“I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
These were the first gifts I sent out in the name of Guitars 4 Good.
Jessica and Hayley are sisters. When Jessica was a baby she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, she is now 7 years old and in remission. Her sister Hayley was also diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in the summer of 2015 when she was 4 years old.
I had seen a photo of the sisters when they hadn't seen each other for 3 weeks due to Hayley being in hospital, with their hands pressed together against the glass on a hospital door. So I designed personalised cushions which include a photo of them together, as I thought that with their 'sister cushions' (which I also call 'comfort cushions') they'll always be able to hug each other even if not in person.
I was excited to send these personalised gifts to the girls and when I saw this photo, which the girls' mum took, it made me teary eyed (in a good way).
She also put the photo on Hayley's Facebook page, 'Help 4 Hayley', where it got 117 'likes' and lovely comments such as "What a lovely idea" and "These are gorgeous...so personal".
I paid for these myself but thanks to a fundraiser last year (2017) and donations from an American friend, I have been able to do several more cushions since.
I can't do much, as I'm not rich and so can't pay for their treatments abroad, but if I can put a smile on faces that are suffering physically and emotionally, even for a few minutes, then that is just priceless and my 'comfort cushions' will have done their job.
UPDATE: Hayley has since passed away, on September 15th 2018 at the age of 7 years old.
I haven't hidden people's names as they are all public posts on Facebook, and so can be seen by anyone who looks on Facebook.
Social media feedback.
5 year old Mia Chambers of South Wales received treatment for neuroblastoma at the Rainbow Ward at the Noah's Arc Children's Hospital in Cardiff. I therefore chose a rainbow coloured design for Mia's cushion.
The cushion below was for Isabel's mother Vicky - Isabel's story is elsewhere on the website. The cushion arrived just in time for what should have been Isabel's 3rd birthday in August.
A close-up of the cushions.
The cushion on the right was sent to Phoebe Flo's mother in South Wales.
Phoebe was diagnosed with a very rare inoperable brain tumour at the age of just 4 years old. She lost her fight in November 2016 at the age of 5.
Phoebe Flo liked rainbows and so I put her name surrounded by 3 delicate rainbow coloured hearts and 5 butterflies for each of her 5 years.
The cushions on the left and below were done for Rhiley's bereaved mother and sister.
Rhiley was diagnosed with an aggressive, deadly form of cancer called AT/RT at the age of 2 in June 2014.
Rhiley's full story is on the Guitars 4 Good website.
Lottie features on the Smile File elsewhere on the website. She likes rainbows and unicorns ... I therefore did a design for Lottie with her name in rainbow colours and a unicorm with a rainbow mane.
Lottie with her cushion.
This cushion was done for 14 month old Ivy Louise who has neuroblastoma.
I am a 3d digital artist and so created a fairy especially for Ivy's cushion. The fairy is throwing fairy dust up at Ivy Louise as, of course, fairy dust is full of magic, love and hope.
Sending cushions to the U.S. is not really practical and so the first little Welsh dragon was sent to America in April to Mykenzi who lives in Georgia. She is in remission from neuroblastoma and features on the Guitars 4 Good 'Smile File' page.
I chose a Welsh dragon because I am in Wales and because a dragon is strong and a fighter, and so I thought he would be a good symbol for the children ... plus he's rather cute.
I digitally created a 3d unicorn for Jess who is, as I write this (July 18th 2018), going through an incredibly difficult time.
Jess was one of the first children featured on the 'Guitars 4 Good' website.
She is 10 years old and has been fighting neuroblastoma since she was 3 years. There is now sadly no further treatment available to Jess.
UPDATE: Jess has since passed away, on September 7th 2018 at the age of 10 years old.
Having received donations from an American friend I want to give back in some way. I have now sponsored a child with the Amanda Hope Organisation, based in Arizona, to pay for a child with cancer to have a Comfy Cozy for Chemo.
Amanda Hope was 9 years old when diagnosed with leukaemia, and just 13 years old when she succumbed to it.
“During her four year fight, Amanda Hope dreamed that one day she would design a fun clothing line for kids just like her that would provide comfort and dignity during chemo treatments. Amanda Hope’s life ended all too soon when she lost her battle with Leukaemia, but her dream lives on!”
You can read about comfycozys, and what makes them special, here: