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 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 Our 2020 Hugs Recipients!
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)! Stay tuned, as in the next few weeks Colin will get round two of his two-part Hug and we will share more about how his Hug was generously sponsored in full by one of our donors! It brings us joy to think of all the fun that Colin is having!
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!"
Meet Evangeline! Evangeline is 8 years old undergoing treatment at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for ependymoma. Her parents say she is a strong-minded, sassy little girl with a huge heart. Her family knew right away that the perfect Rachel’s Hug request for her would an iPad that would help her with virtual occupational and physical therapy appointments once she is back home in Orting, would be great for educational purposes since she can't currently attend school, and would also help boost her spirits by providing happy distractions through music, coloring apps, fun games and movies. While current health precautions meant that we couldn't deliver her Hug personally, we were thrilled to receive pictures and videos of Evangeline opening her Hug packages in the hospital which helped us feel like we were right there with her! To say that she was excited would be an understatement! We dare you to not smile (and maybe get a few happy tears) when you see her reaction on this video. It was so wonderful to see the joy on her face as she opened her brand new iPad, App Store gift card, LOL Dolls and even the LOL Doll Carpool Coupe that her parents told us that she wanted so badly! We are hoping these toys and the iPad bring her cheer every day.
Meet Thanhvan! Thanhvan is a smart, social 20-year-old who loves photography and wants to be a pediatrician someday. After her diagnosis with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2016, her treatment and a complicated bone marrow transplant caused her to miss most of her senior year and left her feeling isolated and lacking independence. Her Rachel’s Hugs request was for a nice camera that would provide a happy distraction while she adjusts to her new reality. We were thrilled to get her a new camera, lenses, carrying case, and more - perfect to expand her photography skills! While couldn’t meet with Thanhvan in person due to the current stay at home order, we were so grateful that Jessica, our friend and social worker at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital could help us deliver her Rachel’s Hug. We felt like we were there for the delivery when Jessica shared that "it was so fun to watch her open her fancy new camera with all the bells and whistles and just see her excitement... finally having something to look forward to that wasn't treatment-related was really special." We're so happy to say that Thanhvan is now in remission and we love envisioning her outside taking pictures on these beautiful sunny days. We certainly hope to see her work someday.
Meet Rachel! Rachel is 2 1/2 years old and loves to play with her younger sister and cousins, be outdoors, and sing. In her application, her family shared that Rachel loves the playground and every time she passes one, she excitedly screams "Swide!". Rachel was diagnosed with a Wilms Tumor in January and to keep her safe and healthy, visiting the park is not possible right now. Rachel's family knew just the right request for her Rachel’s Hug: a brand-new backyard play set for their house in Tacoma that she could enjoy safely every day! Rachel wasn't feeling well the day that her play set was built, but her parents sent us videos and photos sharing her joy when she was ready to play. We can tell by her smiles that she was so excited and ready to try everything! We also gave her a new sloth stuffy who got to enjoy the play set, too. We love thinking of Rachel and her sister playing on the swings and on the slide on these beautiful, sunny days. You may recognize Rachel from a fundraiser that we held back in March where the incredible generosity of our community of supporters funded her play set and raised enough money to fund 4 additional Hugs!
Meet Rick! Rick is 15 and loves soccer, sleeping, and school and would like to join the Marine Corps someday. In his Rachel’s Hugs application, Rick said that he was hoping for a cellphone since the family only had one phone. We were so pleased to gift him with his own new iPhone to provide him with a great distraction and way to connect with others while undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This new phone will also provide a safe way for Rick and the Mary Bridge team to keep in contact with his mother when she needs to be at home in Rochester taking care of his three siblings. Due to coronavirus visitation restrictions, we enlisted the help of our friend Jessica, a social worker at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, to deliver this Hug for us. Rick had just awakened from a procedure when he received his new phone and he was so thrilled, asking "where are the good people?" We wish we could have been there to see his smile in person, but are grateful to have amazing Mary Bridge partners who are able to help us continue to deliver smiles when we can't. We can't wait to meet Rick and his family when it is safe, but in the meanwhile we enjoy thinking of him keeping in touch with friends and family and playing games during this tough time.
Meet Kelsee! Kelsee is 18, and lives in Spanaway where she is preparing to graduate from Bethel High School this spring. Kelsee is headed to Saint Martin's University in the fall to further her love of science. Since her cancer diagnosis in December 2019, Kelsee has realized how important it is to feel good and also confident while going through treatment. She loves clothes, fashion and beauty/aesthetics and said in her Rachel’s Hugs application, “any ability to feel better about myself while going through fighting a disease that takes away confidence would be more than I could ever ask for." This was something that was so very important to Rachel as well, so we were thrilled to meet Kelsee at the clinic recently to give her a bouquet of flowers and gift cards for a shopping spree at her favorite stores: Sephora, American Eagle, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Ulta Beauty, Target, and H&M. In addition we were so excited to include a bag full of wonderful cosmetics chosen especially for her by Thrive Causemetics! Her beautiful smile said it all. We know that Kelsee is enjoying her shopping spree and her confidence is letting that true beauty of hers continue to shine through!
