Ethan, leukemia survivor, and sister Sienna
This June, Subaru is partnering with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to spread hope, love and warmth to cancer patients though small gestures of caring. LLS and Subaru retailers nationwide will deliver nearly 40,000 blankets and 7,700 arts & crafts kits, along with messages of hope written by Subaru customers, to those fighting cancer in hospitals and treatment centers across the country.
Ethan was five years old when he was diagnosed with very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The following years involved countless hospital visits, chemotherapy, bone marrow aspirates, lumbar punctures, steroids, and blood transfusions
Ethan’s sister, Sienna, who was three years old at the time, was Ethan’s constant companion, joining him for most of his hospital trips. Near the end of Ethan’s three year treatment, he relapsed. He then underwent extensive testing and preparations for a stem cell transplant.
For two months, Sienna experienced her own extensive testing, proving that she was Ethan’s perfect stem cell match. On August 9, 2016, Sienna underwent a three hour bone marrow harvest.
Sienna wasn't fully recovered from her procedure when her stem cells were ready for Ethan. Skyping from their separate hospital rooms, Sienna proclaimed, “This is the best day of my life, because I got to save my big brother’s life.” Ethan and Sienna call themselves the “Super Sibs”. They now share the same stem cells and a bond unlike any other.
Upon receiving a blanket, one patient explained “how cold the center gets while she is there for daily treatments” and “how much joy it brought to her that day that people that didn’t even know her were thinking and caring about her.” Corpus Christi Subaru delivery to Christus Spohn Cancer Center.
The craft kits “serve a dual purpose: entertaining and comforting young patients, as well as the children of patients who accompany their parents to treatments.” Nurse at Northwell Huntington Hospital, Huntington, NY
Hospital staff shared how much the messages of hope mean to the patients, including one patient who noted “how remarkable it is to feel such love and support from total strangers.” Riverhead Bay Subaru delivery to Stonybrook University Hospital.
See how the Subaru Loves to Care program spreads love, hope and warmth to patients battling cancer.
To read more messages of hope, please click here.
Looking at Lauren’s radiant smile, you’d never suspect that she was sick or guess how nervous she was for her first day of treatment at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Luckily, she happened to be there on a special day. #1 Cochran Subaru was delivering boxes over-flowing with craft kits and cozy blankets especially for the small warriors who are fighting the biggest enemy of their young lives: cancer. Jeff Gessler, General Sales Manager at #1 Cochran, gave Lauren her own blanket in case she got cold and an arts & crafts kit to keep her hands and mind busy while she waited. In all, #1 Cochran Subaru and LLS’s Western PA/West Virginia Chapter distributed 80 blankets and 10 crafts kits to families awaiting treatment. Thank you for making Lauren and many other kids feel so special that day.
Like many of their peers across the country, Bob Rohrman Subaru of Fort Wayne, IN created a striking display of blankets, craft kits, and care cards in its showroom. Staff also took this display with them to conventions and promotional events, inviting the community to write messages of support. Their efforts resulted in an incredible number of caring messages and cards to share with patients. General Manager Gene Davis shared that one customer took particular note of the showroom display as he walked around: “He had tears in his eyes. He said, ‘I got one of these [blankets] last year.’” What a simple, poignant way for this retailer to be reminded that these blankets make an impression as well as a difference. Now this cancer survivor is a year removed from treatment, thankfully healthy, considering a Subaru, and is able to pass on a note of support and encouragement to someone else undergoing treatment. This heartfelt card, along with other messages of hope and warm blankets, were delivered to surprised and grateful patients at Parkview Hospital.
What should have been one of the most joyful days of Andrew Rourke's life–the birth of his daughter–was turned upside down when, just two hours before little Nora Rose made her entrance into the world, Andrew received word that test results showed he most likely had cancer. On Tuesday little Nora was born healthy and happy; the following week, Andrew started treatment for Stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma. Today, there was much to celebrate as Andrew finished his last cancer treatment. Surrounded by family members all shedding tears of joy, Andrew was presented with a blanket, message of hope card and craft kit by Subaru of Dayton and LLS’s Tri-State Southern Ohio Chapter. “When you get a cancer diagnosis, you feel like your life is over. Then you find out your prognosis is good and you are going to get your life back. When I see Nora Rose, I will always look at her as my little angel,” said Andrew.
Stivers Decatur Subaru partnered with LLS’s Georgia Chapter to deliver warm blankets, messages of hope, and craft kits to patients of the Bone Marrow Transplant Center at Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University. For John Stivers, owner of this Subaru retailer, the mission was personal, as his wife is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor. The group was honored to have two incredible patients, Mark and Cole, join them for the delivery. As the hospital staff explained, they “celebrate each patient’s day of transplant as their new ‘birthday.’” They give the patient a Subaru/LLS blanket, sing happy birthday, and hang balloons on their door. This makes their transplant day special for them and their family, recognizing it as a new beginning.
For the second year in a row, LLS South Carolina Chapter and Crews Subaru of Charleston delivered blankets to the many patients receiving treatment at the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. There they met up with LLS Honored Hero, Rachel Darling. Last year, Rachel was a cancer patient when she helped deliver the Subaru/LLS blankets here; this year she is a cancer survivor spreading cheer, hope, and warmth. Among others, Rachel presented a blanket to Ms. Barbara, a patient receiving treatment that day. “I really enjoyed meeting Ms. Barbara today, she was so excited about the blanket and loved my ‘survivor’ pin. I hope she stays warm during treatment and can keep on smiling!” said Rachel. Ms. Barbara was very inspired: “If she can do it, I can too! Thank you for the hope in Rachel’s smile and the coziness for my treatment today.”
Help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Subaru spread messages of hope, love, and warmth to cancer patients across the country.