Claudia was 6 years old when her mom lost a 4 year battle with cancer. She remembers that life wasn’t the same as other kids her age. Her father was so busy trying to take care of her mother, Claudia never learned to swim or ride a bike. The family never even took a summer vacation. As she grew into an adult, Claudia had always been looking for a way to give back. Then she found Walk With Sally, a way she could create opportunities for another child who had gone through a similar experience.
Camila is a typical 7 year old. She is social and playful, is good in school and tries her best to help make her mother feel better every day by writing her a card. Typical in every way, except her mom is battling brain cancer. She is not quite sure what cancer is, she just knows her mom is sick. Since her father is not in the picture, Camila’s mom is all she has.
We matched Camila and Claudia about 8 months ago and they have been fast friends ever since. Claudia remembers one afternoon where they decided to head to the park for a picnic. Having also brought some extra bread, they were able to feed the ducks. She remembers Camila’s face beaming. She had never had a picnic but even more exciting, she had never fed ducks. Her mentorship helped create this simple opportunity for Camila.
The biggest change Claudia has seen is that Camila is now opening up to her emotionally. She was a little reserved at first, but over time and after a few sessions of Walk With Sally’s Heart to Home art healing activities, they each began to talk about their “Sally’s”, their moms.
Camila’s mom, Ruth, just loves that she is so happy and excited each time she spends time with Claudia. She gets to experience and learn new things. “They connect really well and that makes me happy.” For her part, Claudia says she finally feels like she can share her wisdom and heal from the experience of losing her mom. “I’m able to talk about it more openly with my family and friends, rather than suppress it. It has become something positive.” She hopes she is giving Camila the same chance.
It takes a village to raise children and create opportunities. Walk With Sally is privileged to be a part of the village to so many families impacted by cancer. Click below if you’d like to join our village!