In our first year, one of the most special things was, and continues to be, building our relationship with Mary Bridge and their Hematology/Oncology Clinic. In working with them, we identified an opportunity to serve the kids and families in their community in a very meaningful way. In 2017, we were thrilled to announce that we started a program called Rachel's Hugs which grants wishes designed to enhance the lives of young cancer fighters at Mary Bridge. Every month we work with the Mary Bridge staff to identify the greatest needs of their patients. Whether it is an iPad to help with schoolwork or distracting games, a pet to keep them company, a bedroom makeover to help provide comfort, or an airline ticket for a member of their family to come visit, we do our best to fulfill the greatest and most urgent needs of these kids and their families. We think this is perfect, because it is another way that we can share Rachel’s love and hope with others, and make these cancer fighting kids feel special – just like she wanted. I think we can say, with confidence, that she would be incredibly happy and proud of the work her foundation has accomplished so far, and that the Rachel’s Hugs program in particular would fill her heart.
Watch this page and our social media pages for stories and pictures of kids and young adults who are chosen to receive a Rachel's Hug!
Meet Our Most Recent Hugs Recipients!
Meet Skyla! Four-year-old Skyla’s mom describes her as a silly, sassy girl who loves being around family and is always making the best of any situation that comes her way, even while undergoing treatment for leukemia. Her family thought that a great Rachel’s Hug for Skyla would be a new big girl bed to replace her toddler bed. They had long wanted to give her a special bed that they could decorate around and create the "perfect princess room she so deserves." Her mom and dad picked out a beautiful pink, upholstered bed and gold polka dot Beddy’s bedding that would be perfect for reading and snuggles with her parents. We were so excited to deliver her bed recently to their home in Puyallup and set it up with a comfy new mattress, pillows, and mattress protector provided by Mattress Ranch. After adding a few extra accessories that we picked out and the decorations that the family had purchased, Skyla got to come in to see the surprise and she was thrilled to see her newly transformed room. She never stopped smiling as she took everything in with her new sloth stuffed buddy that we added to the bed. We still love looking at photos and the video in the comments on our Facebook post to make our hearts smile. We love knowing that her room will bring her lots of joy for many years to come.
Meet Edwin! Edwin is 17 years old and likes to play football, basketball, and baseball in his hometown, Mossyrock. Despite his recent leukemia diagnosis and the worries about the impact of this diagnosis on him and his family, he has been maintaining a positive outlook, which is not always easy. When he heard about the Rachel’s Hugs program, his social worker at Mary Bridge said that "he lit up" and knew exactly what he wanted - a dark blue iPhone 12 with a clear case. Edwin felt that having this phone would help him stay motivated, keep connected with family and friends, and provide a fun distraction. Thanks to the help and generous discount through our friend Andrew Buttz at the Tacoma Mall Apple Store, we were able to buy Edwin's phone of choice and get it over to the staff at Mary Bridge Oncology Clinic quickly. We could tell by the video in the comments of our Facebook post that the staff shared with us that he was very happy and we loved the joy that it brought to the whole room! After the delivery, his social worker reached out and said "He wasn't feeling well today and this really brightened his spirits!" - which is exactly what the Rachel's Hugs program is all about.
Meet Some of Our 2021 Hugs Recipients!
Meet Cole! Cole is 16 years old and the past few years have been very challenging for him. After a car accident caused by a drunk driver in November of 2019, Cole had to have multiple surgeries on his wrist in 2020. Then, in February of 2021, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. When thinking about his Rachel’s Hugs request, he knew that he really wanted the new PlayStation 5 along with a racing wheel and shifter! His mom had tried to get him one for Christmas but was unsuccessful due to the high demand. Cole felt that having this gaming system would allow him to "pass the time during treatment without having to leave home and expose myself to germs." He was also excited that it would allow him to interact online with his friends and also with a whole new group of people. We were lucky enough to get ahold of the highly sought-after gaming system and were so excited to drop it off to our Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital partners so that they could deliver the PlayStation 5, racing wheel and shifter to him in the clinic, along with a gift card to get a new game of his choice! His Mom reached out afterwards saying "you made this 16-year-old kid one very happy boy." We are so glad that Cole now has the latest gaming system and a new way to play with friends and keep his mind occupied during treatment!
