Alex Happy to Receive his Guitar

On Monday, October 9th, Yoli Alvin, AAFH President, delivered an acoustic Yamaha guitar to a teen boy receiving chemo treatment at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.  Jose Hidalgo, who goes by Alex, completed his gift request in late September with assistance from Music Therapist, Rachel Epley. 

Alex relapsed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) on August 1, 2017, and has been going to Lurie Children’s Hospital for regular treatments accompanied by his Mom, Ana Negrete.  Alex, currently in 8th grade, has a 5-year old brother and lives with his family in Addison, IL. 

As his Mom commented, this gift was just what Alex needed to lift his spirits in the face of the challenges ahead.  Alex enjoys listening to music and really wants to learn to play an acoustic guitar.  When Alex is admitted at Lurie’s, he borrows a guitar for his hospital stay and is very anxious to go home to practice his new guitar.

We are grateful to present Alex and other young patients with musical instruments in Alyssa’s memory.  



Alyssa Starter Art Kits Brought to Chicago Proton Center and RMH

Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) have been delivered to several locations in the western suburbs of Chicago.  Lauren (RMH House Manager) and Katie (House Director) of RMH near Central DuPage Hospital received a variety of Alyssa SAKs on September 18, 2017.  

Then on September 19, 2017, Aileen (Child Life Specialist) and Katie (Child Life Intern) of Chicago Proton Center received adult coloring book kits, drawing kits, watercolor kits and acrylic paint kits.  Aileen said, “We are happy to be able to share Alyssa Starter Art Kits with teens and young adults being treated at the Proton Center.”  Yoli told Aileen and Katie that it is our hope for the young patients to enjoy and benefit from the art kits. 

We thank everyone who is making it possible to prepare and make donations for the art kits so more teens and young adults staying at a RMH and/or receiving treatment at medical institutions can explore and be creative with these wonderful art materials!



Eliza Is All Smiles as She Receives Her New Guitar

On Sunday, September 17th, Yoli Alvin, Alyssa Alvin for Hope Foundation (AAFH) President, delivered an acoustic guitar to a young girl receiving treatment at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.  Yoli was joined by her nephew, Daniel Guerrero, in presenting the guitar to Eliza and her family.  Eliza had made a gift request on the AAFH website when she was referred to the Foundation by the hospital’s music therapist, Jonathan.

The entire Beth family, Dad-Pete, Mom-Mindy and Eliza’s siblings: Megan-10 and Henry-2 traveled from their farm in Wisconsin to be treated by the specialists here in Chicago.  Because this was their second time here after Eliza experienced a relapse, the family told us how knowing a gift would be waiting for her lifted her spirits in the face of the challenges ahead.

Eliza is an 8-year-old who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the Spring of 2014 and relapsed last year in September of 2016.  Eliza’s nickname is Izza and she enjoys playing piano just like Alyssa did and is looking forward to learning how to play the guitar.  When Izza met Jonathan, she told him of her desire to get a guitar.

We consider it a privilege to be able to have a positive impact on the young patients that we are able to present with musical instruments or art supplies in the name of the AAFH and in Alyssa’s memory.  We will never forget the joy it brought Alyssa and are happy to widen that circle of joy as much as we can.



Music Night at RMH Near Loyola Medical Center

On Tuesday, September 12th, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope hosted a Music Night at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) near Loyola Medical Center, Hines, IL. 

Young patients and their families heard a short talk on the history and use of various musical instruments.  The instruments included the tambourine, maracas, rhythm sticks, bongos, ukulele and an acoustic guitar.  The families and young patients had the opportunity to try each of them.  One of the young teen volunteers at the RMH that evening entertained us with his guitar playing and then played the piano that is located near the dining/living area.

We also dropped off 5 Alyssa Starter Art Kits to be given to teens and young adults staying at the RMH during their treatment. 

As always, old acquaintances were renewed with staff and people we had previously met at RMH.  New friendships were created in the sharing of stories with the families there.  Alyssa’s story and her legacy live on when we share her love for art and music by donating equipment and supplies to children like her.



