  43. Kim says:

    Praying, Ashley! Thanks so much for sharing this request.

  44. Lauren says:

    I know that prayer is powerful, and we will certainly pray for this family! I know they will have some hard times ahead, but that little guy looks like such a fighter. Thanks for sharing this, and please let us know how he does!

  45. Bethany says:

    He is lovely, I will pray and hope for the best, and you two look like twins. Serious.

  46. Laura @ ON{thelaundry}LINE says:

    My prayers go out to them! My own little girl is 13 months and a rascal, this is a good reminder to be thankful that she is *able* to be a rascal and climb the furniture.

  47. Claire Jain says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to them. What a beautiful boy.

  48. Melissa says:

    I’ve passed your friend’s blog onto a friend of mine. My friend is currently pregnant with her second baby, and they know he also has a limb difference with his lower leg. I’m not sure if it is exactly the same, but I thought it might be close. I know it’s always nice to have someone to talk to that has been there, done that…

  49. Danielle says:

    As another medical mama, my heart goes out to this whole family at the very thought of making this decision. Our prayers will definitely be with them.

  50. Rachael says:

    What an awesome little boy! Oh, watching that video broke my heart and made me feel like cheering for him all at the same time. Hope all goes well with his surgery.

  51. dannyscotland says:

    It must be heart wrenching for them to make a decision like that, and of course I will include them in my prayers. Your friend is lucky to have a friend like you, too, to be so supportive and caring.

  52. Jennifer says:

    Praying for the family!! Bless you little Dylan!!!

  53. noemy says:

    What a brave parents they are for taking that decision, God blessed them!!!!!

  54. Caroline says:

    I had a teacher in high school who was born with the same (or similar at least) condition. He was an extremely athletic guy who played lacrosse and was on the ski team in college and led backpacking and rock climbing trips during the summer. He had his leg amputated in elementary school and said it was the best decision since before his amputation he had been unable to participate in sports and was constantly in a lot of pain. I hope for the best for Dylan as well.

  55. Jacquie says:

    I will be praying and know that God has got this.

  56. Lynette says:

    Thanks for sharing this story with us. I will keep that sweet family in my prayers. I will check out their blog as well. Thanks again for sharing!

  57. Kate says:

    I am in tears here. Just last night, due to blog organisation and my OCD (long story, don’t ask! LOL), I was praying to find another one of Heavenly Father’s little ones that needed my prayers. And, here you are with Katie and her precious Dylan! DEFINITELY going to keep them in my prayers, as well as following his progress on Katie’s blog!
    Thank You! :)

  58. Megan says:

    Hi! I’ve never commented here before but I wanted to share our story with you to hopefully encourage your friend and bolster her confidence in her decision. My husband lost his leg below the knee in Afghanistan in April of 2011. His other leg is what they call a “limb salvage”–it was broken badly and they are trying to save it. We now refer to the amputated leg as his “good leg,” since the other still causes pain and impedes his mobility. (I should add that he named his residual limb “Stumpalufagus.”) If he had lost both at the time of the explosion, he would be running by now. Before this happened, amputation seemed so scary, devastating and (ashamedly) freaky. Now it is just a normal part of our lives. Prosthetics have come a really, really long way in the last few decades. Some of them even have neurotransmitters which communicate with the brain so that you can “feel” your foot touching different surfaces. Dylan is so small that this will be normal for him in the long run–he will not experience the feelings of loss, identity crisis, etc that happens when amputations are done at a later age. My husband is being treated at a facility with lots of amputees, and I see amazing feats of human strength every day. There’s nothing–absolutely nothing–they can’t do. Dylan will do just fine. His parents are smart and loving–I am glad that they can see past their fear to make a difficult choice for their son.

    1. Melinda says:

      I think it’s a wonderful thing for you to help by sharing your own story,you and yours are in our thoughts and prayers as well.

  59. ira lee says:

    what an agonizing decision to make. bless them all, he is a cutie. love and prayers going their way. im sure he will do wonderfully with his ‘lucky’ leg, and what a fun way to descirbe it!!!

  60. Steph says:

    What a great family! I will be praying for Katie’s family and eagerly waiting to hear the updates as Dylan recovers!

  61. Laree @ Ever Heard of Euless says:

    Thank you for this story. What an amazing family – the strength needed to face something like this with so much hope is awe inspiring.

  62. Kathleen says:

    Ashley, thanks for sharing the story of your friend and little Dylan. I will be praying for the surgery and for the parents. My third child, a daughter, was born without her left forearm. That was a ‘surprise’ for us. We knew she was a girl but had no idea until she was born. I can so relate with your friends. It is scary not knowing what the future will hold for them. i am sure Dylan will do great with his prosthetic and they will be amazed at all he will be able to do. My daughter is now 22, a senior in college, majoring in fashion merchandizing. She can do anything. Please let your friend know I am praying! Blessings, Kathleen

  63. Justine says:

    This story really touched my heart. I will definitely keep the family in my prayers, but I just wanted to say to them (in case they ever peruse your blog comments!) that I think what they’re doing is insanely brave and completely selfless. I’m sure it’s incredibly difficult for them to have made the decision that they did, but as you said, they’re really giving that gorgeous baby a much better quality of life in the future. I’m sure Dylan is destined for great things!

  64. Sami says:

    I hope it all goes well for Dylan, what a cute boy he is. Keep us posted on the recovery. They are in my prayers.

  65. Michele says:

    Good luck Dylan! Hang in there mom and dad. Kids are tough.

  66. Bev says:

    I am praying for this precious baby boy and his brave parents.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Well wishes fr another part of the world, wishing Dylan and family all the best!

  68. Tara @ Tara Being Tara says:

    Dylan, his family, and your family are all in my prayers this week!

  69. Wendy says:

    He’s beautiful. Thinking of you Dylan, and your family. Wx

  70. Julie says:

    What a thoughtful post Ashley. Katie is so lucky to have a friend like you. Your post did have me in tears and I will definitely be thinking of your friend and little Dylan. I have a 2 year old son and I know how lucky we are, and that not everyone is sadly. Thank you for sharing such a touching story. I’ll stop by Katie’s blog too. x J

  71. stef says:

    the whole family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  72. Diptee says:

    Hi Ashley… I have been regularly following your blog but never really written to you before… Dylan is almost my sons age and i can imagine what the family must be going through… they are very courageous… I will be praying for little Dylan….

  73. Erin @ Missy Mac Creations says:

    Oh my gosh. I just cried. What a courageous and amazing family. My thoughts and best wishes are with them all. x

  74. marjo says:

    Woow! What a hard decision to let cut in your kids body! But i can really understand it wil be better whit a protese! Will say a prayer! (Sorry about my bad english, i’m from Holland).

  75. Lauren says:

    Will say a prayer for your friend and her sweet boy. Please keep us posted as to how the litle one is doing.

  76. Marine says:

    Il will pray for Dylan… I believe in God and his Love.
    Thank you very much for your beautiful blog, and excuse me for my bad english!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

Back to Top
Share via
Copy link