Please help us continue to deliver the healing gifts of imagination, fun and the important sense of normalcy to these brave children, all year long.
Here is a beautiful story that Alyssa's mom wrote for us. What a special girl she is. Alyssa, is now 8 years old.
Alyssa was just three when she was diagnosed with leukemia. A year into her treatment she developed a virus in her brain. She became very sick and was in a drug induced coma for 5 days. When she finally woke up nobody knew what to expect. Alyssa could not speak, she could not walk and days later it was confirmed that she had permanently lost her sight. Alyssa had to relearn how to talk and walk but her right side remained weak and she has very limited use of her right hand. About three month's after Alyssa was released from the hospital she started to have seizures. On a good day she would have three or four seizure, on a bad day she could have up to thirty in an hour. About a year and a half after Alyssa lost her sight she finished her chemo treatment and was declared in remission. Normally this would be a big celebration but due to her uncontrollable seizures we wondered how long her little body could take it. This is when we sought out a surgical cure to Alyssa's seizures. Doctors at UCLA recommended removing Alyssa's left hemisphere of her brain. While we never had heard of such a thing we knew we had to take a chance to find a cure for her. In November of 2010 Alyssa underwent massive brain surgery, her doctors ended up removing two thirds of her left hemisphere in hopes of keeping her communication skills intact.
Alyssa had another long recovery ahead of her. She had to learn to talk and walk again but this red head was determined to survive. Her last seizure was in May of 2011. The surgery has worked. We are now reducing her seizure meds and everyday I see pieces of the little girl that was taken away from me return. Alyssa can walk and talk, she can do simple math and is learning Braille. Alyssa also knows has a service dog named Flint, he helps her with mobility and various other things that he was trained for. Alyssa has an amazingly funny personality and even though her sight is gone forever she see's more clearly than anyone I know.
During Alyssa's many stays at the hospital her only entertainment was the playroom. She especially looked forward to Thursday's as that was Discovery Arts day. She couldn't wait to go down to pick out a costume or to do a special craft. The days when she was too sick leave her room she would always ask "do I still get my costume?" but the women would already know that she was sick and they would have picked one out for her. We have dozen's of pictures of Alyssa dressed up in different costumes and her smile was never bigger than on the days she was a princess or a fairy. Hospital life is hard on everyone, especially the patient, but Discovery Arts offer a little escape from reality!
~ Alyssa's Mom
Honor every healthy child you know to help a sick child who is in the hospital.
November is a great time to count your blessings for all the things you are thankful for. What better way to put your gratitude in to action. For all of the healthy children in your life honor them by donating a "Grateful Dollar" for children who are struggling with a parents worse nightmare ... a child who is very very ill.
Join us in our pledge to give a GRATEFUL DOLLAR FOR EVERY HEALTHY CHILD IN YOUR LIFE, your kids, grand children, nieces and nephews, your children's friends.
Click the donate button below to send in your Grateful Dollar!
Your donation is Tax Deductible!
"Spending time with these precious children will change your life. You find that you really don't have any problems... they will fade into the background as you witness what real problems are... and to your surprise, you will be blessed by these children when you thought you were there to try to bless them... We are grateful to you and thank you dear friends, for making Discovery Arts possible!"
Marilyn Clements, Executive Director Discovery Arts
1 Day to go! We are wrapping up our 30-30 Challenge but there is still time to contribute to these precious children.
Find details here: http://www.discoveryarts.org/currently-playing.html
Discovery Arts brings "Arts Adventures" to children with cancer and life threatening illness while they are in the hospital receiving treatment. We are looking for Volunteer Program Assistants to support our programs in Orange, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Fountain Valley and Mission Viejo. Background in the Arts, very organized person needed.
Programs held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1:30 and 4:00 pm. Hospital location TBD.
For details on how to apply click here: Volunteer Program Assistant
Bringing the healing power of the arts to children who are in the hospital undergoing treatment for cancer or life-threatening illness.