This is Luci.
She is an asthma patient at the Children’s Hospitals of Wisconsin’s Clinic in Kenosha – the clinic for which we are raising money during this auction. Luci’s asthma is chronic and her treatment regimen is nonstop.
Today I had the good fortune to meet her mother who shared that Luci is not just a patient at the clinic. She is, at the ripe age of 5, a crusader with vision and a heart well beyond her years. For her 5th birthday she decided she did not need any presents and would instead like all her friends and family to help her raise money for the other pediatric asthma patients in our area.
I’d like to step aside and share the next part of the story in the words of her mother:
“How the birthday donation came to life…
One day last October we were sitting in one of the Children’s hospital clinic waiting rooms. Luci looked up at me with her big blue eyes and said “Mommy, I want to do something.” I said “OK, what would you like to do?” I was thinking she wanted to play a game or read a book while waiting. Boy was I wrong! She said “ I want to help boys and girls.” I asked “with what?” “I want to help them breathe better.” I asked “how will you do this?” She replied “I want to raise money starting with my 5th birthday money.” I said that would be very nice of her. I asked her “how will donating your birthday money help boys and girls breathe better?” She looked up at me as if she couldn’t believe what I just asked her and replied“ Really! Mom, my birthday money will help buy the chambers we need to get our medicine into our lungs.” I said “Oh I see!”
Thus began the quest of making Luci’s idea a reality. Her mother contacted folks at the CHW Kenosha clinic who, impressed by Luci and her generosity put her in touch with the Kenosha County Asthma Coalition. They had never encountered a child with an idea like this before – someone so young and so determined to help other kids. Even at her tender age Luci understood that many children in her community could not afford to purchase the chamber they needed to fit their inhaler into, or might not have health insurance that covered it. And she also understood this would mean the other kids were not getting the full benefit of their medication.
In the time leading up to her birthday Luci saved a shoe box. She painted and decorated it with stickers from her doctor's office visits. (She had plenty of stickers from her many appointments.) Once she finished decorating her box she asked for help writing her message. Her mother asked what she wanted to say and wrote it on the box in pencil. Luci then traced over it in marker.
Next they worked on the party invitations which read:
“Luci has a special wish. In place of birthday gifts she would like to have money donated to the Kenosha County Asthma coalition.”
The party came. All of her guests gave very nice donations and Luci raised $100.00 dollars for her cause! She and her parents met with the Kenosha/Racine County Asthma coalition on Jan. 8th 2014 to hand in her donations. Since that time Luci has had many other ideas to help her fellow sufferers and, with her parents, is working on community initiatives to improve air quality for asthma sufferers of all ages.
Luci is just one of the children who will be helped by the National Cartoonists Society Foundation/Kenosha Festival of Cartooning art auction. It is easy to assume that hospitals and clinics have all the resources they need to meet the needs of their patients. Stories like Luci’s remind us that it is often more complicated than that and these young patients need all the help they can get.
Please be generous with your purchase of the art in our auction and remember that, even if you don’t see anything in your budget but wish to support the auction, you can make a donation of any amount and select “no perk”.
Click here to support the clinic via our art auction site.