GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Brooke Hester is a brave six year-old who’s full of life.
“I learn every day from Ms. Brooke. She smiles every day, dances, laughs, giggles,” says Jessica Hester, Brooke’s Mother.
Brooke says she loves to pick Buttercups and blossoms at home in Texas. Now she’s turned her favorite flowers into an international symbol of hope.
Brooke was diagnosed with high-risk Neuroblastoma at three and a half years-old, a type of childhood nervous system cancer that spread to her bone marrow.
Since then, Brooke’s given away more than 12,000 blossoms to friends, patients and people in 34 different countries through her website, Brookesblossoms.org. Through this website, she and her family have raised more than $50,000 for the Childhood Cancer Foundation and individual families. Brooke says she keeps in touch with her “Blossom Buddies” on her Facebook pages: “Brooke’s Blossoming Hope for Childhood Cancer Awareness Foundation” and “Brooke’s Blossoms N Buddies”.
“Brooke is home-schooled. So we’ve made a ton of friends throughout this journey who are also in the same battle that she’s in, and that’s a support network for all of us,” explains Jessica.
Since May 2012, Brooke and her family drive between Texas and Grand Rapids for treatment leading the country that’s headquartered at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
“Dr. Sholler is a great doctor and she is very special to me,” says Brooke.
Brooke is part of a research consortium at DeVos Children’s Hospital called the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC): a group of 18 universities and children’s hospitals centered at the DeVos Children’s Hospital working on childhood cancer clinical trials. DeVos Children’s Hospital says the goal of the NMTRC is to develop new therapies for children like Brooke, and to work to improve their quality of life and survival.
“In fact right here this puppy says, `Thinking of you from your friends at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation.’ They sent her this because they know she’s having a surgery today,” says Jessica.
If you want to learn more or would like to donate to the Childhood Cancer Foundation and to patients currently in the hospital, visit Brookesblossoms.org. Brooke and her family are also looking for volunteers who are crafty to help make many more of Brooke’s Blossoms to give to people around the world.
FOX17’s prayers and thoughts are with Brooke, her family, and the many other people who are affected by cancer.