Hi everyone! As most of you know, when I was 2 1/2, I was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma (a cancerousj brain tumor). On Mother's Day in 2010, my mom took me to the ER at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) because I could barely stand still without falling. I pretty much lived there until December 10, 2010 while I had brain surgery, underwent 6 cycles of high dose chemotherapy and recovered from the final stage in my treatment - stem cell transplant. Today I'm a happy 9 1/2 year old girl that is lucky to never have had to spent another night in the hospital since treatment ended.
Whenever I start to think back to the time I spent in the hospital, I try to focus on the fun events we had (the Halloween party and my birthday tea party), the playroom, my friends (nurses, doctors and patients) and the treats we received from time to time (gifts, the candy cart, a princess room filled with toys and snacks). These are the things that got me and the other kids through the day.
When I go back to CHAM for doctor visits & routine MRIs, I try to visit the 9th floor where I spent most of my time. Although I like to see my favorite nurses, sometimes I don’t want to stay long because it makes me a little sad. Seeing the kids there reminds me how painful, scary and lonely some days were. Like the days when you are so sick that you can't enjoy any of the fun stuff or when it's a holiday and you miss out on fun with your family and friends. While talking to my mom about how our last visit made me feel, we thought it would be a good idea if I could do something nice for the kids that would give me a reason to feel good for being there with them. Then we thought it would be great to take the kids treats on holidays.
Since Easter is coming up, we decided that we could start this project by taking each child on CHAM 9 an Easter basket filled with things to make their time there a little easier. There are usually about 36 kids on this floor and several kids can be in transplant rooms that have strict disinfecting requirements.
We started this campaign to see if we could raise enough money to launch this project and it has been amazing!!! We have raised enough money to fill the baskets with plenty of fun and useful things. We started purchasing some great items like message rocks, journals, baskets, basket bags and sun catcher kits. We are now shopping around and getting ideas for the items that will have to be specific to each child.
We are also talking with friends and family and working on plans for other holidays. We have increased our goal and are asking that people keep donating and sharing our page. We have some great ideas for the future like bringing the stuffed animal making experience to the hospital for Halloween, making customized headbands, socks or pj's for the 4th of July, and Valentine's Day totes! The possibilities are endless!!
The children on CHAM 9 are warriors fighting every day against deadly diseases. Please help us make them smile and feel like normal kids for a little while. You'd be surprised how simple things that can be taken for granted, will brighten up their day....but we promise to keep everyone posted when we make it happen!!