Friday, August 27, 2010

A touching story

I've mentioned a couple of time that my sister-in-law Susan is having a tough year.  She lost her mother in the spring to breast cancer, and was diagnosed herself with the disease just before her mother passed away.  Now she is undergoing chemotherapy and, thankfully, doing very well.

Some friends of hers set up a website for information and encouragement and help.  My brother posts notes about Susan's journey from time to time, and recently he posted the one below.  He mentions their son Alex in the story, who was the connection that caused this to happen.

I am simply reprinting it verbatim:

Thought everyone would enjoy the following story about a young girl named Olivia.
Olivia is the 11-year old cousin of a good friend of Alex's who very much enjoys providing spa-type treatments to her friends and family. Olivia is so into this that she started her own spa in her house, which she has named the "Palm Tree Spa," and which she has equipped to provide services like manicures, pedicures and facials. Olivia even has stationary she uses with a border of palm trees around it.
Although an 11-year old with the initiative to start her own little business is impressive enough, the reason I am telling you about Olivia has to do with what happened when she heard about Susan's cancer from her cousin Amanda (Alex's friend). Without ever even meeting Susan, Olivia decided she wanted to do something to help. We first heard about this when Olivia arrived at our house on Sunday with a lovely note and a heart shaped basket filled with change and five and one dollar bills.
As Olivia's note explained, she decided to have a fund raiser so that she could give Susan money to, in Olivia's words, "help you through this hard time with breast cancer." She raised the money by asking her spa "customers" to make a donation in exchange for the services. Olivia also remarkably enough auctioned off four of her favorite Webkinz, as well as a "red and violet bear that has a heart for cancer."
Olivia's little basket contained a grand total of $87.05! In addition, her note informed Susan that Olivia "would like when you are not busy to come to my Palm Tree Spa for a special Spa Package created just for you and it's free." Susan is of course looking forward to her spa treatment, but obviously felt a little strange taking this money from a little girl, so will contribute the cash to cancer research or perhaps buy some toys for the children's cancer ward at a local hospital.
I don't think, however, that Olivia realized how much she really did do to help Susan through this hard time, not with the money, but rather with her warm and generous and caring nature. To know that an 11-year old child who doesn't even know Susan (other than through her cousin, Amanda and Alex) would care so much and want to help in a way that would make her go to the effort to do what she did is the sort of heart warming event that makes every rough day just a little easier to get through. Olivia really did achieve her goal of "helping Susan through this hard time with breast cancer."
Thank you, Olivia!

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