Old neck medals help children battling cancer
Special to Leader-Press
In less than 50 years, the overall survival rate for children with cancer has increased from 10 percent to 70 percent. Thirty percent still need the help of scientists, researchers, doctors, and Miniature Miss Five Hills Josslynn Coombs.
The five-year old beauty queen’s community service project is Bling for Bravery, a program developed through the Snowdrop Foundation to celebrate and reward the bravery of the pediatric cancer patients at Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital in Houston. The organization distributes neck medals from races, dance competitions, science fairs, and other contests to recognize the demonstration of dedication and bravery of the young patients at the hospital that is also shown by athletes in training.
Josslynn’s mother, Ashley Coombs, said her daughter understands the importance of cheering on other children and encouraging them to be courageous.
“The Snowdrop Foundation’s Bling for Bravery Project has a mission for which Josslynn is collecting neck medals that are repurposed to give to young cancer patients to brighten their days and inspire them to finish their fight strong,” Ashley Coombs said. “Her goal is to collect as many medals as she can from the other students where she takes gymnastics and dance classes and visit other dance and gymnastics facilities throughout Central Texas to encourage their members to support her cause.”
Josslyn encourages those who participate in charity runs and similar events to donate their old medals as well.
“At the end of her year-long reign, we will travel to Houston where she will turn in all she has collected to the Snowdrop Foundation at the Texas Children’s Hospital and see first-hand how she helped put smiles on other kids’ faces and do what she does best: brighten the lives of everyone around her,” Ashley Coombs said.
The snowdrop is the first flower to bloom in the spring, even blooming when snow is still on the ground. It is a hardy flower, nearly indestructible by nature and symbolizes hope and purity. Childhood cancer patients demonstrate indestructible attitudes and spirit while battling the life threatening illness of childhood cancer, Ashley Coombs said.
“The Snowdrop Foundation celebrates the hope that one day a cure for all childhood cancers will be found allowing the purity of every child to remain untouched by the devastating diagnosis of cancer,” Ashley Coombs said.
Josslynn will turn in her medals to the Texas Children’s Hospital in March prior to crowning her successor. Those interested in donating medals may email email@example.com or drop the medals off at one of the following locations.
GymKix, 1352 Matthew Spicer Road, Copperas Cove
Copperas Cove ISD District Service and Training Center, 408 S. Main Street, Copperas Cove
Copperas Cove Leader Press, 2210 E. Business Highway 190, Copperas Cove