Periwinkle Foundation

Make It A Splendid Week – “TODAY”

A camper feeling free on the zipline at Camp Periwinkle!

A camper feeling free on the zipline at Camp Periwinkle!

TODAY

I really didn’t think I’d be in remission this quickly – two months and I’m cured! It’s amazing. I was only 2  cm away from death. I was stage 4D and stage 4E is the final stage. I really though the scans would show something else – I thought I’d be moving in the right direction but not 10% gone. I called my school and my vice-principle didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders – because whenever they tell you that you’re stage 4 you know you have a 30% chance. I was 66% on the way to stage 4E. That really got me down. My odds were low, even though everyone told me that Hodgkin’s was one of the most curable cancers, as it gets moer advanced the numbers go down. I don’t even know what to say or do. I want to go back to school, but not this semester. But I know that Hodgkin’s is not there to stop me anymore. I’m free now. It’s like my own body released me from my own prison. I assume every cancer patient feels like that. Because you feel so trapped. The world doesn’t exist anymore but only one room. You can’t walk in the park, you can’t go anywhere. But now the chains that were holding me to that one small room are gone. I’m free.

Sebastien, age 17

 

“Make It A Splendid Week” is a weekly post featuring a poem from one of our talented young authors in The Splendid Review.  Learn more about The Splendid Review and The Periwinkle Foundation’s Arts & Creative Writing Program or like The Splendid Review on Facebook

To request a printed copy of The Splendid Review email Erin Overhouse at eoverhouse@periwinklefoundation.org

Make It A Splendid Week – “On The Other Side”

"New Life" by Juan Hernadez

“New Life” by Juan Hernadez

 

On The Other Side

Being on the other side of cancer is easier than being in the middle. When you’re in the middle, it’s like being at sea and not knowing where you’re going. Some days were easy, while others were very challenging. The best parts of being sick were seeing all the friendly nurses and doing art and writing songs. The worst parts were losing some friends and seeing my mom in so much pain and not being able to see the people I loved. I felt weak and nauseous a lot of the time, but now on the other side, I’ve learned a lot about myself and life. I know kids can get very sick, I know I can get through tough times, I know that prayer works, and I know that my family will always be there for me. So, if you are going through hard times, don’t give up. Stay strong.

by Mary Jo, age 11

 

“Make It A Splendid Week” is a weekly post featuring a poem from one of our talented young authors in The Splendid Review.  Learn more about The Splendid Review and The Periwinkle Foundation’s Arts & Creative Writing Program or like The Splendid Review on Facebook

 

To request a printed copy of The Splendid Review email Erin Overhouse at eoverhouse@periwinklefoundation.org

Make It A Splendid Week – “The Best Time of My Life”

 

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Campers and counselors at Camp Periwinkle playing a game of basketball in the pool!

The Best Time of My Life

Camp Periwinkle is so fun. I love going to the pool and playing basketball with a goal that they put in the deep end. I can even dunk the ball, but if you hang on the rim too long, it falls. I spend time with all my friends. We play pranks, like making horse noises at night in the cabin and  putting worms and fire ants in someone’s bed! We went horseback riding, and I rode Larry, a white horse. One we did a paintball game. You get a pressurized can with paint in it. It has red, yellow, blue, and green. I hit a toilet and a bottle. Big Mike, the counselor, said we couldn’t hit eachother because it would be too “painful.” Archery was fun too. Once a squirrel was there, and my friend shot off its tail, and I shot it in the heart. There was blood everywhere! I hope I get to go to Camp Periwinkle again next summer. I’ll never forget it.

by Cameron, age 8, 2012

 

“Make It A Splendid Week” is a weekly post featuring a poem from one of our talented young authors in The Splendid Review.  Learn more about The Splendid Review and The Periwinkle Foundation’s Arts & Creative Writing Program or like The Splendid Review on Facebook

To request a printed copy of The Splendid Review email Erin Overhouse at eoverhouse@periwinklefoundation.org

Inaugural New Camper Orientation at GattiTown

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To help our families get pumped up for “Sailing Away on the SS Periwinkle” at Camp this year, we hosted our first ever New Camper Orientation in the Houston area where parents could get their questions answered and any last minute worries addressed. We had the pleasure of meeting with 65 new campers and parents as well as a number of volunteers at the GattiTown located in Sugar Land.

