Do it for Diana

Spreading smiles, one small act at a time

2017 Light the Night Walk

This year was certainly one for the books! It proved that despite the planning and upfront efforts, there is no guarantee that Mother Nature will allow your plans to take action. Our family gathered in Iowa, proudly excited to sport our new team Do It For Diana shirts. Then, there were horrible storms that cancelled our planned Light the Night walk. In the end, we decided that we didn’t need an organized walk. We settled on making our own.

As a family, we went to Torino’s to eat. This place holds such a special place in our heart, knowing it was a date night spot for our parents as they were high school sweethearts, knowing that we grew up there with family gatherings, and knowing that it is a place we can pass on to our own kids. Then, we headed out into the night and made our mighty walk around the town square. It was little. It was unannounced. It was underwhelming. It was perfect.

The Last Grandchild She Would Meet

Dear Mom,

We found this photo as we were planning your funeral. We wondered if you had ever looked at it yourself. You were visiting your newest grandbaby in the hospital, and would soon be heading back home to Iowa. From the picture, we can tell you were content to hold another squishy baby, happy with a week filled with new memories of your granddaughters, and no doubt excited to share this photo with everyone back home.

You never got the chance to post it to your newsfeed or email out the great news about your newest pride and joy. But we did. We took your photo and shared it a hundred times over. Everyone knows how happy you were to help out that week. Everyone knows how thrilled you were to meet Grady. Everyone knows how proud you were of your family.

You should also know that we are so proud of you.


Your Fan Club Family

Were you touched by a “Do It For Diana” card?

Did you receive a “Do It For Diana” card?

If so, we would LOVE to hear from you! It has been fun to receive messages letting us know how you received a Do It For Diana card, and to know that people continue to “pay it forward” and circulate these cards to others after they have been blessed themselves. This is what it is all about for Diana’s family!!

Comment below to share your story. If you find it in your heart to do so, pass your Do It For Diana card on to someone else. Brightening someone else’s day is something that was near and dear to Diana’s heart. Since we’ve taken this duty on for her, we are realizing just how magical it can feel!

From our family to yours – Have a happy day!!!!

2016 Light the Night Information

It’s hard to believe the 2016 Light the Night Walk is only a few weeks away!


When: Saturday, September 24, 2016 with registration starting at 6:00 pm, Remembrance Ceremony at 6:45, Walk program starting at 7:30 and the walk beginning at 8pm

Where: Principal Park

Why: Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising walk to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Hundreds of thousands of participants raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services.

HOW DO I JOIN: If you want to join our team and walk with us on the night of September 24th, please follow this link to our Light The Night Walk Team page and clicking the Join button at the bottom.

Event Day Information:

  • Light The Night Walk Details:

    Date: Saturday, Sept. 24th

    Address: Principal Park, One Line Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309

    Parking: Free parking is available all west lots

    Event Timeline:

    6 PM – Festivities begin

    6:45 PM – Remembrance Ceremony

    7:30 PM – Walk Program Begins

    Approx. *8:30 PM – Fireworks finale

    Route: around the stadium along the Principal River Walk – be on the look-out for fire jugglers

    Food: low cost meals provided by Hy-Vee grill, beverages provided by Pepsi and hot chocolate provided by Scooters Coffee

    New this year: enhanced Kids Zone, Lego Tent, Hy-Vee KidsFit Challenge

Do It For Diana 2016

Do It For Diana 2016 was a wild success! In addition to the “Dad & April date day,” Ryan joined us as well! It was fun to have him along for the excitement and good to share stories, memories, laughs and more! We had several stops along the random acts of kindness express and I’m reminded how wonderful it feels to do nice things for other people. Knowing that we were doing this for Mom and the smile she would have on her face if she could witness others’ joy is just awesome.

Our first stop was to Panera. A vanilla latte for me, a quick gathering to layout the plan for our day, and of course the official kick-off to spreading mom’s beautiful smile! I *thought* I was giving the card to a mom/ daughter combination….. But it turns out, these two co-workers that happen to resemble each other (at least in our minds) were not related. Ooops. Nonetheless, Panera is their meeting spot every Saturday morning as they walk the mall, so these friends were happy to share a good chuckle at my inaccurate guessing and the day officially began 🙂

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Our next stop was to Dr. Michael Locke’s optometry office. Dad thought he worked in the area so we decided to visit an old friend from high school that I haven’t seen since back in the day. We had an amazing but quick visit and were able to catch up on one anothers’ families. Perhaps my favorite line of the entire day came from Mike when he said,

“Often in death, we tend to embellish those that we’ve lost. Not with your mom though – She was pure and she was joy.”


