June 12th is my 12th birthday. Well, not really. This year, June 12th marks the 12th anniversary of my bone marrow transplant at Georgetown Hospital. Thinking about this anniversary led me to thinking about birthdays in general and then about my daughter’s 6th birthday this fall. Children’s birthday parties are hard to plan. You need to consider the season, the weather, the temperament of the children, and of course, the type of cake. I love children, but the idea inviting a handful of five & six year olds to my house to run around and do crafts (aka make a mess)? No, not so much.
Last year my daughter did not have a “party.” We took a few girls to see The Princess and the Frog and then went for ice cream. We struck a deal with my daughter that every other year, she could have a party. On the off years, the celebration would be smaller. I digress, back to this being the party year.
In the midst of all this thinking (yes, I am aware that it is a bit early to be planning a November birthday), I came across the Pepsi Refresh Project- where Pepsi gives away funding for local community based ventures based on the results of an on-line vote. This led me to “Brightening Birthdays.” Brightening Birthdays was developed by a Georgetown University business student, Marcy Humphrey to make it possible for children and teens to have birthday parties while in the hospital. I was struck by the simplicity of this project, and the far-reaching impact that a birthday celebration could have on a child that is hospital bound on their big day.