A special thank you goes out to Club Periwinkle who not only helped with decorating and clean up, but also minded the children while their parents discussed their questions and concerns with a number of counselors and the medical team who will be at camp! In addition, we were lucky enough to hear from five amazing Periwinkle volunteers and supporters, Michelle Fritsch, Kathy McCarthy, Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, Tim Porea and Reshae Walker. Thank you for your stories as they help our campers and parents get ready for an incredible week!

We would also like to thank our wonderful hosts at GattiTown! The kids were able to enjoy unlimited pizza and games with prizes and goodies to take home. Thank you GattiTown! We look forward to eating even more Gatti’s Pizza at Camp Periwinkle! Here’s hoping for an even bigger crowd next year!

Twelve Gatti’s Pizza and GattiTown locations teamed up to raise over $80,000 for Camp Periwinkle.  Over the last 6 years they have raise more than $300,000!  Thank you Gatti’s and GattiTown!  Click here to see the participating locations. 

Things are blooming at Periwinkle!

Thanks to you, we have had an amazing year of camps, programs and events benefiting children, teens and families challenged by cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.  This spring, we hosted The Periwinkle Downs Triple Crown Gala, a record setting fundraising evening, and filled another successful Family Camp and teen Camp YOLO to capacity.  In June, Camp Periwinkle Days, presented by BG Group, transformed Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers into a magical camp experience for children in the middle of treatment.  What a year it has been thus far! 

Now that summer has arrived, it’s full speed ahead with Camp Periwinkle scheduled August 3-9.  This year’s theme “Sail Away on the SS Periwinkle” is guaranteed to be a big splash with over 180 children attending camp!  Plans are also underway for our first ever fall Family Camp, and we are finalizing an expanded partnership agreement with the Arts In Medicine program at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers.  This expanded partnership will enable Periwinkle to serve more children and families living with cancer than ever before.  

I invite you to join us at one of Periwinkle’s upcoming programs or events.  We will kick-off Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (September) with the Opening Exhibit of Making A Mark, an exhibition of art and creative writing by children touched by cancer and blood disorders, on Sunday, September 7th.  Houston’s premier wine event, The Periwinkle Foundation’s Iron Sommelier, will take place Thursday, October 2nd, at the Houstonian Hotel.  We hope you can join us at one of these upcoming, exciting events!  A complete list of activities can be found on our website at www.perwinklefoundation.org.      

The magic of Periwinkle happens because of you, our volunteers, donors and supporters.  We truly thank you for the positive impact you make in the lives of so many children living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

We hope you have a fun and safe summer!

 

Doug Suggitt
Executive Director
The Periwinkle Foundation

Camp Periwinkle Days, Presented by BG Group

bgThe 4th Annual Camp Periwinkle Days, Presented by BG Group was an inspiration for parents and children alike, turning an ordinary day at the clinic into an action packed day at camp! Each year, The Periwinkle Foundation takes over 400 children and families to camp and hundreds are left on the waiting list. Thanks to the BG Group partnership, Periwinkle Camp Day was able to make a difference in the lives of so many deserving children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a day at camp.

Approximately 30 BG Group employees helped facilitate nearly a dozen fun filled activities and transform the out-patient clinic into a buzzing circus! Activities included Wii & Xbox carnival games, Cup Stacking, Build A Lion, several Arts & Crafts projects, Bowling, a Photo Booth and a Clown Ball Toss! Children left with many great prizes, including a favorite stuffed lion. Their tummies were full with great treats like chicken nuggets, cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream! Most importantly, each child left with a smile.

In addition to more than 200 patients and family members whose days were brightened in the out-patient clinic, we served an additional 75 children by delivering goodie bags to the in-patient and Bone Marrow Transplant floors. These contacts are so valuable to patients on these floors as they often go months at a time in the hospital without the interaction of friends and siblings.

