342 Beads of Hope

Mary Rose Bacani

Friday, December 11, 2009

Within the past year, Rachel and her family have given me a beautiful red necklace with a matching bracelet, and a crystal necklace with an accompanying crystal/pearl bracelet. I love wearing these and when I do, I pass by Rachel’s grandfather’s workstation in the Master Control room of Salt + Light Television. Antonio always gives me a big smile when he sees me wearing them.
Rachel RainbowRachel is a five-year-old girl with leukemia. Specifically, it is Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), an especially aggressive form of cancer that requires two and a half years of steady chemotherapy in the spine, IVs, orally, muscular jabs in the thigh, and a port in her chest. When she found out on January 4th, 2008 that she has leukemia, she was sad and afraid. Sometimes, she says, she’s still afraid, but has also become very brave. Since then, she’s had to go through 22 months of chemotherapy. Her current treatment schedule includes daily chemotherapy at home and going to Sick Kids Hospital every 10-14 days. Sick Kids Hospital always gives her a “Bravery Bead” every time she goes there. To date, she has over 342! I got emotional watching the 5-minute video on her blog about her 342 beads. You can watch it by going to this link: http://rachelsrainbow2008.blogspot.com
Her family started their own annual fundraiser, Rachel’s Rainbow, to help other children with cancer. Rachel chose the rainbow logo because, as she says, she “can’t wait to see a real rainbow one day!”. The rainbow symbolizes hope for her and all other children. At these fundraisers, Rachel and her family are present, they sell shirts, bracelets, popcorn and other goodies, and all the kids and parents have fun! Because of the fundraiser, Rachel has been able to raise over $20,000 in support of leukemia research at Sick Kids. Not only that, she continues to inspire all of us to bring hope out of any situation. Way to go, Rachel!

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