Three years ago today, a little ladybug of a girl was diagnosed with leukemia. Just 17 months old at the time, Atia went through two years of aggressive daily chemotherapy. Gratefully, Atia's treatments worked. Today she is an active four year old, busy with school, gymnastics, soccer, ballet and jazz.
Atia's mom, Laura, a fellow ChicagoNow blogger, could have easily called it a day and worked hard to forget the nightmare that is pediatric cancer. She herself is a survivor and I believe wholeheartedly that no one would have thought anything about the family moving forward, doing their best to leave Cancerville in the rearview mirror.
Laura didn't do that.
During frequent hospital stays at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago, Laura saw that not all children had the resources that Atia had. Many, many families go through the burden of pediatric cancer only to face the additional burden of financing it. Think about that. Can you imagine worrying about how you would pay for your child's cancer treatment? Oy.
Laura could imagine it, as she saw it unfold throughout Atia's treatment. Wanting to help those families needing it the most, as well as the children facing grueling treatments like her daughter. Laura wanted to help. She is a fierce Cancer Mom. Out of that witnessing and wanting to do, Atia's Project Ladybug Fund was formed.
On Thursday, May 17, Atia's Project Ladybug will be hosting their 2nd Annual Ladybug Bash, with a Stars and Cars theme. This is the non-profit's primary fundraiser and enables them to provide some of the following:
- emergency funding to offset the cost of emergency transportation, rent, groceries, utilities, and other basics of day-to-day like for pediatric cancer families, many of whom lose income revenue if one parent quits their job to care for their child;
- Ladybug Love for the Holidays, providing gifts to Comer patients and their siblings;
- Ladybug Comfort Baskets, that are received during early hospital admissions; and
- Ladybug Lunches for pediatric cancer families.
To honor the 3rd anniversary of Atia's diagnosis today, Atia's Project Ladybug Fund is trying to sell 184 tickets to the event -- one ticket each for the number of children that would have been diagnosed with cancer on April 17, 2010, 2011, and 2012. I like that. Guests will enjoy an evening of cocktails, food tastings, a fashion show, and musical entertainment in the "Ladybug Lounge."
Here's a great news clip from earlier this week about Atia's Project Ladybug Fund and the Ladybug Bash:http://www.cltv.com/blogs/living-healthy-chicago/wgntv-atias-project-ladybug-fund-20120412,0,475698.story
You can purchase a ticket and get all the details on the posh event here:http://ladybugbash.charityhappenings.org/
And for all those Real Housewife fans out there, Dina Manzo, the founder of Project Ladybug and original New Jersey Real Housewife, will be there bringing the bling.
I love a happy ending!