Meet Aaden! Aaden was 10 years old when we initially received his Rachel’s Hugs application and was in need of a pick-me-up while undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. At that time he was thinking about asking for a dog for his Rachel’s Hugs request, but after a lot of thought over the next several months, he ultimately decided on a very hot item - a PlayStation 5. He and his family felt that this would provide him with a great distraction and a way to spend time with his three siblings and his friends at his home in Spanaway. The PlayStation 5 was released in November of 2020 and it immediately became extremely difficult to find one available to purchase. Our team was up for the challenge and recently we finally succeeded in buying one for Aaden! We were so excited to drop his gift off with our Mary Bridge Oncology Clinic partners for them to give to him at a clinic visit. Aaden did not know that he was going to get his Hug that day and we later heard that "the clinic RN's said they hadn't seen a smile that big and last that long in forever!" We love thinking about the joy that this Hug will bring him for many years to come.
Meet Dorcus! Dorcus is 15 years old and loves singing and volleyball. She was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma and is looking for ways to stay connected with her twin sister and her younger brothers while she is in the hospital for lengthy treatments. She knew that a MacBook would be the perfect Rachel’s Hugs request! It made us very happy to hand off her Hug to our Mary Bridge Oncology Clinic partners so that they could deliver her coveted computer along with a sparkly, rose gold case (her favorite color!). Now Dorcus is able to communicate with family as well as play games and watch movies for a distraction and even do some school work when she's up for it. While we still wish we could deliver Hugs in person, seeing photographs showing her radiant smile made us smile and we know that her MacBook will bring her many hours of fun with family and friends and plenty of ways to pass the time and explore new areas of interest.
Meet Charlotte! Charlotte is a strong 16-year-old who was focused being a sophomore in high school, playing volleyball and socializing with her friends and family (including her twin brother!) before her diagnosis with acute myeloid leukemia last October. Going through treatment and losing her hair has been understandably challenging for Charlotte so she felt that a shopping spree would be a perfect Rachel’s Hug request to enhance her life and boost her self-confidence. New clothes and accessories are great for improving self-esteem and bringing cheer! Charlotte often needs to spend over a month at a time in the hospital, so being able to do some online shopping will not only provide some retail therapy, but it will also give her a chance to buy some things that will help her feel good on the outside, too - something that was also very important to Rachel! We were thrilled to be able to give her gift cards to Amazon, Target, and Marshall's, some of her favorite stores, along with some cash to use at other favorite online retailers of her choice. We were thrilled to hear from the Mary Bridge staff that Charlotte was excited to receive her Hug and we love thinking of the joy she is feeling as she picks out some new things that make her feel good and look great.
Meet Jeremy! Jeremy was 22 years old when we received his Rachel’s Hugs application and we learned that he was a smart, kind young man who hoped to be a radiation therapist one day. Jeremy's Hugs request was for a shopping spree so that he could shop for special Christmas gifts for his family and friends. We thought Jeremy’s idea to get things for his family and friends was so thoughtful, and we also knew it would relieve some stress as it would allow him to get his Christmas shopping done while undergoing treatment for a relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After talking with him, we jointly decided that Amazon gift cards would allow him to make all of his purchases in the easiest way possible. Unfortunately, we were unable to connect with Jeremy to give him the cards before he was transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. Sadly, he passed away a few weeks later. After talking with his family, we delivered his Hug to his parents so that they could distribute the gift cards to Jeremy’s friends and family members allowing them to each purchase a special gift from Jeremy - just as he hoped. We know that they will treasure those gifts forever. Fly free, Jeremy.
