Love Smiles is an Illinois-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to bringing awareness to pediatric cancer while providing moments of peace to those diagnosed and their families.
What We Do
We are a pediatric cancer foundation that works with children’s authors to provide special moments for children and their families fighting pediatric cancer.
How We Help
Toddler Peeking Over Bed Quilt2
Love Smiles partners with authors and publishers to share their stories and activities with pediatric cancer patients. Families can access videos of authors reading their books, or teaching how to draw a character from their book and other activities on the Love Smiles app. Love Smiles hopes that these stories and activities will bring some moments of peace during these busy, stressful times.
How Your Donations Help
With your financial support we are able to continue working with authors, illustrators and publishing groups. We are able to supply comfort items and copies of books, written by our authors, to children receiving treatment. If you'd like to know more please fill out our contact form.
My Warrior's Story
In February of 2020, I gave birth to my daughter Sydney. I thought my world had changed- but I had no idea. At two months we discovered a small lump sticking out of the side of her neck. She was sent to an endocrinologist and an ENT. All of her tests were showing as normal. After multiple scans the ENT said the excess tissue forming this lump should be taken out as it sat where her carotid artery split. So surgery it was and the surgery went great- yet just six days later I sat in our hospital room holding that same beautiful little girl listening to the doctor as he used the words “malignant, tumor and cancer” to talk about Sydney, my baby. I told him he was wrong, my baby couldn’t have cancer she was only four months old. The pediatric oncologist came and we talked a lot about tests and treatments and hope. We were lucky, her cancer, Neuroblastoma, was well researched they knew how to treat it.
Over the next few weeks and months I had no idea the ride we were in for. Sydney went through multiple tests every couple of weeks. After just a couple rounds the cancer wasn’t getting smaller, it was slowly growing. She went through another complete round of tests, scans and bloodwork. It was determined that the next step was chemotherapy. My eight month old would go through eight rounds of chemo and she handled all of them better than I could have ever imagined.
As her mom I went through the rollercoaster of emotions everyone told me I’d feel. I felt angry that this happened. I felt sad that moments felt robbed. Guilty because my baby would be okay, they knew how to treat it, who was I to be angry or sad. From all of those feelings and tears a beautiful thing was made, an organization named Love Smiles that brings authors and pediatric cancer families together. I wanted to give other parents the peaceful moments I had found. Fall into a story with your child, snuggle together, listen and forget everything else. Forget the tests, endless appointments and procedures. Have a normal moment with your child listening to a story.
Out of all the stories we’ve read and listened to Sydney’s is by far my favorite. It has introduced us to so many amazing people we wouldn’t know and taught us so many things about the incredible kids who battle cancer. My favorite part of her story though is just four words, “Sydney is in remission”.
(In remission as of 6/1/2021)