Hero: n. Someone who faces challenges bravely and lives with a smile despite problems and shortcomings.
Qualities of a Hero: Bravery. Confidence. Determination. Dedication. Endurance. Perseverance. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Humility.
Princess: n. A noble young lady who carries herself with poise and dignity. She is compassionate, humble and is always thinking of others.
Qualities of Princess: Strong. Unique. Independent. Loving. Curious. Fighter. Humble. Determined.
Ariel, the iconic princess from The Little Mermaid, has long beautiful red hair and loves the color purple. She is kind to others no matter what their circumstances, and is always looking for ways to help them in any way that she can. She is determined, fun to be around and known to follow her heart. Sound like anyone you know?
Ariel was Isabella Santos’s favorite princess. If you knew Isabella- there is no question as to why. This was her. Plain and simple. The description of Ariel, down to the red hair and love of purple, fit her to a tee.
As children, we grow up fantasizing about what it would be like to be characters like Spiderman, Batman, Ariel and Elsa. We grow up learning to love these iconic personas in our life and want to do everything we can to be just like them. We dress like them, talk like them and even run around with a gown, a crown, a shield and cape just to play the part. In fact, even as adults, we secretly still want to be one of them. We want to have abilities like teleportation, invisibility, time travel and superhuman speed just to get through our everyday life. But, in reality- we are human. We can only do what we can do.
So, what if you really had to transform into one? And we mean REALLY had to transform. It is one thing to be Superman in our childlike imagination, but when real life throws us a ball of kryptonite- we have no choice but to fight back.
But here is the interesting part. If you have ever known a child with cancer- the resemblance is uncanny. They are the bravest people you will ever meet. They are the most determined kids you will ever know. And…when push comes to shove- they fight with superhuman strength, they love with the most selfless of hearts and they teleport to places during dark times that most adults could never comprehend.
They are the real superheroes. They are the real princesses. THEY… are the real deal.
Throughout the month of September, we want to honor these incredible kids. We want to show that although they are just like every normal kid out there- they are heroic and deserve some serious recognition. They have fought battles worthy of Thor, shown the strength of The Incredible Hulk, and had to become invisible to the outside world like The Black Widow. Much like Cinderella, they do not let life’s circumstances keep them down and continue to keep a positive outlook. Similar to Belle, they look past the masks and see the true beauty in people within. They live their own life… in their own way…regardless of being different.
Throughout the month of September, we will honor heroes once again that are just like Isabella was and will call them “Ibby’s Heroes”. She would like that.
Some… are in the middle of the fight. They have their armor on and ready to receive potions of every kind, with great hope that the next one will be the magic one. Others… have overcome their battle, yet continue to wear their shield close, so the cancer villain cannot attack again. And then…we have our Angels. The ones we honor that have traveled to another time. They have gained their wings, become invisible to the naked eye, but fly around and protect the ones they love most.
We want to know through the imagination of a child- “What SUPERHUMAN POWER would you use to rid the world of cancer?” Would you shoot it with a laser fighter, zap it with hot lava, cast a spell on it…use a healing wand? Whether you prefer to live in a castle and adorn a crown of sparkly jewels or wear a mask to combat super villains- we want to know. Kids are insightful and very creative. It’s no wonder that we look to them for their innocence and their honesty. We will be using this theme in an engaging way, throughout Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, to help bring attention to the real faces of this disease. Our hope is that through more awareness…will come more action…and will rid the world of cancer forever and give children the opportunity to live their dreams.
…And back to that one special princess known as Ariel…AKA “Isabella”?
Well, she is special. She is a metaphor of love and transformation. She epitomizes what love is and wanted so desperately to experience what she had so longed for. For Isabella, this was a life without cancer. We may not be able to do it alone, but with your help, we can fight the battle- with gloves of white, a glass slipper and a cape to match!