It was about a year ago when Elizabeth, Kate and myself attended an art workshop for the first time at the hospital. As you know, my girls take after me and LOVE to be artistic and create all things beautiful. Many times to get Elizabeth’s mind off of the cancer or let her take out her stress and anger, I would set up a canvas in the backyard and let her and her siblings go to town by getting more than messy and splatter painting all the colors of the rainbow. It was a MUCH needed release for all involved and seemed to help everyone in so many ways. There were always laughs and a sense of being free from reality even if for only a short time. But, before we knew it, we had tons of paintings and not enough wall space to hold them all. We decided donating the paintings to the hospital would be a great way to give back. And a great way it was!
This past weekend Elizabeth, Brooke and myself were invited by the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to attend their annual Beach Ball Gala. Of course we were super duper excited! I had to explain to Elizabeth that we were going to get dressed up really super duper fancy and eat a super duper fancy dinner. “Why?” She asked. “Well,” I said, “because it’s a way for the hospital to raise a lot of money for what they need to make children like you better.” She agreed she would go, but still concerned about missing out on all the fun her brother and sister would be having at a friends house that night. I agreed she could join them after the event and she was then fully on board with the idea. I also told her that her artwork would be used in more ways than one that night to help raise that money. Her eyes sparkled with joy. And off she went to the Beach Ball Gala looking like Cinderella dressed in her fanciest, frilliest, cream and GOLD dress.
We were walking around looking at all the fanciness and visiting with all her amazing doctors when all of a sudden we spotted a rainbow heart painted by none other than EBB herself! It was one of the many paintings she so passionately painted in the backyard to help kick cancer in the buttcrack. People soon realized she was the artist of this beautiful work of art and began taking photos with her and shaking her hand. She felt like an incredibly famous superstar! At one point I said to Elizabeth, “Do you feel like the next Taylor Swift?” Her response was, nope I feel like the first Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair.” And just like that her painting at the young age of six raised a whopping $660.00 to help benefit the Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital! Beauty truly does come from the heart! After the silent auction, we grabbed a couple of Shirley Temples and were whisked away into the ballroom for a private preview of Phoenix Children’s Hospitals new Super Hero Award. Artist of the award… you guessed it…Elizabeth Brooklyn Blair. First super hero to be receiving this award…the Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton! After the award presentation, Elizabeth was asked if she would like to meet Mayor Stanton? She had heard this might happen and had been practicing her greeting upon meeting him throughout the day. She eventually decided on saying , “It’s nice to meet you Mr. Mayor.” He was very kind and took a photo with her as well as the President and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Bob Meyer. I think we were introduced to a bunch of other important people, but it was all a dreamy blur at that point.
We eventually sat down for dinner and were in the company of the most amazing family! A family who has felt the suffering of watching their daughter struggle with life just like us. Cora, their 5 year old daughter, and Elizabeth immediately became friends! They listened to Taylor Swift on the ipod and had fun getting to know each other. Cora is 5 and a little over a year ago she had a heart transplant. This super strong family told their story that night and it touched me in a way I could not possibly describe. The father spoke about how they never prayed for a new heart, but always prayed for a cure because they knew by their daughter receiving a new heart it would mean another child would have to give their life. They carry so much guilt over this. The tears coming from her daddy’s eyes as he spoke these words were so very painful to watch. My eyes were opened in so many ways that night and I could not be more proud of Elizabeth and what her talents had helped do that night. The music soon began and Elizabeth was up and running to be front and center on stage! She had all 1000 guests following her dance moves on the dance floor.
Never a dull moment with that EBB I tell you! Eventually we managed to dragged her off the dance floor to head to her sleepover. On the way home she was asking when we were going to the next “Ball”? She kept saying how much fun she had “partying” and that she was not ready to stop. I asked her if she thought we should host a “Ball” of our own and she without hesitation said “YES!!!” I told the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation we would like to help raise funds for them and asked what they needed money specifically for? They immediately replied “Camp Rainbow!” Ummmmm, if this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. It will most likely take place in late summer to early fall, right around when Elizabeth completes her treatment. I will keep everyone posted! If you read this and feel so inclined to help with this event, message me on facebook or email. Until then …keep on creating rainbows!
We heart you so much!