Hello. My name is Sophia. I am a junior at Westmont Hilltop Junior Senior High School in Johnstown, PA. I am in Girl Scout Troop 40309 in Service Unit Westmont Johnstown 4651.
I am one of nearly 400,000 people living with or who are survivors of Leukemia in the United States.
In February 2018, I was diagnosed with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (BALL) – a fast-growing type of blood cancer, in which too many immature white blood cells are found in the bone marrow and blood. Since my diagnosis, I have endured many long days that are often filled with doctor appointments and chemotherapy treatments. Since the beginning, I've decided to remain optimistic during my battle with blood cancer, and now advocate for those dealing with similar circumstances.
When a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, their whole life is put on hold. The whole cancer process from treatment, to reassessing your priorities, to handling all the daunting information thrown at you, is overwhelming. When a child loses their hair, can't run anymore, or play as they used to, their life seems bleak. Miracle Masks is dedicated to bringing a flicker of joy into the hospital, pushing out the isolation, sadness, and anxiety.
I came up with the idea of Miracle Masks for my Girl Scout Gold Award project when my Aunt Rosalind sent me a mask to wear during my treatments. I thought how great it would be if every kid could have a specially designed mask to wear like me!
I set out to find friends and family members to help me design a few templates that closely mimics the disposable masks already in the hospital that would be easy for a new sewist to a seasoned one to sew quickly. My co-Leader, Toby Holland, a seamstress, really nailed two patterns!
After a few trials, we were able to find a good pattern that was easy to work with. I worked with a Graphic Artist Stephy Makdad, who helped me design the pattern in an easy to use PDF, which she also helped me design a hand card to pass out to sewing groups interested in helping.
My mentor, Dorris Caldwell has been advising me every step of the way--she has her own non-profit, Ryan's Case for Smiles, in which she makes pillow cases for kids with life-threatening conditions. Isn't she Amazing?
And of course, my Mom Mom, Mary Tuinstra, a sewer, has been working with me on strengthening my sewing skills!
Thank you all for learning about me and helping me with my project!
A Big Thank you!
Thank you to the following people who have helped me in my Girl Scout Gold Award project! Maybe you can support them too!
Girl Scout Gold Award Adviser