Meet Lilith! Lilith is 7 years old and undergoing treatment for an astrocytoma brain tumor. She loves to play and watch YouTube videos, music videos, gymnastics videos and kid shows on her mom’s phone, and also has fun making silly videos with her sisters. Lilith and her family thought it would be wonderful for her to have her very own iPad with a protective case! We had great fun meeting Lilith and her mom and sister at the Mary Bridge clinic to give them her Rachel’s Hug. Lilith was so excited to see the iPad and pink case and we know that it will provide a great distraction on their long and frequent car trips to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital from their home in Shelton. We also included some cat ear headphones (which she thought were great so that "no one has to listen to my stuff"), an App store gift card, a hedgehog stuffie, and some LOL surprise dolls - her favorite toy! We really enjoyed having the chance to spend a few minutes with this sweet family between their appointments. We are confident that her iPad will bring her lots of joy!!
Meet Dylan! Dylan is almost 12 years old and has had a rough start to the year. He has been in the hospital since his diagnosis with a medulloblastoma brain tumor in mid-January and has had multiple surgeries. He has been working really hard with the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital therapists to build up his strength so that he can go back to his home in Federal Way to spend time with his family for a bit before continuing his treatment. It was a perfect time to lift his spirits with his Rachel’s Hug! Dylan’s application requested a new laptop computer to help with distractions during hospital stays, like watching movies with his dad, and someday soon catching up with some schoolwork. We were so happy to meet this sweet young man and his mom this week to deliver the laptop he asked for and case to keep it safe during his travels to and from the hospital! A cuddly sloth to cozy up with added to the fun. Dylan's smile said it all and melted our hearts. We hope that the laptop provides Dylan with a great distraction, brings a lot of joy and makes the time in the hospital go by quickly.
Meet Kiayla! Kiayla is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in early December. She was eager to fill out a Rachel’s Hugs application, and hoped for a MacBook computer that she could use to communicate with her teachers and friends and keep up with her school work while going through treatment. We loved getting the chance to connect with her at the hospital two days before Christmas to deliver her very own MacBook, a pretty case, and Microsoft Office software! It turned out to be just what she needed as she had recently had to return to the hospital for readmission and treatment for a blood clot just one day after having been discharged and settled at home in Lakewood. She was all smiles when she unwrapped the computer and opened the box and was already halfway through the setup process when we left! We know that her MacBook is bringing her lots of joy and is a help with her school work and a great distraction during treatment! We love picturing her playing The Sims!
Meet Cole! Cole is 11 years old and loves space, art, witches, and wizards. His Rachel’s Hugs request was to go to Great Wolf Lodge for a family getaway with his parents and a friend! We recently had the chance to meet up with Cole and his family to deliver a basket full of goodies and wish them well as they were headed off to Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend. With the help and generosity of Great Wolf Lodge management, we were even able to include special passes that allowed him and his friend to participate in the infamous Great Wolf Lodge MagiQuest game- perfect fun for a wizard fan! We love thinking about all of the amazing experiences that they were able to share and the memories that they were able to create on their trip that will surely last a lifetime.
Meet Some of Our 2019 Hugs Recipients!
Meet Whittaker! Whittaker is 6 years old and a Rachel’s Hug was just the ticket to cheer him up after a rough start in life! This sweet boy received his diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia at 11 months and proved to be quite the fighter during his initial treatment and again during his t-cell transplant after a relapse in 2015. As a result of all of his treatments, this past fall he had to get a hearing aid, undergo cataract surgery in both eyes and miss the first part of Kindergarten in Gig Harbor. His Hugs request was for a trip to Great Wolf Lodge for laughter and play time with his parents and two brothers. We were thrilled to send his family on their trip along with a basket full of goodies to enjoy on their adventure! His Mom said "we had nonstop fun from the moment we arrived" and that they loved seeing how adventurous Whittaker was as he took on the water slides and the ropes course. Great Wolf Lodge even upgraded their passes so that the kids could do ALL of the fun activities! We loved hearing about Whittaker's adventures and seeing his amazing smile and are so glad that this trip brought him lots of happiness and fun memories.
