As the season of giving kicks off, a Main Line family does their part by providing teddy bears and subsequent hugs to sick children.By Melissa Greiner Photograph by Carrie Hill Photography
It’s the holidays, and that means gifts — especially for the younger set. But while many children are hoping for toys and games, Kayla Danzi knows first-hand about a greater gift: the ability to say she’s cancer-free.
In June 2007, Kayla was diagnosed with High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). After two and a half years of chemotherapy, Kayla remains cancer free! October 2011 marked the two year anniversary of her being completely off treatment.
Kayla, 8, and her siblings Ava, 5, and Shawn, 18, have their own unique understanding of what it feels like to spend the holidays in the hospital and wanted to find a way to help other children get through those tough times. The trio came up with Bears for Smiles, an effort to provide comfort and smiles to sick kids by donating Build-A-Bear stuffed animals to patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
The mall is surely on your to-do list in the coming weeks; stop in to your local Build-A-Bear with your kids and spend time together creating a soft and cuddly symbol of hope for a child in need of some (Build-A-Bear has locations in Willow Grove, King of Prussia, and Springfield, Delaware County). The charity can only accept brand-new animals (all tags attached) due to the compromised immune systems of the kids, but also gladly accepts gift cards to the store.
For more information, call 610-636-3374 or visit their website at www.bearsforsmiles.com.