Meet Yasmine! Yasmine is 15 years old and being treated for osteosarcoma at Mary Bridge. She is a social girl who loves interacting with others and playing with her many pets. When thinking about what she wanted for her Rachel's Hug, her family asked if we could create a place to house her fifteen (!) pet rats. Yasmine also hoped for some new clothes and accessories for the Reborn brand baby dolls she collects. In talking with the family, an outdoor shed at their home in Shelton was a perfect solution for the rats but we quickly learned that sheds were likely out of our budget – until one of our board members happened to cross paths with Tammy Birklid of Merit Construction, who immediately offered to help out! Thanks to her and to her crew, we were able to give Yasmine a brand new shed with lighting, shelves for her rat cages, and a heater for these chilly winter days. Yasmine was thrilled! We were so impressed to learn that despite losing her eyesight at the age of 3 from a previous cancer diagnosis, she is able to identify all of her pets by feel. With Merit Construction's discounted materials and labor, we were also able to get Yasmine a new stroller and clothing for her beloved dolls, bringing a giant smile to her face! We love thinking of Yasmine safely playing with her pets in her new shed and taking her dolls out for a walk. We are so grateful to the team at Merit Construction, as without their donated materials and over 40 hours of labor this Hug would not have been possible!
Meet Bentley! When discussing the perfect Rachel’s Hug for five-year-old Bentley, she and her family knew that a “playground in her yard” would be just the thing to bring a big smile to her face! Bentley’s mom describes her as a kind girl who loves her family and her mom knew that a playset would be a give her a fun outdoor activity and help her build up her strength as she continues her treatment for medulloblastoma. Every time she would think of having her own playground, her mom said that Bentley's face would light up. We searched the internet and ordered a playset that had the playhouse, swings, and slide that she hoped for and recently had it installed at her house in Port Orchard by the Lisa Blevins Remodeling crew. We were so grateful for the discounted construction rate that Lisa gave us and for their hard work on a long cold day. Throughout the day, Bentley would come out on the deck with a huge smile on her face to see if her playset was ready and as soon as it was, she hopped onto a swing, ready for fun. Despite the cold and rain, she tested out the telescope, went down the slide, and got cozy in her new play space. A few days later, her mom sent an email to tell us that "she was so happy it almost made me cry" as she enjoyed her playset on a nice day. We love thinking of Bentley's beautiful smile and the joy that her Hug is bringing her!
Meet Bryce! Bryce’s family shared that he is a spunky 3 year old who loves to be active and silly and make people laugh. Before his acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis, he loved going to neighborhood parks to play, so his mom thought that an outdoor playset in his own backyard would be the perfect Hugs request for him and would help him to "get the wiggles out" on long days at home! Bryce especially loves climbing, swinging, and going down slides, so we searched high and low and found the perfect playset for him to play on with his sister Riley. Bryce waited patiently all day as he watched the playset get built in his backyard and the moment that it was ready, he and Riley raced outside and immediately started playing. They pretended to be on a ship, had a competition to see who could swing higher, played tic tac toe, raced down the slides, stopped for a quick lunch break at their new picnic table that we also brought along, and even asked if they could sleep outside in the playset (brrrr) that night! We love knowing that this Hug will bring Bryce and his sister so much fun and great memories all year long.
Meet Lyndon! Lyndon is 7 years old and loves the online video game Fortnite, playing with his brother, and building with LEGO sets to keep his mind off the many appointments and procedures he endures while being treated for Neuroblastoma. Even though he was encouraged to think of 'bigger' options for his Hugs request, he knew that what would make him the happiest was the 1175 piece LEGO Star Wars Republic Gunship set that he has had his eye on for two years. The one tricky part? It was discontinued in 2014! Always optimistic, we were ready to take on the challenge and were so excited when we found a brand-new Star Wars Republic Gunship set being sold online by a collector. We decided to keep our find a secret, wrapped it up, and handed it off to our staff partners at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic to deliver to him during an appointment right before Christmas along with a LEGO gift card so that he can buy more kits in the future. We heard that Lyndon was shocked when he opened the gift to find his coveted LEGO set and he made sure that his parents took his photo so that he could send it to all of his family! He also insisted that it did not get opened until he was ready to build it because he didn't want his brother to lose any pieces. It didn't take long for him to get to work, and a few days later we received a photo with the finished product. His dad said he spent three 12-hour days hard at work! We can tell by his smile that this Hug was exactly what he wanted and know that it will bring him lots of joy each time that he looks at it.