Meet Peter! Peter is 13 years old and wrote in his application that his favorite thing to do is to play lacrosse. Since his diagnosis of Hodgkins Lymphoma this past October, he has found that keeping his mind busy and being able to stay in touch with friends and family during his treatment is really helpful for him. Peter had a very old cell phone, so his Rachel’s Hugs request was for a new iPhone to help make those connections with friends and family much easier while at the clinic and hospital and to provide a great distraction during scans and treatments. Several of our board members were delighted to visit Peter and his family at their home in University Place right before Christmas to deliver that brand new iPhone XR! His smile made it clear that this was exactly what he needed for a little pick-me-up. We are confident that he is loving his new phone and it makes us smile to know that it is providing him with great distractions during tough times and is bringing lots of fun.
Meet Gunner! Gunner is 16 years old and loves to write, play video games, and spend time with his family, friends, and girlfriend in Bonney Lake. His Rachel’s Hugs application was so thoughtful and well-written and we were impressed with his statement that “I do my best to keep my head up and stay afloat because negativity won’t do me any good”. His Hugs request was for a new laptop that he could use for gaming with friends, making videos for his YouTube channel, and pursuing his interest of being a journalist. We recently had the chance to meet Gunner while he was in the hospital and present him with the specific new laptop that he felt would meet all of his needs. It was so fun getting to know him a little more and experiencing his great sense of humor. He was very appreciative of his new laptop and was excited to start playing games, writing stories, and maybe even some school work too (Gunner is a straight A student!). We love to picture Gunnar enjoying his new laptop and we are hopeful that it is providing him with a great distraction as he undergoes his treatment for Ewing Sarcoma.
Meet Chayse! Chayse is 5 and LOVES Spiderman. His Rachel’s Hugs request was for his very own bed, dresser, and TV/DVD player since he has been sharing a room and a bed with his mom since being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia a few years ago. Our team enjoyed a lovely drive to his home in Morton last month to meet Chayse and his family and create his own space fit for a superhero where he can relax and play! Chayse was so excited and immediately tried out the fun fort area under his new bed and then settled in to try out his new TV. He was all smiles when he saw the large Spiderman wall decal and even promised his mom that he would sleep in his new bed that night. A huge thank you goes to Mattress Ranch for their donation of the mattress, pillow, and accessories and to our young friend and foundation supporter, Grayson, for helping pick the comforter that he knew a 5 year old would love the most. We love picturing Chayse enjoying his new very special retreat!
Meet Alejandro! Alejandro is 12 years old and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in June. His application stole our hearts the minute that we read about his detailed request for a dinosaur-themed birthday party so that he could spend time with friends and family in Centralia, his hometown! He had a clear vision for all of the details of his party. The rented party room needed to hold 100 guests, he preferred that we use "Taco Man" Abel Bogarin as the caterer (and helpfully provided his phone number). He requested a 3-story high volcano cake that would erupt and had dinosaurs around it, music and more! We were absolutely thrilled to throw him a party earlier this month complete with the amazing tacos he requested, an incredible huge volcano cake with dinosaurs around it that was graciously donated by Gotti Sweets. carnival games, prizes, music, a fantastic magic show that was generously donated by Sleightly Magic, and even a visit from THREE T-Rexes who posed for photos and put on a special dance for the birthday boy. Our team thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Alejandro, his family and friends in a room filled with laughter, smiles, and love!
Meet Daniel! Seventeen year old Daniel received his diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia this past summer. He knew about Rachel’s Hugs from his cousin Dominic, who had received a Hug from us in the past and decided to ask for an iPhone just like Dominic had received. We heard from Mary Bridge staff that every time he talked about the possibility of getting a Rachel’s Hug, he would smile from ear to ear. As soon as we received his application, we purchased a brand new iPhone XR to help provide a fun distraction during his hospital visits and allow him to stay in touch with friends and family. Unfortunately, right before our delivery, Daniel suffered from an adverse effect of his chemo that left him temporarily unable to smile, talk, walk, or even eat and drink on his own. We left his new phone with Jessica, one of the social workers at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital, to deliver at a time that felt appropriate. During one of her visits with him, he was still feeling unwell so she decided to wait, but at the last minute changed her mind. As soon as she pulled the Hug out of her bag, he broke out in a huge smile - the first time since his face paralysis!! He was able to open it himself and even stuck his tongue out at his sister when she pretended to take it away from him. Jessica shared that the room was filled with great joy and laughter after several really hard days! We were so thrilled to hear this and knew Rachel was hard at work bringing smiles, which is exactly what our Hugs program is all about.