A tradition we’ve been following these past five years is to set our day around the movie theater’s schedule. Watching movies together as a family is something that I remember doing from my childhood. On Sunday nights, we would gather in front of our little tv, mom’s homemade pizza on our tv trays in the living room, and we would watch the Sunday night movie. As we got older, we would go to the movie theater on Thanksgiving night as a family. Mom & I had several movie dates throughout my high school/ college and beyond years! Today we watched two movies: Daddy’s Home and Sisters. Both were remarkably funny which was a welcomed feeling 🙂


The very first credit that scrolled on the screen after our first movie: “Diana.” We already know you’re with us mom…. But we appreciate the extra sign 🙂


Lunchtime at The Cheesecake Factory brought great conversations and our chance to pay it forward by buying someone’s meal. We each made several loops through the restaurant stalking eaters and assessing our options. It was unanimous that we would pay for a young family of 5! We got the waitresses on board with our plan and they helped to execute our decision. We all felt like this was another sign from mom: A perfect choice! We were gifting a meal to a family of 5. Much like we grew up in a family of 5…. And I now have a family of 5… And Ryan now has a family of 5. Perfect. Just perfect.



From honored recipients – Thank you!! Wonderful, unexpected gift that made our day. Excited to pay it forward in Diana’s honor.









(Thanks to Dad, mom made it to the table with us.)


An extra Do It For Diana act for our waitresses!!

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After our day together, the boys headed out and I checked into my hotel. I don’t allow myself to get too deep in my “mom thoughts” throughout the year. I keep my memories relatively loose other than this one night. Letting myself go back to the pain of losing her, the feelings and thoughts and anguish and despair is a once-a-year therapy session that is necessary and cherished. I journaled, I reflected, I remembered, I cried.


I may pray for a little “time away” 364 days a year, but when I’m given the opportunity I can only think of home!!  I was able to face time with my minis from my hotel 🙂


Arguably my favorite #doitfordiana moment to date. My 6-year old wanted to give a gift to his most favorite elementary teacher, and wrote: “I wanted to make you smile because my grandma liked to make people smile.” 5 years ago tonight I was standing in a hospital room crying about my worst fears coming true. Tonight I’m still crying, but tears of humble gratitude. Seeing my first grader want to pass on kindness reminds me that mom’s gentle soul is with me every single day!

One of my favorite parts of the day was watching #DoItForDiana stories come in! Through posts, emails, texts and calls it was an overwhelmingly humbling experience to watch as the world around me spread smiles in memory of mom.  It was awesome!

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This last note was from Mom herself. The day allowed me to go back and read a journal she wrote in for me several years ago. Each day for a year, she left notes about herself… This is one of my favorites 🙂

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Do It For Diana Day 2016 was a wild success!!!

Related post: Smile Because It Happened

Are you ready to spread smiles?

Diana Gott was one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. She was an engaged mother of three, a hands-on grandma, a devoted wife, a loyal friend and so much more. She showered those around her with love each and every day of her 52 years of life. When she was unexpectedly taken from this earth five years ago, we didn’t know how to move forward as a family. As the anniversary of her death approaches each year, we choose to spread her smile with random acts of kindness.

If you’re interested in spreading smiles, feel free to download this card to print off and share with someone around you!

Happy Do It For Diana Day from the Gott Family!!

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2015 Light The Night Walk Information

The time has come for the 2015 Light the Night Walk!


When: Saturday, October 24, 2015 with registration starting at 5:30pm, Remembrance Ceremony at 6:15 and the walk beginning at 7:00pm

Where: Principal Park

Why: Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual fundraising walk to pay tribute and bring hope to people battling cancer. Hundreds of thousands of participants raise funds for lifesaving research and patient services.

HOW DO I JOIN: If you want to join our team and walk with us on the night of October 24th, please follow this link to our Light The Night Walk Team page and clicking the Join button at the bottom.

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