University Student, Abigail, Receives Art Supplies

Abigail is an 18-year-old college student who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma a year ago in September 2016 and is being treated at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois.  She is currently a Freshman at North Park University on the north side of Chicago.  

Abigail learned about the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope through her contact with Lori Makey, Art Therapist at Advocate Children’s Hospital and completed her gift request in August.  Abigail shared with us that she likes to paint and loves to learn.

On Monday, September 11th, Rita Alviar (AAFH volunteer) joined Yoli (AAFH President) to deliver the art supplies that Abigail had requested.  Her art materials included several pints of primary colored paints, acrylic modeling paste, several paint brushes, a set of steel knives, palette seal, canvas’ of different sizes, and a special inlaid liner.  Needless to say, Abigail was thrilled to receive all these items.

Whenever we share Alyssa’s love of art and music with others and see the positive impact it has on young patients, we are reminded of the important work that the Foundation does.  We told Abigail that we hope she shares some of her artwork with us in the future and thereby spreads the message even further.



AAFH Goes to Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain

On Wednesday, August 30th, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) donated 50 Alyssa Starter Art Kits which included 35 adult coloring book kits and 15 journal kits.  In addition, AAFH donated 7 ukuleles to young patients at the Hospital Vall d’Hebron in Barcelona, Spain.  The 7 musical gift recipients were as follows: Alex - 16, Oriol - 13, Daniel - 17, Juan Manuel - 10, Jan - 7, Enrique - 13, and Ivan - 16 years of age.

The president of AAFH, Yoli Alvin, was accompanied by Alyssa’s godmother, Nancy Nunez, in traveling to Barcelona.  While there, they stayed with the family of Pilar Gavin and Diego Marquez, friends of the Alvin family who all met on a Mediterranean cruise during one of Alyssa's summer vacations.  Pilar graciously hosted Yoli and Nancy as well as coordinated the visit to the hospital in advance of their arrival through her contact with Eunice Blanco Vazquez, one of the hospital's social workers.

Yoli, Nancy, Pilar and Diego joined the medical team of nurses, doctors and social workers to deliver the colorful ukuleles to the young cancer patients who were receiving treatment at the hospital.  The smiling faces in the pictures show that AAFH continues to spread Alyssa’s love for music and the arts bringing joy to patients and their families during very challenging times.

We appreciate the efforts made by the oncology and hematology medical staff including: Nieves Lorez, Esther Diaz, Dr. Cristina Diaz Heredia, Roser Lara and Elena Rubio. A special thanks to our new friend, Eunice, who went above and beyond her role to make this a successful delivery!

All expenses related to this hospital visit were paid by the participants and the foundation funds were only used for the purchase of the music equipment and art materials.



BCBSIL Volunteers Prepare Alyssa SAKs

On Friday, August 18th, the Blue Cross Blue Shield IL (BCBSIL) Enterprise PMO Team organized a group of volunteers to assemble Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) in support of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope.  More than 20 volunteers participated in putting together 200 kits.  This effort was led by Denise Perez-Cabrera, an employee of BCBSIL, who also volunteers as the Executive Secretary of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH). 

Denise and Yoli developed a strong friendship when they were colleagues employed at BCBSIL and they continue to work together in key roles for the AAFH. 

A special “Thank You” also goes out to Denise because our foundation was approved by Health Care Service Corporation as a Blue Corps Community Partner last October 2016!  This allows AAFH to earn Matching Dollars for each volunteer hour logged!!!!  We appreciate Denise for her ongoing dedication to the AAFH.

The BCBSIL volunteer team completed assembling 150 adult coloring book kits, 30 colored pencil drawing kits, 15 journal kits and 5 watercolor painting kits for a total of 200 Alyssa SAKs.  This year, the volunteers doubled the previous record for assembling the kits. 50 of these Alyssa SAKs will be delivered to teens and young adults going through cancer treatments in Barcelona, Spain at the Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron.  The remainder of the kits will be delivered to local hospitals and medical facilities in the Chicagoland area.