Meet Rene! Rene is 10 years old and was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma this past summer. Rene wrote about all of her family members in her Rachel’s Hugs application and said that her favorite activities are doing crafts, shopping, playing outside, and watching Harry Potter. Her Rachel’s Hugs request was for an Apple Macbook, which she said would help her with her schoolwork since she will be homeschooled this year and would also provide her with lots of entertainment during hospital stays, visits to the clinic and when she is at home in Port Orchard. We were so happy to meet Rene, her mother and grandmother recently at the Mary Bridge Oncology Clinic and to surprise her with her brand new Macbook. Despite the fact that she was feeling a little shy, we still managed to capture her sweet smile and visit for a short while. We know that her Hug will help Rene with her school projects and will bring her lots of joy and smiles as she watches movies, plays games, and explores craft ideas on Pinterest!
Meet Dawsin! Dawsin is 8 years old and has been through so much since he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic T-Cell Leukemia at age five. He is a fun loving, happy kid with lots of smiles, despite having endured three major surgeries, several bad reactions to chemotherapy and multiple hospitalizations (including one that lasted 98 days). His Rachel’s Hugs request was for a shopping spree to buy anything he desired because he couldn’t pick just one thing that would brighten his life the most! We were thrilled to meet Dawsin recently and give him gift certificates to Amazon and Dick's Sporting Goods. We also added in some sweet treats and a remote-controlled car for entertainment at his home in Kent. We were in awe of his skills as he raced the new car around the clinic but it all made sense when we learned that Dawsin is a Junior Dragster racecar driver. The little battery operated remote car was a piece of cake for him! We are sure that Dawsin had fun spending his gift cards (perhaps including that new bat he has been wanting) and hope that his shopping spree brought him lots of joy.
Meet Benjamin! Thirteen-year-old Benjamin likes to play the electric guitar, Xbox, and computer games. He also enjoys researching topics that interest him on the internet and is an honor roll student in Sequim! His Hugs request was for a new computer that would help him with the homeschooling this year that is necessary due to the Lymphoblastic Leukemia diagnosis he received in June. He knew it would also allow him to connect with his friends and provide a great distraction on tough days. Benjamin has long hoped for a new computer to replace the family’s old one that does not have enough memory or speed to be useful. We were very grateful that he provided us with a link for exactly what he was looking for and thrilled to meet him at the Mary Bridge Clinic and provide him with a brand new gaming computer and a curved monitor that will be perfect for hours of fun and of course, school. He was so excited and the long drive back home to Sequim with his new technology must have seemed like it took forever! We love thinking about how much he must have enjoyed setting it up and playing his first games.
Meet Nathan! Seventeen year old Nathan lives in Kent and loves running, sports, lifting weights, and playing the violin - something that brings him joy when nothing else can. Since his recent diagnosis of Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in June, music has become even more important to him. He hopes to continue his study of music and play the violin in college, but needs to upgrade his instrument due to his advancing skills. In his application, Nathan provided us with specific models that would meet his needs and we immediately got to work to see if we could fulfill his request within our budget. From that point, it was a whirlwind of emotions for us as our community rallied together in unbelievable ways! We were stunned when Ted Brown Music, Eastman Music Company and Hammond Ashley Violins all offered to help us obtain amazing instruments that Nathan had had his eye on! In the end, however, the one he ended up choosing was a stunning violin from the 1700's. Through a friend, we met Mike of Burns Violins in Tacoma who then introduced us to Dr. Martin Goldsmith, someone who was looking for a new home for his mother's violin that she played professionally many years ago. It was a perfect match! Nathan is now the proud owner of this beautiful violin and we were even treated to an impromptu performance when our team delivered it to him at the hospital. When his teacher saw and heard the instrument, he declared him "one lucky dude." We know Nathan’s talent will continue to advance with his new, special violin and hope that it brings him lots of joy and comfort. A special coincidence is that Dr. Goldsmith is a retired Mary Bridge Physician and also the father of a friend of one of our directors! Read more about the violin here and watch Nathan play here!
Meet Naomi! Naomi is another recent Rachel's Hugs recipient, who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in April. In her sweet application, sixteen-year-old Naomi made a unique request for a fenced dog kennel for the yard at her home in Tacoma. She explained that her dad had recently moved to this new home that did not have a fenced yard, and there wasn't a place for Ragnar, her two-year-old boxer/rottweiler mix, to play and get exercise. Naomi wrote that she thought it would make him really happy to have “a place for himself, where he could play and chew bones”. With a discount provided by Mark Beard of Woodmark Homes LLC, we were able to get a large dog kennel with two gates installed in the space available in their yard. We were also delighted to provide Naomi with a basket of dog toys and treats with help from Mud Bay as well fuzzy socks, and journaling and crafting supplies to keep her busy as she recovers from recent major surgery and completes her ongoing treatments. We think of Naomi often and hope that she is able to enjoy outdoor time with Ragnar on lovely sunny days this fall.
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!