Emily's Hopeful Holiday

Raising money for families who have children with cancer ~ since 2007

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    Emily’s Hopeful Holiday was created in honor of our daughter Emily, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 7 in 2007. She was treated at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and is now a CANCER SURVIVOR at the very young age of 17. During our painful journey we discovered that there are many families who are struggling with the staggering cost of cancer treatments. We have raised $144,500.00 since the fund's establishment in 2007. 100% of the money raised goes directly to the families at Rainbow to assist them in paying their bills (utilities, rent, etc.). For more information on EHH, please review this blog for links to media and other information. Emily's Hopeful Holiday Fund is through Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland, OH and we are always accepting donations. Please use the CONTACT ME button to email me if you would like to make a contribution or use the PAYPAL DONATION button on the right side bar to make a donation. This fund assists families throughout the entire year, however, we focus our fundraising efforts during the holiday season. We will always remember the fear and heartache of chemo treatments, lumbar punctures, sedations, medical procedures, surgeries, and anxiously waiting on every test result. Our nerve wracking, yet relatively simple routine trips to the Ireland Cancer Center for Emily’s check-ups remind us of where we have been and that there are families and children just beginning this journey, continuing to endure this journey, and/or ending this journey with either an immense gratefulness or an unspeakable sadness. We are so grateful for Emily’s amazing prognosis, for her health, for her laughter, for her smile, for her silliness, for her. We thank God everyday for His blessing upon our family and for all the wonderful people who surround our lives with love and support.
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Project gives gifts to Rainbow Two leukemia patients

Posted by emilyshopefulholiday on June 7, 2009

Zichi House full of gifts for Rainbow 2

Zichi House full of gifts for Rainbow 2

Project gives gifts to Rainbow Two leukemia patients
SCOT ALLYN , Morning Journal Writer

AMHERST — Laura Zichi, who with her husband Tom endured the heartbreak of learning their 7-year-old daughter Emily had leukemia last April, decided to turn her pain into something positive for families less fortunate than her own.

Laura sent a simple e-mail appealing to about 20 friends and family members just after Thanksgiving. Donations of gift bags, books, blankets, gift cards or money were sought for the boys and girls on Rainbow Two, the second floor of Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, where Emily was treated. Laura wanted to ease the loneliness of being in the hospital on Christmas Day for young patients, and she wanted to provide a feast for them and the staff on Christmas Eve.

The Zichis imagined the project, called Emily’s Hopeful Holiday, would lead to a carload or two of gifts for the kids on Rainbow Two, who range in age from infants to teenagers. But the fateful phrase ”please forward this e-mail to whomever you think may be interested in bringing a smile to someone’s life” caused the appeal to take on a life of its own.


The outpouring of generosity has filled three rooms of the Zichi’s home to the brim with tokens of good will, and cash donations total $7,500, Laura said. She spends hours a night organizing the gifts into categories to make them easier to distribute, and to make walkways in her home between the towering piles of presents.

”It’s been non-stop,” she said yesterday, between phone calls and answering the front door — a student from Amherst Steele High School was bringing in two grocery bags full of toys.

”I knew it was getting bigger than planned when I started getting e-mails from people I didn’t know, and strangers came to our door to drop off donations,” she said. ”I’d ask them how they heard, and they’d say they were told by someone I didn’t know either.”

For the Zichis, the greatest gift this Christmas was Emily’s recovery. She has responded well to chemotherapy and is attending second grade classes at St. Joseph School in Amherst, where her 9-year-old sister Erica is in the fourth grade.

With sparkling blue eyes, soft brown hair and a peaches and cream complexion, Emily has vivacious energy and loves all the visits to her home by compassionate donors.

”I’ve never had a Christmas like this,” Emily said, seated between piles of donations. ”I didn’t think it would be like this, but it’s really fun.”

Emily spent two weeks on Rainbow Two in April following her diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and three weeks in May and June when a mysterious fever proved hard to control. Chemotherapy caused her hair to fall out, but it is growing back. She continues to return to the hospital for treatments and evaluations.

Emily’s father agrees that this Christmas has been like no other for his family.

”We had a hard year,” he said. ”But this project has made it the most special Christmas ever. It makes me realize how many caring, generous people are out there.”

The holiday spirit hasn’t been limited to individuals. The Christmas Eve meal will include five prepared turkeys delivered with mashed potatoes and gravy in serving dishes from a Mansfield family who didn’t want to be named. Kiedrowski’s Bakery will furnish bread, rolls and cake; Bob Evans Restaurant will supply side dishes; and Super Kmart is sending beverages, pies and cookies.

The Zichis will lead a caravan to deliver the donated gifts to Rainbow Two on Friday, Laura said. When they determined they needed a 14-foot trailer to haul the treasure, U-Haul Co. provided the trailer for free, according to Tom.

©The Morning Journal 2007


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