UNO, the birthday dog and the kids of CandlelightersNYC with their wonderful mothers:)
Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?
Well, now you know the answer to the title of this blog post!
Last night, we were invited by our good friend and president of CandlelightersNYC, Barbara, for a special occasion.
Barbara and HappyDoll go WAY BACK. She was actually a part of our FIRST HappyDoll session in New York. Barbara is an amazing women who has been supporting over 200 families go through the difficult times when a child is diagnosed with cancer. By organizing events and get togethers, she has created a welcoming community which provides advocacy and emotional support for the families.
This organization is small, but we were blown away by the passion and dedication Barbara offers to every member she supports. She has opened up not only her heart, but her apartment as well. The event took place in her apartment where her husband, Stuart and son, James welcomed everyone with open arms.
Five families with children battling cancer gathered to celebrate the birthday of....UNO, Barabara's 9-year-old Yorkie (Nao is holding him in the group picture). At the birthday party, the children also made HappyDolls!
We ask you to take a moment to just LOOK at these pictures:
Ila made three dolls in one night! "Art is my favorite," she says. The rainbow doll is a gift for her teacher.
Brooke is known for her "Blossoms", the beautiful headband, which she gives to girls battling cancer.
Alina made a Spiderman HappyDoll...which comes with the perfect message: "The sticky situation will pass!" She knows how to make someone smile!
Andrew made a Samurai HappyDoll for his friend, Valeria, who passed away 2 years ago from brain cancer. "They moved from Puerto Rico to get treatment," he said in tears. " She was so nice and her family was like my family." But he wrote a positive message on his HappyDoll: "smiles make miracles". On the HappyDoll's leg, he wrote the same phrase, only this time in Spanish, Valeria's native language.
Before they returned home, the kids received HappyDolls made by other kids!
We had such an amazing time with these children. According to Barbara, many more were supposed to participate, but could not make it due to fevers and other medical conditions. Hopefully, we will be able to meet these children at our next collaborative event:)
If you'd like to help support them, go to their Fundraiser :
Tuesday September 20th. 8:00 pm @ Bounce bar. 2nd avenue @73rd street Fundraiser for www.candlelightersnyc.org $20 at door. Open bar. All proceeds go for kids events!
Lastly, we want to share a message we received from Barbara this morning:
"What a wonderful party. Thank you Nozomi and Nao. Candlelighters NYC Loves HappyDoll Our kids spend all day in treatment for cancer at the hospital. Last night our apartment was filled with laughter and good feelings. We thank you.
Barbara Zobian President Candlelightersnyc.org"