If you are the parent of a healthy child and know someone who isn’t in the same situation, you feel helpless. What can you do to help them?
Chantel Adams’ best friend’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Chantel could bring meals, clean her house, do laundry, but she couldn’t cure cancer.
After watching her daughter play with dolls, she noticed she was using the dolls to tell stories. She had the dolls helping each other. Chantel paired up with her friend and business partner Ginny Starr to develop Forever We.
Forever We is a nonprofit that makes dolls and books that address foster care and adoption, family homelessness and pediatric cancer. These dolls allow the company to donate a portion of the proceeds back to the organizations that are funding the best research. One of their nonprofit partners is Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research.
They are impacting the community through an ambassador program where individuals and businesses purchase dolls for an entire hospital. So far, they have secured donors for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the Novant Health Blume Clinic in NC.
In addition to the Rally Foundation, Forever We also has a close working relationship with The Truth 365 — a documentary and social media campaign that gives voice to kids fighting cancer.
The very first little girl who ever received our doll is now battling a relapse at St. Jude. Despite being in the hospital since last April, she is the most giving, gracious child I have ever known.Ten year old Mary Elizabeth used $1,000 of her own money to purchase some of our dolls for her friends who are battling cancer. Then she set up a giving page on our site that allowed her supporters and friends to gift dolls in her honor. Even her 5th grade class at Cogburn Woods Elementary in Milton raised money to purchase dolls for kids!Generosity multiplied, and we were able to give about 75 kids something tangible that says, not only do we care about you, but we’re with you, and we’re doing something to help cure cancer forever.
This doll isn’t just for those kids who have cancer. It’s also an opportunity for kids to practice compassion and kindness. This doll gives them a way to make a difference by doing something they already do — play with toys! The bonus is that in doing so, this brings awareness to a problem that needs solving. And in the end, we hope we’re one step closer to finding a cure.
The book was written by Chantel and illustrated by Kathy Boardman, an OTP artist. The doll was designed by Ginny and manufactured by American Contract Sewing in Canton.
In the U.S. cancer affects 1 out of every 3 people, and every school day 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer. Kids have definitely heard the word “cancer.” We don’t want to scare them. We want to empower them and let them ask questions.
Chantel Adams and her husband Gavin have grace in their heart. Gavin is the lead pastor at Watermarke Church, a division of Andy Stanley’s Northpoint Ministries. We wish her the best of luck as founder of Forever We.
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