Meet Our 2020 Hugs Recipients!
Meet September! September’s Rachel’s Hugs application describes her as a positive 15 year old who enjoys watching makeup tutorials and spending time with her family and friends. Due to Covid visitor restrictions, she doesn't get to see her little brother or friends during her long inpatient chemotherapy treatments at Mary Bridge and this inspired her Hugs request for a new iPhone 11 that she could use to keep in touch with everyone. She felt that having a new phone would allow her to FaceTime and text, as well as to watch online tutorials and other videos and provide many distractions during her cancer treatment. When talking to her family, we learned that her favorite color is red, so it was extra fun to quickly buy a red iPhone and red case just in time to hand them off to our social work partners at Mary Bridge so they could deliver her Hug to her during her clinic appointment on Christmas Eve! We heard that September was "SO excited" when she opened up the gift! We wish that we could have met her, but we can tell by her radiant smile that she was thrilled and love thinking of the joy that it brings her each time she uses it.
Meet George! George is a curious and fun loving 1 ½ year old who loves to look at fish. Prior to his cancer diagnosis last September, he loved going to the zoo and aquarium and then found joy in watching the fish in the tanks when visiting Mary Bridge for appointments and treatment. George's parents decided that a fish tank would be the perfect fit for his Rachel’s Hugs request because "the joy on his face from watching fish and pointing at them just makes things a little bit easier." Fish tanks were not something that we were familiar with, but we enjoyed working with a local small business, Aquarium Paradise, as they helped us pick out the perfect tank complete with live plants, accessories, and of course lots of fun fish! George loved watching as the tank was set up in his bedroom and was even more excited in the weeks following as fish were gradually added in. When our team made trips to his house to set up the tank and then add in fish, he loved entertaining them with fish sounds and sharing the fish crackers, fish books and fish toys that they brought for him as part of his Hug. His parents say that the tank is the first thing that he looks at every morning and that it is a great way for him to relax after stressful days, which is just what we were hoping for.
Meet Marlene! Marlene is an outgoing 12-year-old with a great sense of humor, an infectious smile, and a joyful spirit even as she endures treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her family commented that they are very close-knit and that she has a special relationship with her 3 younger siblings. When asked what she would want for her Rachel’s Hug, she decided that a shopping spree at Target would be incredibly special and would be perfect since she loves make-up and fashion and would enjoy picking out new things for her bedroom. Valaree, a social worker at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, helped us by delivering Marlene's Hug right after Christmas for an extra special December surprise. We can tell by her smile that the Target gift cards and the art supplies we added for some extra fun, were a huge hit and we love thinking about the fun she'll have buying things that will bring joy to her life!
Meet Olivia! Olivia is 16 years old and enjoys soccer, horseback riding, reading, video games, and visits with Olaf the facility dog, who is such a wonderful part of the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic team. Her Rachel’s Hugs request was for a new laptop to help her attend school virtually due to covid-19 restrictions and of course, also to help her keep in touch with her friends and family while she is undergoing treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma and to provide endless hours of entertainment. We handed off the computer and protective case to one of our Mary Bridge partners, Kristen, so that she could give it to Olivia at her upcoming appointment. Olivia had no idea that she was getting her Hug that day and the staff let us know that she was extremely surprised and excited when she received it. We are so happy to know that it brought a bright spot to her day and are confident that it is being put to good use!
