This week our community was hit with shocking news. We found out that Maddie, the 3-year-old daughter of our farm manager, Brad, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Right after we found out was when I was asked to do a blog entry for this week, so naturally I completely forgot until I was reminded this morning.
While everyone including myself was still reeling from the news, we sprang into action. Our weekly school meeting this Wednesday was devoted to brainstorming and planning ways that we could do things for Maddie as well as her parents. Some of our ideas were making a Chewonki oriented coloring book for her, writing her a little note to open every day between now and Christmas, making a home movie of all of us, making 1,000 paper cranes (like the children’s book), writing letters to Brad and Emily, and later in the semester we’re planning a fundraiser for cancer research. This school meeting also sparked conversations about what else we could do for people outside of the Chewonki community, so this Saturday is devoted to community service. Some of the activities include knitting hats and mittens for a women and children’s shelter nearby, visiting a veteran retirement home, and working on projects for Maddie.
This jump into action has really touched me and also made me remember what a special community this is and how lucky we are. We really are one big family that reaches out and does everything we can for each other.
-Tori Zapack, Charlotte, NC
**Update 11/16: All 1,000 Paper Cranes have been made!