I met this extraordinary young girl named Carolina at the Brooklyn Hospital Center was I volunteered to teach art for cancer stricken children. On this particular day I had the children paint their dreams. As I walked by, I overheard Carolina say, "I hope I live long enough to see the pyramids of Egypt". My heart shattered to hear a child say these words. Despite her situation, she always managed to help children around her. I made a promise to myself that as long as I live, I would do everything in my power to see that this dream of hers comes true.
For several months I would write to all the talk shows to see if anyone would air her story. With the help from a friend, I received a phone call from Univision, Channel 41, a International Latin News Program. I could finally air her story. I placed a call that evening to inform Carolina and her family of the great news. In stead I was informed of her passing a few months ago. My lifeless body stood there as I was at work. Tears raced down my face showing no emotion. I saw and heard no one for minutes with in a crowd of customers. Part of my soul felt ripped away as I heard the news. I developed a cool friendship with Carolina and her mother which led me to think that I would be informed of such news. Her mother was informing me and I could hear her pain as she struggled to say clear sentences. She apologized to me for not notifying me. I had no choice but to let my anger go, knowing her pain ran deeper than anything I could have ever imaged. Then I wondered if my efforts where short or could I have done more. Was I too late?
Since then I started a fund in her honor at Brooklyn Hospital called a Child Life Fund. I held fundraisers and sold art work to assure the children who go for treatment may have art supplies to create their dreams.
I gained so much strength and motivation from Carolinas departure. Life lost is a part of the process, but for a child who knows and faces her destiny with so much courage, can only come from the power of the love she has for herself and knowing the value of living with faith and acknowledging its power. I will forever be thankful for her life and all that she gave me. She is a part of who I have become and will remain with me until I exhale my last breath. Each life matters, no one more than the other, all equals, all buried with no life, death does not discriminate, we do.
Make yours count!
A Life, A Dream, An Inspiration
1989 - 2011
Contributions to the Child Life Fund
All funds will go to the Child Life Fund. Your donation will help purchase at supplies to help assist in the healing
process. All donations are tax deductable. Make donations payable to:
Brooklyn Hospital Foundation - Memo: Child Life Fund (art supplies)
Mail to: Kristen Riccadelli, CCLS. Child Life Specialist, Department of Pediatrics, The Brooklyn Hospital Center,
121 DeKalb Avenue, 10th Fl. Pediatric, HEM/OMC, Brooklyn, NY 11201