Students, staff and family members spent the morning sorting and packing art supplies that were recently collected in support of Lucy Belle's Rainbow - a non-profit initiative dedicated to the memory of Lucy Belle Perkins - a former LMSD student who lost her battle with Glioblastoma Multiforme, a stage IV malignant brain tumor. Inspired by Lucy's passion for art, Lucy Belle's Rainbow brings art supplies and art therapy support to children undergoing cancer treatment at CHOP.
Madeline Chimento, a childhood friend of Lucy, helped to organize this effort and commented that her friend "was such a positive person that if she could have done anything to help kids who were going through what she went through, that is what she would have done."
The Gladwyne community worked hard as they packed each bag with donated art supplies, including a sketch book; a 64-pack of crayons; marker, color pencil and water color sets; glue; Play-Doh and Model Magic. The bags were then delivered to children battling cancer at CHOP in order to help them "make art and smile."
After all the bags were packed, students then spent the rest of the morning on an art project supporting The Calliope Joy Foundation, which raises money and awareness for Leukodystrophy Research. Since 2013, The Calliope Joy Foundation raised enough money to establish the nation's first Leukodystorphy Center of Excellece at CHOP.
Calliope Joy Carr - nicknamed Cal - is the youngest child of parents Pat Carr and Maria Kefalas. Cal was diagnosed with late-infantile onset metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) at age 2 in 2012. Leukodystrophies are a group of disorders that affect the white matter of the brain. Children with leukodystrophies are born healthy but start regressing, losing the ability to crawl, walk, speak, eat, smile and laugh. Although leukodystrophies do not currently have cures, if detected in the newborn period, a stem cell transplant may be a therapeutic option for some patients. Early detection also allows for preventative care strategies to improve quality of life for children and their families. There are more than 60 forms of the disease and 1 in 5,000 are affected.
Lucy Belle's Rainbow believes in the power of art and art therapy to help children and their families cope with the stresses of cancer treatment. The organization is always seeking active partners to help kids smile and make art. To learn more about Lucy Belle's Rainbow and find out how you can help, click here. For more information on The Calliope Joy Foundation,