Sunday, April 1, 2012

Amazing Donna

Yesterday was the annual Kyrie Krop to raise funds for pediatric brain cancer research. You can read a recap here of last year's event where "Amazing Donna" received an award for the role she plays for the Kyrie Foundation. Donna makes blankets for local children (and others) who are suffering from different forms of childhood cancers. Donna has even sent blankets to Australia. After she receives the information regarding the child, and permission from the parents, she goes to work creating magic. Magic in the form of fleece, embroidery, and a lot of love.

Magic for parents who have something tangible to hold and to cherish during trying times, times of joy, and times of sorrow. Not all of the children who receive blankets survive. Their parents have another memory in the form of a blanket to show that their child was loved and mattered.

Yesterday, Donna told several stories of children from the past year. One, a boy - a young man, really - was into camo and "manly" things. She wasn't sure what he'd do with a fleece blanket but she sent him one anyway. It had hunting themed items embroidered on it. He proudly threw it around his shoulders and wore it all around. When he opened the package, he said "I don't even know these people and they're sending me a package." Another child received a hat and a blanket. Later, she told Donna that nurses from other floors came to her room specifically to see her blanket. That made her feel so special! Donna also makes blankets for the siblings of affected children. One mother shared how the little brother didn't understand why his sister was gone so much and why she got so much attention. Donna made him his own blanket and he loved it.

In a private conversation with me, Donna shared how some of the children's parents spend so much money on their care that they often cannot afford to celebrate milestones in their children's lives... birthdays. Donna puts together portable birthday parties for these children and delivers them to the schools or hospitals or where ever the recipient might be. I was really touched by this because Donna does all of this without any financial reimbursement from the parents. She buys the fleece, she sews the blankets, and then she either delivers or mails them - covering all of the expenses on her own. On top of the blankets, she also takes care of the expenses involved in the portable birthday parties. I said that I wanted to be a part of these celebrations and if she'd let me know, I would be thrilled to provide a Thirty-One cinch sack. She just happened to know of a child with a celebration coming up. My first recipient is a young girl who has had at least one cranial surgery. She's "all girl" and will love receiving a pink ruffled cinch sack in her birthday box. I can't wait to get it in the mail so I can send it to Donna, who will personalize it and deliver it to Hanah.

I'm stoked. I know it's not much but it will make me feel so good to be a part of such a worthy endeavor. I know that God will use my humble offering to bless others and I will also be blessed. Instead of sending just one cinch sack to her, I'm going to send two extras - one for a boy and one for another girl. That way, if something comes up that comes as a surprise, Donna can personalize the bag (she adds Kyrie's angel to everything) and deliver to the child as a surprise.

God is so good. Be so thankful for the little ones in your lives - and the ones who have grown who were once little. So much can happen in such a short period of time. One of the children who recently received a blanket is a baby girl who contracted melanoma in her mother's womb. (Her mother had been on the police force of a local community but had moved to Arizona.) Sadly, the mother has passed away and the baby is not expected to live much past her second birthday. Her father was deeply touched by the blanket gift and wrote Donna a note that said, in part, "It's a good thing you're doing. Keep it up." Donna said it was a typical "man" note - short, sweet, and to the point - but she could tell that he was very appreciative.



SkippyMom said...
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Sheryl Hunter said...

Beautiful, inspiring example of how one generous person makes a difference. The little things matter. The little things matter... Thanks for sharing.

Lois said...

that is incredible. I never take my chidren's health for granted, they have all been miracles. one can never assume anything, only love day by day.

Thisisme. said...

This is such a wonderful thing that Donna is doing, and you also, by doing your bit. To have a healthy child or grandchild is such a blessing, and something that I never take for granted, especially when you hear of what some poor little souls have to go through. My heart goes out to them. Lovely post. Hope the new job goes well my friend!

orchid said...

Dearest Teresa,
Oh, heartwarming story and wonderful Lady Donna is. And you sure have such a tender, sweet mind♪ Like Diane said, my heart also goes out to them.
I hope you are doing well, my friend♡♡♡
Love you always, xoxo Miyako*

Janis said...

Donna happens to be my big sister and I love her with all my heart. She is a wonderful person. She has made blankets, shirts, other items for fb friends of mine who have children who are dealing with cancer or various syndromes. I cried when I read what you wrote about her.

Libbie said...

What a blessing Donna is!!! That hunting guy made me smile! You described it so well that it was so real!

It always amazes me how blessing others blesses the ones giving also!