Meet Jermaine! Jermaine is a sweet 9 year old who loves playing Roblox and spending time with family and friends. When asked what he wanted to request for his Rachel’s Hug, he was torn between a new TV to replace the broken one in their family room and a new laptop that he could take to his appointments. Both of these options would provide him with some entertainment while he goes through treatment and, most importantly, they both would allow him to play Roblox with his family and friends! Jermaine ultimately decided on a new TV and we were so pleased to be able to deliver it to him a few weeks ago. He was very excited about the new smart TV for their home but was even more surprised when he opened our second gift and found a new laptop, too! The smile that we saw after he opened it up brought such joy to us! Jermaine now has a great setup at home and also a laptop to take to his appointments. Both will bring him hours of entertainment, help him to connect with his family, teacher and friends and provide distractions while he stays safe at home. It makes us smile to know that he has these new ways to have fun in his life.
Meet Kaia! Kaia is 7 years old and is a brave warrior taking on each challenge without any complaints, according to her Mom. Prior to being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March of 2020, she enjoyed lots of outdoor adventures and now that she is staying safe at home, she enjoys being with her family and playing Roblox, her favorite game! She has been wanting a MacBook for a very long time, so she knew exactly what she wanted to request for her Rachel’s Hug. We were so thrilled to meet Kaia and her family on the porch of their house to deliver her MacBook computer complete with a bright orange case (her favorite color)! Just like her mom predicted, Kaia lit up with excitement when she opened her gift and plans to use it to work on her photo editing skills, create beats with and experiment with music programs, connect with family and friends on FaceTime, do school work (okay, maybe that's what her Mom is excited for), but mostly to play Roblox. We love knowing that her Hug will bring her lots of fun and will be a great distraction during her journey.
Owen is a sweet, funny, and shy 5 year old who adores his baby sister, likes rock and roll and acting out movies, and also loves to draw and read. In his Rachel’s Hugs application, his parents wrote that they thought a Nintendo Switch would be a perfect Hug to bring a smile to his face. They shared that the Switch would help keep him entertained throughout his treatment for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, especially since visiting with friends and family is more challenging these days. Two of our board members were excited to meet up with Owen and his family at their home in Spanaway and bring him his new Nintendo Switch along with several games and accessories. They also brought him a colorful mini trampoline that will provide an extra way to get out some energy when he is cooped up at home. Owen was so excited to receive his Hug and immediately got cozy on the trampoline for a great game of Mario Kart. You can see his big smile as he opens his gift on our Facebook page in the comments section on his post. His Mom says that his new Switch and trampoline have been big hits and we love knowing that he has great distractions that will bring him lots of smiles.
Meet Sophia! Sophia is 6 years old and loves wolves, unicorns, and the colors turquoise and gray. She was in need of some cheering up after undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia diagnosis since February and when asked what she might want for her Rachel’s Hug, she knew that a bedroom makeover with all of her favorite things would make her smile! Our team had great fun picking out lots of fun items for a perfect, cozy bedroom to brighten her spirits. Her room in her Tacoma home is now complete with turquoise paint, wolf and unicorn accessories, sparkly lights, a cozy new rug, a new bed, and a beautiful chest of drawers. Her reaction was priceless as she took it all in with awe and a giant smile and said "it looks like a Barbie dream house!" You can enjoy some video of the big reveal on our Facebook page in the comments on her post. We love knowing that she has a fun, relaxing space to enjoy and that makes her feel extra special. This Hug was sponsored by Kathy Moore in honor of Mary Lynn's birthday. Our thanks also go out to Mattress Ranch for donating the mattress, box spring, pillow, and bedding; Miller Paint for donating all of the paint; and Harkness Furniture for giving us a great discount on the furniture. We are so grateful for their incredible support in bringing smiles to kids like Sophia!
Meet Masi! Masi is fifteen years old and is a bright, mature, family-oriented young man who enjoyed soccer, exercising, and working hard in school prior to being diagnosed with B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January of 2020. His request was for a brand new laptop that he could use to help get him back on track with school remotely this fall as well as provide a fun distraction during treatment. We were very excited to hand off his Rachel’s Hug to Jessica, one of our Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital social worker partners who continue to help us deliver these smiles during this time of health and safety restrictions. Jessica shared that Masi was very excited to get his new laptop and protective case and we love thinking of the fun that he is having and how it is helping him with remote learning and social connections.
