After learning one of our Tinkergarten friends in Pearland, Juliana, was diagnosed with leukemia at the tender age of four, I was able to connect with The Faris Foundation to submit a request for a care package.
I recently sat down with Juliana’s mom, Judith, and Tiffany Talbert, Director of Growth and Engagement at The Faris Foundation, to hear about the Brighter Days Care Package experience for Judith’s family and to learn more about the program. Here’s what they shared:
Children with cancer experience a lot of isolation.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be an extremely isolating experience for a child and their family. As Judith explained, “there’s not a lot of awareness around pediatric cancer, and people don’t know about it unless it happens to them or someone they know. Once your child is diagnosed and in treatment, they are either at home or in the hospital for months at a time. And with covid, there’s no socializing with other kids or families at the hospital, which makes it even more isolating.”
A boxful of “Brighter Days” goes a long way.
It just so happened that Juliana received her Brighter Days Care Package the day before her birthday. After a rough year, it was a very welcome surprise for Juliana and her family. As the person submitting the care package request, I shared some of Juliana’s interests with The Faris Foundation (using the form on their website) and it turns out that every item was spot on – not to mention, impeccably wrapped! The care package brought delight and joy to Juliana, and comfort to mom, too.
“We have to keep our bags packed, in case we need to go to the hospital. We were there for 12 days for an infection, and it is a draining experience. [Receiving the Brighter Days Care Package] helped us through clinic days, it helps the days pass at home. Some days they don’t even feel good. They don’t want to go out, they are tired, can just be inside and play with toys.”
“Not all care packages are created equal.
Tiffany Talbert at The Faris Foundation curates each and every Brighter Days Care Package. “I try really hard to make sure that the child and family knows that their care package was chosen just for them. It’s important to me that they don’t just receive preselected items, but that their gifts are personalized and curated to the child’s interests and age,” she says.
And it shows – Judith described how the care package from The Faris Foundation was unlike any other they received, with offerings that continue to bring delight and joy to Juliana. “This care package was sent on my behalf, and it is really awesome to know that the Foundation created something so magical and perfect!”
Community is key.
“Once The Faris Foundation came into our lives, I did a lot of research about the organization, the story and mission,” Judith said. “At that point, we were in the hospital a lot. And that’s when we realized that The Faris Foundation, that was behind the care package, was the same Foundation that does art kits and other activities at the hospital that Juliana loves.”
“The Faris Foundation even sent another little surprise for Juliana when she started the school year. There’s definitely a sense of continuity and connection that is unique to the way The Faris Foundation is building this program. Families aren’t just on the receiving end – they are invited to be a part of the community.” Judith is currently organizing a walk with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). After that, she’s hoping to team up with The Faris Foundation to continue bringing awareness around pediatric cancer.
You can be a part of the magic too.
There’s two ways to get involved:
1. If you know a child with cancer, you can submit a care package request on The Faris Foundation website, and they will deliver pure magic on your behalf!
2. Sponsor a care package! Each care package includes carefully curated and beautifully wrapped gifts and a special letter from The Faris Foundation. Your support helps bring delight, joy, and brighter days to a child with cancer.
For more information about The Faris Foundation, visit www.thefarisfoundation.org