Maria Olvera is 13 years old and lives on the north side of Chicago with her family.  She is about to begin her 8th grade school year at Northwest Middle School.  Maria was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in the spring of 2015 and has been treated at Lurie’s for the past 3 years.

Yoli, President of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) and Alyssa’s mom, arrived very early on August 31st at Lurie Children’s Hospital to meet with Maria and her mom, Dolores, and sister, Charlene. 

Maria spends time with the hospital’s Art Therapist, Willow Messier, when she is at Lurie’s for her treatments.  Willow shared information about AAFH with Maria and she went on our website to submit her gift request on August 16.  She asked for paint supplies, art pencils, markers, clay and clay tools – all of which we were pleased to obtain for her.  Maria’s other interests include taking care of people and would like to study medicine and become a doctor to help sick children.

While at Lurie's we saw that Alyssa's Geisha Collage continues to be displayed at the hospital.  The Collage has been moved to another hallway on the 11th floor, however, this area is not accessible to the general public and can only be seen by hospital staff.  Laura Shreffler, an RN and inpatient Asthma Educator at Lurie's showed us the new location of Alyssa's Geisha Collage and we were able to capture a few photos! 

The work of AAFH, made possible by our financial supporters and volunteers, means so much to the young cancer patients.  Our gift giving and art programs help to lift their spirits and bring them joy at a time in their lives when they’re facing life-threatening illnesses. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to share Alyssa’s love of art and promote the programs offered by Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope!  We wish Maria all the best as she continues with her treatment and begins her school year!