Meet Helal! Helal is 2 years old and has fun playing with his twin sister. His family moved to the United States last year and shortly after their arrival in the northwest, they received his cancer diagnosis. That diagnosis has meant that Helal and his family need to be isolated from their family, friends, and their new community. His Rachel's Hugs request was for his own Microsoft Surface with a digital pen because he wants to be like his Dad, who has been working from home on his laptop. His family also felt that it would help him to learn how to draw, write, and stay connected with loved ones. There are also so many games and videos that will entertain him as he goes through treatment. We were so excited to hand off his Hug to one of our Mary Bridge social worker partners last week so that she could get it to him while he was at the clinic. While he wasn't too sure about his new sloth stuffed animal that we included with his Hug, he was very excited about his new laptop! We love thinking about him playing on his computer next to his Dad and know that it will bring him a great distraction during these tough times.
Meet Olive! Olive is 5 years old and her family describes her as a smart, funny, observant kid who has an infinitely positive attitude. Prior to her cancer diagnosis, she loved going to the park near her Tacoma home and playing outside so her family knew that a backyard playset would be the perfect Rachel’s Hugs request! Olive specifically hoped for monkey bars, swings, and a climbing wall, and we were so excited that we were able to order the perfect playset that included everything she had hoped for. Olive's new backyard toy was installed recently by the team from FurniTechs, who generously donated their time to build the play structure. She immediately hopped on the swings when it was ready and she got the “go ahead” to try it out. We're so excited that she now has a safe place to play with her “sister” (her chocolate lab Rita) and her wonderful cat Elvis! Special thanks to Bill and Pati Lynn for sponsoring her Hug in honor of a birthday! We're able to continue giving smiles to kids like Olive thanks to all of our generous donors and for that we are so thankful.
Meet Persephone! Persephone is 16 years old and is very close to her 5 siblings. She loves coding, gaming, and all things technology related. Her Hugs request was for an Apple MacBook, which would give her the opportunity to continue with her coding and gaming interests as well as provide a great distraction while going through treatment. Of course, it would also be helpful for her schooling! We were unable to meet Persephone due to current health restrictions, but our staff partners at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital helped to deliver her beautiful new MacBook complete with a galaxy-themed case to protect it on trips to the clinic and hospital from her home in Yelm. We heard that her Hug helped bring a bright spot to her day when it was delivered to her at the clinic and we only wish we could have been there in person to see her smile under that mask! It brings us joy to know that she has this new laptop to help her have fun and learn new skills this summer and for her schooling in the years to come.
Meet Jeffrey! Jeffrey is 26 years old and was active and healthy before his diagnosis. He is a proud father and husband with a unique situation - his specific cancer diagnosis is most common in children and therefore he is being treated at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Being an adult in a children’s hospital is unusual and the resources available for young adults are so difficult to come by. Rachel experienced similar challenges as she got older, so we were thrilled to get his Rachel’s Hugs application and to provide something special for him! His request was for a weekend getaway so that he and his wife could celebrate their first wedding anniversary and escape from life’s stresses for a brief moment. We were really excited to meet him and his family in July at their home in Bonney Lake (on his birthday!) to deliver a basket full of goodies to enjoy on their two day stay at the Robin Hood Village Resort on Hood Canal the following weekend. After their getaway, they sent photos to us and said that they had such fun relaxing and enjoying the time together. We are so happy to have helped bring that feeling of refreshment and to help create memories that they can treasure.
