For little girls and boys life should be about having fun, living carefree, and enjoying being young. Unfortunately for so many children life looks a lot like being surrounded by the white stale walls of a hospital. Instead of taking a stroll down the sidewalk they’re accustomed to taking walks down a long hall. Jalene is no stranger to living life unlike most kids.
Jalene, now 4, was diagnosed last April with a PNET brain tumor. The past 10 months have been filled with the ups and downs that come when your child is diagnosed with cancer. I had the privilege of getting to know Jalene when her mom, Jen, contacted me through my organization to request a crochet wig for her. About a month later I sent Jalene her own Tinkerbell wig.
As the months went on I’d receive updates on Jalene’s treatment and about a month ago I received a message that I never want to hear- Jalene’s tumors were growing and the doctors had decided to stop chemo treatments. From this time on Jalene would commit to living and truly enjoying life with her family starting with this bucket list.
It has been a treasure to see Jalene’s wishes fulfilled. So far she’s checked 7 things off her list: The Spa Party, See Snow and Make a Snowman, she’s received two Big Electric Cars, Met the Spurs and Cheerleaders, saw Sand in St. Petersburg when she went to visit Winter at the Clearwater Aquarium, and her Make A Wish trip to Disney where I got to deliver a special gold care bear with a brain cancer awareness ribbon on it.
Jalene is currently fulfilling another one of her wishes; visiting her cousins in California. There’s one huge outstanding wish left that Jalene would love to do – dance with Taylor Swift! She is a huge fan and would love to Shake it Off with the pop star.
No matter how much pain Jalene has been through her mother will tell you that she has done nothing but keep a smile on her face! She is a bright star of hope that even through the darkest of times there is always something to smile about. After meeting Jalene I can say with confidence she is a very special little girl who is wise beyond her years. Even though she’s battling a horrible disease she’s always thinking of her family and friends and spreading light to everyone she meets.
Got Country Online’s own photgrapher/correspondent, Samantha Dawn dedicates her life to helping children with cancer. She unselfishly gives of her time and money to create custom wigs for the children. Many choose their favorite character, sports team or a tv hero. No job is too small for Samantha and her work can be found all the way to Holland. Parents of children diagnosed with pediatric cancer will tell you that watching their child’s eyes light up, even for a brief moment, is priceless. Samantha creates this experience for them. If you are ever in need of a worthy cause to support, this is certainly one to consider. For more information on this wonderful cause or to donate please visit Unraveled by Samantha Dawn HERE.