Thank you to BCBSIL management who also took the time to participate in the volunteer effort including:

Bernadette Rasmussen, DSVP, Enterprise IT Services

Wonjae Barry, Executive Director, Enterprise Program & Project

Mauricio Mejía, Senior Director, Project Management Office

Eric Engdahl, Consultant, IT Process Design & Governance

John Royse, Senior Director, Project Mangement Office

Joy Coleman, Executive Director, Enterprise Program & Project

Thank you to all the volunteers from BCBSIL (with a special thanks to William Solinski who also helped transport the art kits to the car) including:  Adina Sheinin, Mauricio Mejia, Amani Abukhdeir, Natrisa Hart, Blythe Berry, Nika Thompson, Cheryl Bautista, Parissa Crockett, David Duvnjak, Paul Meyer, Denise Perez-Cabrera, Regina Gallagher, Jenifer Alexander, Richard Camacho, John Royse, Shuya Yan, Lanissa Williams, Tea Outlaw, Laura Harty, Marc Hizer, Wonjae Barry and Maristella Sacarelos.



Art Night @ Ronald McDonald House, Winfield, IL

Tuesday, August 15th, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope sponsored an Art Night at the Ronald McDonald House in Winfield, IL.

Several young people – patients and their siblings – were thrilled to use their artistic talents in creating colorful keepsakes for themselves and their families. 

We remember how Alyssa tapped into her own previously undiscovered passion for visual arts during her stay at the hospital for chemo and treatments for infections.  We know that the focus Alyssa put into her art work helped her to recover from having been in a coma at one point during one of her hospital stays.  The distraction of her self-expression through the art she made brought her relief from the pain, discomfort and stress she experienced during her treatments.  We are still able to experience much joy today through the art creations of others that reminds us of Alyssa’s beautiful talent.

We know the time we put into the Art Nights create opportunities for other families to share in that same joy and passion that Alyssa had.  Our efforts keep Alyssa’s legacy alive and continue to bring happiness into peoples’ lives now and into the future.



1st Annual Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope Golf Benefit

On Monday, August 7th, the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) held their first-ever golf benefit at the Itasca Country Club.

Over 24 golfers enjoyed a sunny, cool-for-August day playing 18 holes on a beautiful private course made available to us through the efforts of Michael Munro, a friend of the Alvin family.  Forty people joined us for a delicious dinner at the Country Club with a raffle and silent auction.  After playing the 18 hole golf course, we all enjoyed the jazz music played by the talented students from Metea Valley High School – Emily Hensley (Piano-17), Andy Kim (Alto Sax-17), Andrew Aiello (trumpet 16), Claire Baranyk (Tenor Sax 15), Brendan Parravano (Drum set-16) and Nick Asuan (bass-16).

Though not a golfer herself, Alyssa was a student athlete who played soccer, tennis, volleyball and competed in track.  Of course, she was also a gifted musician and every AAFH event is centered around Alyssa’s passion for art, music and life itself.  With that in mind, we are grateful to the young musicians who entertained us during dinner.  Events like this allow us to promote the Foundation’s mission to provide hope through the arts to young people during their time of illness.

A heartfelt thank you to all who attended the golf outing and dinner. We appreciate the Board members and volunteers who gave so much of their time, love and support to make this event a success.  Lastly, but not least, a special thank you to Mike Munro for coordinating a wonderful and memorable event.  Stay tuned in the near future for more information on next year’s golf outing!



Jameya Enjoys Her Keyboard

Jameya is a 13-year-old who was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia in January 2015 and is being treated by Dr. Cunningham at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago (Comer).  Jameya lives with her family in Dolton, Illinois, a south suburb of Chicago.  Her mom, Elizabeth, told us she just received her nursing degree and takes Jameya to her appointments to Comer.

Jameya learned of Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope through Jonathan Tutko, Music Therapist at Comer.  Jameya enjoys singing, playing the piano and listening to music.  Jonathan shared with Jameya that she could request her own electronic keyboard if she wanted it and she did.  Jameya’s mom, Elizabeth, submitted Jameya’s gift request on July 26, 2017 and soon after it was ready to be delivered to her.   

