For the first post on the blog part of our website, I figured I would post this birthday entry I made for Breanna Bercegeay that I took from my personal blog. Better late than never!
As many of you know, I am a childhood cancer advocate who is a HUGE supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Last year, Mirabella and I began walking in the annual St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, held every September during childhood cancer awareness month. For the walk, we each chose a childhood cancer fighter to walk in honor or in memory of. When it came to choosing my warrior I wanted to walk for, I had no hesitation when I decided on Breanna Bercegeay. Bree, who fought Acute Myeloid Leukemia, was such an amazing girl who has inspired me in so many ways.
I had heard about St. Jude before through the commercials I had seen on TV and the address labels that came to my house. I wanted to help, but I didn’t know where to begin. The idea first came to me to raise money when I came across Bree’s story through social media. Breanna was a cheerleader, just like me. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML, in June of 2013, when we both would have been going into the seventh grade. Bree was treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital from the very first day she was diagnosed, until the day she passed away.
You may know Breanna from her St. Jude commercial she did with Shaun White (Bree is the one in the green shirt!) and her work as an ambassador for the “Team Up for St. Jude” campaign with the Varsity Allstar cheerleading company. With Varsity, she designed two cheer bows and 50% of the profits of the “Breanna Bows” goes directly to St. Jude. But Bree’s claim to fame was the video posted on YouTube by her (amazing) mother Dara in July, 2013 of her singing her heart out to Jessie J’s song “Price Tag”. Alongside her is former University of Memphis quarterback, Jacob Karam. The video went viral with over a million views on Facebook! Breanna's mother then uploaded the video to YouTube where it currently has over 356,000 views!
Breanna inspired me in so many ways and I was devastated when I had learned of her passing in October, 2014. She was such an inspiration to me, on the cheer mat and in life. Although I never got the chance to meet Bree in person, I feel like I am one of her close friends. You didn't have to know Bree personally to see her big heart and amazing personality. It is so crazy thinking about how much Breanna has impacted my life, and I never even met her.
Today, September 7, 2016, is Breanna's fifteenth birthday. Sadly, instead of celebrating down in Louisiana with her parents, brothers, and friends, she is celebrating with Jesus in Heaven. Childhood cancer took that, and so much more away from her. There is not a day that goes by when I don't think about Bree. I wear my "Cheering for Breanna" bracelet 24/7 and I have a drawer full of my "Cheering for Breanna" apparel including t-shirts, stickers, keychains, bracelets and bows. Breanna will always have a special place in my heart and I will always remember her.
For the second year in a row, I will be walking the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer on September 24 in Breanna's memory. Because of Breanna, I will Never Give Up for a Cure.
Happy heavenly birthday sweet Bree! I hope you are singing your heart out and eating lots of slushies, pickles, and AirHeads! We all miss you so much!
If you would like to learn more about Bree or donate to Breanna's foundation, please visit:
Shopping on Amazon? Shop on AmazonSmile instead! At no additional charge, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of your items bought to a charitable organization of your choice. Remember to choose the Cheering For Breanna Foundation!
Looking to read Breanna's full story? Visit here!
REMEMBER TO GO GOLD FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER ALL THROUGHOUT SEPTEMBER!
- Alexa, Packages For Kid Fighters Team Member
We are Mirabella and Alexa, the Packages For Kid Fighters team! This part of the site is our blog, where we update on our advocacy for childhood cancer and about the packages we send out!
header featuring Nella Evangeline Grutter (Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I)