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A Child's Way to Bring Smiles to the Dying

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My name is Sebastian and I am 7-years-old.  I live in New York with my family.  My Mom, Malissa, grew up the daughter of Catholic missionaries and since I can remember I have always wanted to do good things for others and to see the smiles on the faces of the people I talk to, like my family has.

Not long after I was born, my Grandma, Lyn Scheuring, started to become pretty sick.  My Mom never said too much about it or wanted us to worry, so our lives went on as normal as could be and we spent a lot of time with my Grandma and Pa.  When my Grandma began to lose her eyesight, we would help her walk and sometimes help her eat since she couldn’t see what was on her plate.  That was just part of our life together.  Then in Spring of 2018 she began to get much sicker.  She had cancer now too.  We didn’t know it was getting so bad until the end.  She was not very hungry anymore and often had a fever, so she would sit in her favorite comfortable chair in the house, and I would just sit next to her and cuddle.

Last September my Grandma went into the hospital for the last time.  We thought she would get well enough to come back home, but that never happened.  She was taken to Calvary Hospital which is a hospice in the Bronx where we would be with her until she went to heaven.  It was a warm place, where the doctors and nurses helped us to feel comfort and joy in knowing that Grandma was being loved and cared for, and that she was getting ready to go to a better place with no pain and only love.  Since we went to be with Grandma and Pa every day after school, I made a lot of friends on her floor.  I would go talk to the other families who would be sitting with the people they loved who were also dying.  We all became a family.

One day when I was lying next to my Grandma in her hospital bed I got so worried because she was sleeping with her mouth open and I saw a small fly buzzing around her room.  I thought to myself, “What if that fly goes right into her mouth?”  I had to think of a way to keep the fly away from her since she was so helpless.  I then remembered learning about Venus Fly Traps from my Mom.  She had bought my brother and me Venus Fly Traps from our local grocery store.  I thought that if I left one in my Grandma’s room, I wouldn’t have to worry about the bugs flying into my Grandma’s mouth anymore.  When I walked around the hospital floor that night I told the families I became friends with about my idea, and I was so excited about it.  I even walked back into my Grandma’s room with $50 which the other families gave me to buy Venus Fly Traps for their sick mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, and children too.

That night on our way home from the hospital my Mom drove us to the grocery store to see if there were any more Venus Fly Traps for sale.  We were able to buy the 7 they had left, and the next day the doctor brought me from room to room to deliver the Venus Fly Traps to the families.  I felt so much joy in my heart when I would see the people’s smiles, especially since there was so much sadness and pain there.  The next day when I was walking around the floor with my Mom and visiting the friends I had made, one lady followed me.  She stopped me and asked me if I was the little boy who delivered the Venus Fly Trap to her son’s room the day before.  She started to cry and said to me, “Do you know when you go outside and see how bright the sun is?  Well, you are even brighter than that!”  She then asked if she could give me a hug and thanked me for the joy I brought into their lives.  It was then that I knew that I needed to find more Venus Fly Traps to bring more joy to other people.  My Mom searched everywhere to find what she could and I used some money I had saved up to pay for them.

My Grandma died on September 20, 2018.  I felt like a piece of my heart left with her that day, but I have joy knowing that I will see her again in heaven and she is in no more pain.  I also think she stayed alive so long at Calvary because I had a job to do there.  By talking to families in some of the rooms on my Grandma’s hospital floor and bringing them Venus Fly Traps to care for their sick family members, they knew they weren’t alone and that someone cared.  Once my job was done there with those families, my Grandma went to God.

Even though my Grandma is no longer there, this is something I very much wish to keep doing during certain times of the year, like in September to remember my Grandma and between holidays when gifts are unexpected.  With my Mom’s help I hope to find a way to raise the money to purchase about 20 Venus Fly Traps several times per year so I may go back to Calvary with my older brother, Lukas, and my Mom, and be with those who are suffering.  Even though this may be a small way of doing something to care for others, it is my simple way.

I had the idea that if I told my story, that maybe you would think about helping me in this service.  I am wondering if you would donate whatever you are able for this cause.  I know that I am supposed to go back to Calvary and bring some rays of sunshine into those hospital rooms filled with so much sadness, but I need some help to do that.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.  I never imagined that I would ever have an idea which could use what I know about plants to help people who are dying.  My Mom always says to me that God has an amazing plan for my life.  I think this is part of it.


  • Maria Vatanapradit
    • $50 
    • 2 yrs
  • Kristen Molinari
    • $35 
    • 3 yrs


Malissa Scheuring Leipold
New Rochelle, NY

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