May 13th, 2015
Our President Bill Lathrop Jr. is on his way to deliver our Pink Crane to our customer Celanese who's having their Annual Picnic celebrating a safe year! Celanese has requested our Pink Crane to hang the American Flag. Bill is pictured in this photo with his daughter Melanie Lathrop who as of tomorrow May 14th will be celebrating her 1 year anniversary of being Breast Cancer FREE!!
CORPUS CHRISTI - Brooke Hester thought she was getting her picture taken for her eighth birthday Monday.
But she was welcomed at the Texas State Aquarium by a large crowd that serenaded her instead.
“This is her birthday wish, to raise money for kids with cancer,” her mother, Jessica Hester, said of the surprise birthday party and fundraiser for the nonprofit Brooke inspired: Brooke’s Blossoming Hope Foundation.
Brooke was speechless.
Her frail frame revealed the advanced stage of neuroblastoma — stage four — she was diagnosed in November 2010 at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, Jessica Hester said.
“She was three-and-a-half so the only thing she understood was that she was in a lot of pain,” she said.
Hester said she explained to her daughter she had a lump in her belly, which was a tumor. She told Brooke she had more of it in her bones.
“It’s kind of, like, 'I have lumpies?,' ” she asked her mother.
“She put it in her own words,” she said. “It wasn’t until about one year ago that she asked, 'Is it cancer that I have?' ”
Brooke made a video that day, encouraging children who find themselves in her shoes to have faith.
“The initial shock was the worst,” Brooke’s grandmother, Juanita Moore said. “We are already over that. We are now fighting ... to help her do what we can do to beat this, whether it be here on earth or in heaven.”
Brooke’s Blossoming Hope has donated more than 18,000 synthetic blossoms, Brooke’s trademark accessory, to child cancer patients in 40 counties, Jessica Hester said, adding more than $100,000 has been raised for research through the care packages.
And before the doors opened at the fundraiser, more than $40,000 was raised, she said.
Giselle Sholler, a pediatric hematology-oncology doctor at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who has been treating Brooke for the past three years, made a surprise appearance at the event.
“They had come from New York and they had been told there were no more options for them,” Sholler said of the Hester family. “But (Brooke) was super happy and cheerful. Hope is very important for children with cancer who have been told there is no cure.”