Meet Lucas! Lucas is 9 years old and describes himself as a creative and active kid who enjoys playing with his siblings and friends outside. He did a lot of research before submitting his Rachel’s Hugs application after his diagnosis in March and decided that he really wanted a “One Wheel Pint” electric skateboard! Lucas chose this unique Hug because he thought it would be fun to cruise around his neighborhood with his friends, would be something he could share with his family, and because it can go really fast ~ 15 mph! We were so excited to meet with Lucas and his family in their yard in Bonney Lake last week to deliver his brand new One Wheel Pint complete with all of the proper safety accessories. While he hadn't used one before, he had done a lot of research and watched videos online and he confidently hopped on the board like a professional! We're pretty sure that he didn't stop smiling the entire time that we were there and we love thinking about him cruising around the neighborhood with his friends this summer with that grin on his face.
Meet Colin! Colin is 22 months old and is a curious, free-spirited, happy guy according to his Mom. He loves water, Mickey Mouse, music, and loud/flashy toys! Colin recently finished treatment and is now able to spend more time at his home in Auburn, so his family thought the perfect Rachel’s Hug would be a variety of fun toys to hold his attention, keep him busy, and make him smile. We were thrilled to surprise him with all kinds of goodies including a toddler basketball hoop and slide, mini trampoline, water table, trucks, balls, and more. While he was a little wary of our team as we said hello to him and watched him play with his new toys from a safe distance, he had us all smiling from ear to ear at the joy he felt from all of his new treasures (especially the book that played fun animal noises)! In Colin's Hugs application, his family had also suggested that he would love his very own personalized toy chest. We immediately knew the perfect person to contact and got in touch with Dan Wade, of Holly Hill Furniture, to see if he could create the wooden toy chest. Dan got right to work on it and in September we were thrilled to pick up this incredibly amazing chest, complete with Colin's name painted on the front by Dan’s daughter, Carrie. We filled it with a few more goodies and were greeted at the door by a very smiley boy! Colin loved exploring all of the treasures inside and he never once stopped grinning! It's safe to say that this Hug will continue to bring smiles to him for many years to come. Another huge thank you goes to Phyllis Blackburn and her family for sponsoring Colin's Hug in honor of the memory of a loved one. We are so grateful for these incredibly generous donations that continue to bring smiles to these amazing kids.
Meet Owen! Owen is 16 years old and was an active teen who enjoyed swimming, track, and cross country prior to his cancer diagnosis in August of 2019. He loves football and, of course, the Seahawks. His cell phone was very slow, low on storage, and had been frequently freezing up so he decided that his Rachel’s Hugs request would be for a new iPhone and AirPods. We were so grateful that foundation board members were able to meet Owen before the current health regulations went into effect and deliver his Hug directly to him. It makes us so happy to know that Owen is now able to keep in touch with his friends which is so important during this time when he can't hang out with them in person. The phone is also perfect for distraction with music, movies, and video games at his fingertips at home in Federal Way as well as during Mary Bridge clinic visits and hospital stays. We hope it is bringing him lots of fun!
Meet Bergen! Bergen is an 18 year old high school senior in Gig Harbor whose college plans for next year were upended when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in March. She is "such a positive light," according to her Mom and was busy taking AP classes, volunteering, working, and preparing for her final varsity lacrosse season before her hospitalization. Bergen and her mom wrote in her Rachel’s Hugs application that a shopping spree to get new clothes and makeup would help her feel more like herself and bring a smile to her face when she got out of the hospital. We were so excited to give her gift cards to Nordstrom and Sephora, two of her favorite stores, along with an amazing bag of cosmetics from our friends at Thrive Causemetics, and a few other goodies for extra smiles. Current health regulations prevented us from delivering her Hug, but we are so grateful that Kristen and Dorianne on the Mary Bridge Childrens Hospital staff were able to make sure that it was safely delivered. While we missed not being there in person, they helped us feel her joy when they shared "you made Bergen’s day/week!! She hasn’t been feeling well over the past week...This weekend she started feeling a bit better and was so excited to receive her Hug! This was so perfect for her!"
Stay tuned for more great stories about cancer-fighting kids and young adults and how we're bringing smiles to their faces through the Rachel's Hugs Program!