September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Yesterday we participated in the Isabella Santos Foundation 5K for Kids Cancer, a cause that is so near & dear to our hearts. Not just because Isabella was one of our students before she passed away in 2012 after a long battle with neuroblastoma, but because she symbolically represents to us every innocent child and their helpless families who could be randomly selected by this devastating disease at any moment. The statistics regarding childhood cancer research funding (or lack thereof) are just so shocking.
This year, ISF decided to have a “Princess Superhero” theme for their 5k. Our contribution was to make about 500 tie-dyed super hero capes that kids could wear during the event, and then stop by our booth afterwards to make superhero tie-dyed socks to take home!
Initially, making 500 tie-dyed capes didn’t sound like a daunting task, until we started actually making them. About 50 rubber bands and 10 yards of fabric in (only 90 more to go!), it suddenly turned very daunting, but I never stopped to think for a second it wasn’t possible. Our teacher Katie shared that same optimism, thinking we could actually get them all done in two days (mind you, this was before we even had fabric or dye!!). Ba-ha-ha!!!
Well, let’s just say I had a lot of time to think over the course of several days while hand tying rubber bands on almost 100 yards of cotton, squirting dye by the gallons onto the fabric in massive tubs (apologies to the tie-dye purists out there), hand rinsing in the sink, washing in the machine, drying one load at a time at home in my dryer, then tearing down each cape to size and attaching a ribbon to every one of them. And here’s what I was thinking about… I was thinking that when you’re a kid it really IS so easy to believe in super powers – it just comes so naturally! It’s easy for them to be comforted by things like a teddy bear or blankie, or doll because they BELIEVE that these things have power to soothe them. They BELIEVE in magic and fairies and that anything is possible.
The more I tied & dyed, the more I truly believed that these capes we were making really could empower the little people who wear them! All they needed was a little blind faith, the power of positive thinking and the believe that they were REAL! It was so cool to see so many kids (and adults) running around in these capes on Saturday morning, everyone with the same thoughts on their mind, channeling all of their super powers into fighting childhood cancer and funding pediatric cancer research, BELIEVING it is possible in their lifetimes to find a cure. So while they are busy believing, all of us big people just need to DO SOMETHING to make that happen!