Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Teen provides hope (and a laptop!)

Laptops for Love provides teens with a laptop. Battling cancer is tough for kids of all ages. I often think teenagers have it the hardest because of the social/emotional aspect of dealing with life with cancer. In a time in their life when their friends and social lives are their world, these teens are facing isolation from others. Many will miss up to a year of school. They have to keep away from large groups for risk of infection. The whole football team can't pile in their room to cheer them up. A laptop can provide them to a link to the outside world.

Natalia, a beautiful 16 year old cancer patient at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, recognizes the need for a laptop. Through supporters, Natalia got a new laptop to keep up with everything from schoolwork to updating her Care Page (a free service that helps patients keep friends and family abrest of what is going with their treatment). Her father's company has a donation to be made. Recognizing the benefit a laptop has had on her, Natalia has made a big decision. She researched organizations benefiting Texas Children's Hospital and she found Heroes for Children. Specifically, she was interested in Laptops for Love. The donation that is being made is being sent to help HFC purchase a new laptop.

But Natalia didn't stop there. She found someone she believes both deserving and in need of a laptop. She reached out to another patient in the hospital, a new friend that she has bonded with due to their treatments and current situations. Last Friday, I received a phone call from Natalia to discuss her friend and how she can go about getting her a laptop. I have to tell you--I hung up the phone, stared at my computer for a moment, and let the tears flow down my face. Here is a young girl facing the very same cancer my daughter did five years ago. She has taken her situation and made a decision to do something to help someone else. She isn't just letting her current situation get her down. She's making a difference.
I'm so thankful for people like Natalia. I'm thankful that because of her another teen will receive that necessary link to friends, family, and schoolwork. I'm thankful that there are kids like her doing good for others, and I'm thankful for the inspiration she gave me this week.
Natalia--you're my hero!!

1 comment:

Neen said...

Natalia is a wonderful young lady. It doesn't begin or end with the conversation you have described. This girl sees a need and then finds a way to fill it. She helped to form the North Houston Chapter of Shoes That Fit to help provide the local children with needed footware for school. We have tried to help ber by collecting hats for her to share with other patients on her floor, the Hat for Nat Prayer Drive.

Natalia is a remarkable young woman. It is my honor to know her. I am amazed that every note she sends out is asking for prayers for others. This young woman is an inspiration to all that know her. Thank you for seeing that and writing about it so beautifully.
Shannon T.