Those of us that have heard the saying, “give more than you take,” know that no matter what age you may be, it’s one of those morals the world screams at you while growing up, and it’s not always so easy. As humans, our initial reaction is almost always to take; that is, until we stop ourselves to reevaluate our actions. For some, however, it comes so naturally and wholeheartedly. One of our most recent campaign kiddos we’ve worked with, is one of those amazing people!
Emily, who recently turned ten years old, is currently fighting High Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She has been going through treatment for quite some time now and is starting to see the finish line, with every treatment appointment that comes her way. Just like most kids hitting their big double-digit birthday, Emily was beyond excited to celebrate with all of her friends and family. Her birthday party was everything Emily could imagine, with a big 90’s bow on top! (Emily’s theme was the 90’s due to her love for that rad era.) The party was planned and organized by her parents and grandparents. Emily invited all her close friends and family and a big portion of her local community, whom Emily and her family were grateful for; as their community has been a huge part of their support system since Emily’s diagnosis. Party planning for Emily’s birthday party went just as any party planning would go for any other ten-year-old. However, what Emily did differently than most ten-year old’s, blew our minds!!!
Emily had asked one favor of those whom had been invited to her party… her request was, that gifts be brought to her birthday party, with the intention of all toys to be donated to Stanford Children’s Hospital. Emily willingly, open heartedly, and without any hesitation knew this was exactly what she wanted for her birthday. We all, at Campaign OAAT, were so touched by her humble desire to make a difference in the lives of children going through the same battles as she was, that we decided to boost her wish up a notch! Aside from her birthday donations, we launched Emily’s campaign and helped Emily donate an extra $2,000 in toys for the kids at Stanford Children’s Hospital! As Emily’s campaign came to an end, she was beyond excited to have so much to give! It amazed us that so much was being offered to her, so much joy that she could have very easily kept for herself and very much deserved; but instead replied with, “I already have everything I need and want, I don’t need anymore.”
We got to do some shopping with Emily; actually… a lot of shopping! It was a total of four different days to finish up all the shopping before toys were taken in for the donation at Stanford. Emily personally took her time, evaluated, planned, and hand picked every gift she purchased. She made sure to keep all aspects in mind; variety in ages, gender, categories, hobbies, etc. With each gift she chose, you could see the pride beaming from her face! “OH! A boy would love this!! Do we have enough for the teenagers? We have the babies covered!” And just like the overwhelming feeling of pride and satisfaction Emily felt every day she went shopping for those kids, came the day to donate the toys to the hospital, and by the smile on Emily’s face, you’d think she had just woke up on Christmas morning and was on her way to see a pile of gifts for herself.
Emily was greeted by Stanford personnel and granted a certificate of appreciation towards her amazing efforts. In a world as big as ours, we’ve all grown to understand that the older you are, the wiser you get, and as adults we are supposed to have an influential impact on those younger than we are. In this case, Emily taught us all a lesson. She taught us that giving is not giving if you have to stop yourself from taking. Not once did Emily stop to think about what she wanted or decide just how much she wanted to give. From the moment we asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she immediately spiraled with excitement as she threw her massive and amazing plan at us. It was almost instantly, with no hesitation. Its amazing children like Emily, that make the world a better place. Emily, we are so proud of you and all you have done for those around you!
Emily has begun her last part of her treatment plan and is in the last laps of her race, and she soon will cross the finish line. Her big smile is infectious, and her willingness to bring joy to others has touched many. Way to go, Emily!
If you’d like to help us make more dreams like Emily’s come true, please click here <3