On Saturday July 28th, Daniel, Alyssa’s cousin, arrived at Comer to deliver an electronic keyboard, headset and stand to Jameya.  She was very happy to receive the keyboard and is looking forward to playing it at home.  Jameya was scheduled to be discharged from Comer and we wish her all the best.



Mignon & Her Pink Ukulele

Mignon is a 3-year-old who was diagnosed with Melanocytic congenital nevus at birth in August 2014.  Mignon and her family flew in all the way from South Africa to be treated by Dr. Bauer at Northshore Highland Park.  Mignon’s parents and her 5-year-old brother travelled to be by Mignon’s side while she is receiving treatment.    

Yoli met Mignon and her family at Alyssa’s celebration of life on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at the RMH in Chicago.  During the music performance, Mignon demonstrated a liking for the Ukulele which was played by several musicians of the Summer Monkeys Band.  Mignon is a precious little girl who likes the outdoors, travelling, summer holidays at the coast and wants to learn how to play the ukulele.

Mignon’s family was very happy to learn about Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope and was very appreciative for the food and the music performance hosted by the AAFH on July 23.  Before leaving the RMH, Mignon was assured by Yoli that she would receive her pink ukulele within a week.  Martiens Booysen, Mignon’s dad, submitted a formal request via AAFH the website on Thursday, July 27.   

On Friday, July 28….5 days after the event, Daniel, Alyssa’s cousin, arrived at the RMH of Chicago to deliver the pink ukulele to Mignon.  She was very happy little girl receiving the ukulele from Daniel.  Mignon immediately started playing her new ukulele.  She was smiling with joy and her brother was also happy that he could enjoy it as well.



A Celebration of Alyssa’s Life – July 23, 2017

On Sunday, July 23rd, we held a celebration of Alyssa’s life on her 22nd birthday.  Alyssa loved celebrating birthdays and we have many fond memories of her birthday parties.  Alyssa enjoyed planning her own parties because she wanted everyone in attendance to enjoy themselves and savor the wonderful times they would spend together.  In memory of her passion for music, we hosted a barbecue lunch and rooftop concert at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago near Michigan and Grand Avenues.  It was a great day to celebrate Alyssa’s time with us and her passing to an eternal life. 

Alyssa’s cousin, Daniel, put together a team of chefs and friends who did an outstanding job preparing and serving lunch to dozens of family members on a beautiful summer afternoon.  Along with the delicious food, attendees enjoyed the wonderful pop music and original compositions performed by the Summer Monkeys, an all family band of tweens and teens who also hail from Alyssa’s hometown of Geneva, IL. 

Many thanks to the food volunteers - Marissa and Mario Castagna, Rose and Dan Carocci, and Mario DeCarlo, and the musical siblings – George, Isabel, Adam, Emily, Eli and Jack – for cooking and playing their hearts out!  Thank you also to all the friends of AAFH who volunteered to help and celebrate Alyssa’s birthday!

Our lunch and the Summer Monkeys performance closed out with everyone singing ‘Happy Birthday, Dear Alyssa’ and a release of 22 red (her favorite color) balloons into the blue skies near Chicago’s lakefront, one of Alyssa’s favorite places. 

As you can see in the photos, it was a party Alyssa would have loved.



Alyssa Starter Art Kits Donated to Advocate Children’s Hospital & RMH Oak Lawn, IL

On Friday, July 21, 2017, Yoli-President of Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope met with Lori Mackey-Art Therapist at Advocate Children’s Hospital to deliver 25 Alyssa Starter Art Kits.  Lori mentioned to Yoli that she met Mary Agnes, founder of Zellmer Foundation and talked about the popularity of the Alyssa Starter Art Kits with the patients at Advocate Hospital.  Mary Agnes, contacted Yoli, about making a donation for the purchase of the next 25 kits to be delivered to Advocate.

Yoli then made a separate delivery of 25 Alyssa Starter Art Kits to the Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn.  Anne Czarnecki, House Director, took delivery of them and said, “we’re happy to share Alyssa SAKs with teens and young adults being treated for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.”  Yoli told Anne that it is our hope for these young patients to benefit from and enjoy the art kits. 

