PHOTOS: Atia's Celebration of Life Party

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The much anticipated party has come and gone, and it was simply amazing!

Atia and our entire family had an incredible time, as did the other attendees, I'm told. We danced, we sang, we laughed, we played, we ate, we decorated, we won prizes, we were awed by the "kickin' cancer's butt" tae kwon do demonstration and we giggle 'til we couldn't giggle no more during the puppet show (Atia proclaimed it her favorite part of the event, followed closely by the life-size Candy Land game).

It was great fun being surrounded by so many friends and family members. A special thanks to Ana and Lisa, my fellow Ay, Mama! bloggers who came out to the celebration.

It was everything I dreamed it to be and more! Can't wait to do it again next year (September 2012). If you didn't make it this time, I hope you'll join us next time and for those of you who came, Thank You for supporting such an important cause and celebrating such a monumental milestone for our family.

In just over six months Atia's Project Ladybug Fund at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital has already made a difference in the lives of several families, like:

(1) The father we flew home to be with his 12 month old baby during her final hours. Though his daughter was in the hospital, she seemed stable enough for him to work - he had to work to continue to pay all the bills - so he accepted an out-of-town construction job. Then, his baby took a turn for the worse and he needed to get home. Unfortunately, he couldn't afford a plane ticket so he was going to drive to the hospital from several states away. He never would have made it on time, so we bought him a ticket and flew him home.

Hours later, with his wife at his side, he watched as his baby passed away. Shortly afterward while still grieving, he thanked the Social Worker for saving his life. He explained that he didn't know what he would have done if he hadn't had those last few hours with his daughter. The Social Worker immediately emailed us and thanked Project Ladybug for saving his life. She said that without our funds, she never would have been able to make that happen for him and his family.

(2) The little girl who we purchased a car seat for because, though under normal circumstances she's too old to be in a car seat, she's too weak from the cancer treatment to hold herself upright in the car while being driven to and from the hospital for chemo.

(3) The families that look forward to the semi-monthly Ladybug Lunches sponsored by Atia's Project Ladybug Fund where every inpatient child and their family, and all those getting chemo or having a procedure in the Day Treatment Room are treated to a full lunch from a surrounding restaurant at no charge. It's a nice break from the hospital's cafeteria food and has become something the patients look forward to.

(4) The long-term inpatients that are receiving our amazing Ladybug Comfort Baskets filled to the brim with all types of usable goodies intended to help make their stay just a bit more bearable. We took great time and effort to make every singe item functional, including the basket. It's a laundry basket so that families can transport their dirty laundry to and from the on-site washing machines. No one ever thinks about dirty laundry when packing for a hospital stay, but Atia's Project Ladybug Fund did! And now, no other family will need to think about it again.

We're there to provide all the little necessities so that families can focus on the important stuff.

Thank you for your continued support and please follow us on Facebook at Atia's Project Ladybug Fund.

Now, check out the awesome pictures and get lost in the fantasy of it all. We did!

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