We could not be more grateful for our partnership with BG Group and for each of the volunteers who graciously donate their time to make this event so special to so many children!

 

Introducing the inaugural Periwinkle Kickball Classic!

For the past eight years, The Periwinkle Foundation  hosted a fall softball tournament raising more than $160,000 and bringing nearly 400 Texas Children’s Hospital employees together for fun, teamwork and a great cause. Thanks to our growing number of supporters, this year we’re able to take this event to a new level!

It’s time to hang up our bat and glove and trade it in for a big red rubber ball. The previous Periwinkle Softball Classic is switching gears to kickball! We will be opening the tournament to all Periwinkle supporters with more teams and more participants than ever before.

We hope that you’ll join the action and participate in one of these ways:

  • Start a team
  • Sponsor the event
  • Volunteer
  • Spread the word!

For more information, visit:

www.periwinklefoundation.org/kickball

Periwinkle Downs A Runaway Success!

The Periwinkle Downs Triple Crown Gala, Celebrating 30 Years was a sure bet for the 485 guest who attended the festive evening at the Royal Sonesta Hotel April 5, 2014.

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Marilyn & Louis Mogas
and Melinda & Matt Mogas were the proud Jockeys of the Periwinkle Triple Crown evening which raised more than $660,000 that will go to funding programs that change the lives of thousands of children and their families affected by cancer. Joanna and Brad Marks joined the race as Underwriter Chairs and Don Teague from Fox 26 served as the emcee.  Guests were dressed in their best Derby Chic attire; women wore dashing fascinators and hats to accompany stunning dresses, while men looked debonair in their suits & fedoras. Festivities for the evening included a cocktail reception, horse racing, wine pull, live and silent auction, games (including Heads or Tails which sent a lucky guest home with a Rolex watch valued at more than $12,000) and a raffle for a $5,000 IW Marks shopping spree.

The Periwinkle Foundation recognized its key supporters including Kathy McCarthy, the 2014 Gerson Award winner, along with Texas Children’s Hospital, The Hamill Foundation, and other long term survivors.

Volunteer Spotlight – The Terrace

As you enjoy your coffee and donuts this morning, we want to wrap up Volunteer Appreciation week with a couple fine groups of folks from The Terrace at West University and Clear Lake. Each and every Saturday morning they go to their neighborhood grocery store to pick up donuts and coffee which they take back to The Terrace and sell for 25 cents to residents – all proceeds benefitting The Periwinkle Foundation. Now, this may seem like a nominal amount of money to some, which is why we chose to share this story! Over the last 6 years alone, they have raised over $20,000 – one quarter at a time!

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AND! Their work doesn’t stop there! Residents from The Terrace at West University have spent countless hours volunteering in our offices – from assembling thank you gifts for our Gala attendees and helping us get ready for Camp to attending Camp Periwinkle Visitor’s Day – These folks are the heart and soul of Periwinkle! THANK YOU Terrace!

Volunteer Spotlight – Club Periwinkle

Today, we would like to thank a special group of High School students who have taken initiative to do great things for Periwinkle! Hannah Fritsch started Club Periwinkle at Clear Lake High School in September of 2012.  She invited any student at the school to join and today, Club Periwinkle has over 50 members!

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Club Periwinkle is a group of individuals who are interested in supporting The Periwinkle Foundation through volunteer efforts and fundraising.  The club has volunteered at events like the Making A Mark Opening Exhibit Reception, the Sickle Cell Education Day at Texas Children’s Cancer & Hematology Centers, Celebration if Life, Periwinkle Downs Triple Crown Gala and more!  Last summer they came out to Camp Periwinkle and taught the campers some country western moves to get them ready for the big dance! The club recently teamed up with BJ’s restaurant to raised over $200 for Periwinkle! They have even sold baked goods to all their friends at school to raise money and spread awareness of The Periwinkle Foundation! We love seeing High School students giving back. Help us say thank you to Hannah and Club Periwinkle for all the wonderful things they are doing for Periwinkle and their community!

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