We thank everyone who is making it possible to prepare and make donations for the Alyssa Starter Art Kits so more teens and young adults staying at the RMHs and Children’s Hospitals can explore and be creative with these art materials!



Alyssa SAKs Delivered to Edward Hospital Naperville, IL

An initial delivery of 15 Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAK) to the RMH Family Room in Edward Hospital was done on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 by Yoli Alvin-AAFH President.

We met with Brittany, RHM Manager, and two other Child Life Specialists (Melissa and Kristen) who work with the inpatients at Edward Hospital.  They mentioned the lack materials for the teens staying at the RMH Family Room and that the Alyssa Starter Art Kits would serve to fill this void.  We delivered a variety of Alyssa SAKs included writing journals, adult coloring books and drawing kits.  AAFH provides Alyssa SAKs to medical institutions and RMHs to give teens and young adults between the ages of 10 and 21 an opportunity to create their own work of art, write their thoughts in their journal, relax and have fun coloring.   

We thank the Child Life Staff of RMH Family Room at Edward Hospital for giving us the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and music, and promoting the programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!



Music Night with High School Musicians

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) held another Music Night at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) near Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL on Thursday, July 6, 2017.  A volunteer from Metea High School, Roveena, organized a group  of nine musicians from two schools - Metea & Neuqua High Schools.

The high school musicians played a variety of instruments and songs for the young patients and their families staying at the RMH.   Four sets were performed including: a horn trio featuring Naman, Devin, and Tyler; a string quartet with Nikita and James on violins, Kristen on cello and Arjun on viola; Anisha singing a capella in Italian and then playing the piano while singing an inspirational piece by songwriter Pink; and closing with Roveena doing a beautiful piece on piano, “River Flows in You”.  

The students’ performances were great and we thank them for volunteering their musical talents and bringing joy to the residents of the RMH in Winfield, IL. 



Sharing Alyssa’s Story @ i.c.stars - Chicago, IL

On Friday, June 30, 2017, Yoli shared Alyssa’s inspiring story of hope with the students of i.c.stars.  i.c.stars is a project-based learning and full immersion teaching program that provides an opportunity for young adults to develop skills in business and technology.

A previous i.c.stars participant, Martina (who now works at the same firm as Yoli), volunteered to assist as a photographer for the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope Benefit Recital last May.  Yoli told Martina about the 501(c)(3) Young Adult Cancer Foundation she founded in December 2014 after 5 months of Alyssa’s passing to her eternal life.  Martina, in turn, told Yoli about the i.c.stars leading to Yoli’s presentation to the young adults there.

She shared with them how Alyssa was diagnosed with leukemia and, despite her condition during her chemo treatments, Alyssa’s beautiful spirit touched all those who met her.  Alyssa loved music and the creative arts and continued to pursue her dreams while struggling with her illness.  Yoli’s message touched many of the students at i.c.stars as evidenced by their conversations following her presentation.

Our vision of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope is to sustain and strengthen the interests of young adult cancer patients in the musical and visual arts by helping them to express their creativeness in the arts.  We strive to help them enjoy life while in treatment and focus on the healing power of creativity and self-expression.  In this effort to touch the lives of patients, our Foundation shares similar goals with the social mission of i.c.stars to positively impact young people from challenged backgrounds.

We wish the i.c.stars participants success in their new endeavors as they complete their training program.  We look forward to continued opportunities to work with these new leaders and to make our communities better every day.



Art Night at RMH near Loyola Medical Center, Hines, IL

Art Night was hosted by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope at the RMH near Loyola Medical Center, Hines, IL. 

Several families staying at the house participated in the acrylic painting activity.  Jim, his wife and his children Justin (13) and Jalene (8) were happy to select a wood piece to paint.  A grandma with her two grandsons, Lacy (13) and David (9) also participated in the acrylic painting project.  Another grandma, Lois, and her 3 grandchildren-Maverick (9), Xander (7) and Harley (5) also participated and all had a great time. 

We just love every opportunity to bring joy and hope to all the children and families staying at a Ronald McDonald House.



