When I turned 16-years-old (a life time ago), I had certain expectations. My first and most important one was to get my driver’s license. The second one was to wake up on the morning of my birthday and look outside to see a brand new candy apple red Corvette with a giant bow on the hood parked in the drive way. However, only 1 of the 2 expectations was met on that day; I got my license and the Corvette just remained in my dreams. My daughter, Allison, has very different plans for her upcoming 16th birthday. She wants to give to other’s instead of receiving gifts for herself. Allison spent many days and nights in the hospital with Kayla while she was receiving treatment for cancer. She saw all of the families that were so scared for fear of losing their sick child. So, she chose to reach out to the families who are currently at Egleston and give them donations of laundry supplies, blankets, pillows, socks, snacks and more to help ease their hospital stay. I only wish I had been unselfish like her when I was 16 instead of just thinking about myself. But, she continues to amaze me with her generosity and kindness for other’s.
Several months ago, Allison cut 10 inches off of her hair and donated it to Locks of Love http://www.locksoflove.org/ . This non-profit organization provides hair pieces to children with long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. I am so proud of Allison and her gracious and compassionate heart. And, my life has been truly blessed with my 3 beautiful daughters.
The following letter was written by Allison:
Dear family and friends,
It’s hard to believe that it has already been over two years since my sister, Kayla, passed away from Leukemia and she was going to be 20-years-old on Christmas Eve 2012. My family has gone through a lot since Kayla passed away, but we have all come a lot closer together. Right after Kayla passed away, I had no idea how I was going to overcome such trauma and heartache from losing my older sister. Since time has passed, I have become more mature and understanding when it comes to difficult times, I have learned to enjoy the little things in life and now I see how truly blessed I am.
There are a lot of charities and foundations that are raising money for research and finding a cure. No one knows how long or when it will be when we find a cure for cancer, but in the mean time families are in desperate need of different items while they are living at the hospital with their child. Since my 16th birthday is coming up soon, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to gather up items that I can take on the day of my birthday, which is January 15th. Here is a list of items that I have come up with that you can donate.
Laundry detergent, Laundry Baskets
Blankets, Sheets, Pillows
Snacks (chips, cookies, crackers)
Drinks (water, Gatorade, Coke)
Egg crate to use as cushion (the couches in the patient’s room are very uncomfortable for the families to sleep on)
Gas gift cards (families use a lot of gas getting to and from the hospital)
Since this is very short notice, gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, and Dollar General ETC. would be best. All of these items have to be BRAND NEW. The hospital will not take used items. All of these items will be going to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston. This is the same hospital where Kayla received her treatment and chemo.
If you would like to help, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be taking these items on the day of my birthday (January 15, 2013) to the hospital. Thank you for your kindness and generosity and for making helping these families!