Alyssa SAKs & Musical Instruments Donated to AbilityLab

The Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope delivered 20 Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab on Friday, June 2, 2017.  In March 2017, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) evolved to become the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.  The SAKs we delivered consisted of various art materials such as paints, colored pencils and canvas paper.  Mary Jane Johnson-Advisory Board member & Yoli Alvin-AAFH President were honored to make this first donation of the SAKs along with a few musical instruments.

We met Wills McKenna, the Music Therapist, and he told us how he works with young patients who are interested in expressing themselves through music.  Wills met us on his day off to receive the musical instruments which included an acoustic guitar, a lime green Ukulele and two electronic Yamaha keyboards along with the 20 Alyssa SAKs.  Wills expressed his gratitude to receive the donated music and art kits on behalf of the AbilityLab. 

The Alyssa SAKs will be available for teens and young adults between the ages of 10 and 21 receiving treatment at the AbilityLab.   

We thanked Wills for meeting with us and for accepting this donation.  We are grateful for the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and music and to promote our programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!



Acoustic Guitar Surprise for Ailani

Ailani is an 11 year old girl who was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, IL in February 2016.  She lives in Aurora, IL with her Mom, Dad and younger brother.  Ailani’s Mom, Mireya, told us Ailani was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma when she turned 10 years old.  Ailani told her Mom something felt odd and that her legs felt weak and they then took her to the hospital.  Ailani started treatment at Rush Medical Center, and it is there where she started participating in art.  Prior to this, Ailani never had any interest in art before in her life.  Ailani learned how to paint with acrylics and looked forward to going to the hospital as an opportunity for her to draw.  Art was something positive and fun for her to focus on during all the struggles she had to go through.

Another interesting thing is that a music therapist came to her hospital room and started teaching her how to play the acoustic guitar and they would also sing together.  After a while, Ailani asked her mom if she could get her own acoustic guitar so she could learn to play.  Ailani enjoys composing her own songs.  Because of the big C, she got in touch with her artistic side. Mireya said, “It's organizations like Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope that make these things possible for children like my daughter to explore interests in music and art, for that, I thank you.”

On Friday, May 12, 2017 Mary Jane Johnson-AAFH Board Member and Yoli-President of AAFH drove to Ailani’s house to deliver her new acoustic guitar.  Ailani was surprised and very happy to receive her new guitar.  We hope Ailani enjoys playing her new acoustic guitar and composing music many years to come. 



3rd Annual Music Benefit Recital

Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) held its 3rd Annual Music Benefit Recital on May 7, 2017 at Geneva High School where Alyssa graduated from.  The recital was hosted by Ashlee and Glen Schneider who are both on the AAFH Board. Ashlee was Alyssa’s piano teacher for ten years beginning when Alyssa turned 4.

This year’s Benefit Recital featured students from Ashlee’s studio, Glen’s Matea Valley High School and Geneva High School.   The musicians played a variety of music from classical artists such as Bach, Chopin, Mozart and a beautiful piano arrangement called "River Flows in You" by Yiruma played by Ashlee and Glen’s daughter, Corrine.

A gift request of an acoustic guitar is being honored for our latest recipient, Ailani Banuelos, an 11 year old girl being treated with Osteosarcoma at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, IL.  Ailani was invited to attend and receive her guitar, however, due to another commitment, she was not able to attend.  Mireya, Ailani’s mother, wrote a brief email informing us that Ailani received one of Alyssa’s Starter Art Kits (SAKs) during one of her admittances to Rush Hospital.  Mireya said, “What your Foundation does is amazing!”.   Mireya went on to tell us that when Ailani started treatment she began drawing art, something she never had any interest in before.  Ailani learned how to paint with acrylics and looked forward to going to the hospital as an opportunity for her to draw.  Art was something positive and fun for her to focus on during all the struggles she had to go through.

Thank you to all the musicians who participated in this year’s music recital to benefit the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope and the dedicated volunteers who helped secure the GHS auditorium – Julie Lawrence (GHS Orchestra Director) and Mr. Neal Shipton-GHS Band Director), our photographer - Martina Josimovska, and the bakers – Mary Jane, Julie Dalpiaz and Chris Coconate.