Ryan’s Case for Smiles has lo­cal chap­ter

Record Observer - - Community -

CENTREVILLE — Centreville wife and mother of three, Kristy Christ­man is lead­ing a lo­cal chap­ter of the na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion Ryan’s Case for Smiles — for­merly known as ConKerr Can­cer. Christ­man be­came aware of the or­ga­ni­za­tion when her son was hos­pi­tal­ized; it is one of the few vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tions solely ded­i­cated to help­ing sick chil­dren cope with the stress of life chang­ing ill­nesses and in­juries, said Christ­man.

“I was in­spired to be­come more in­volved with this or­ga­ni­za­tion af­ter feel­ing it’s im­pact first­hand,” said Christ­man, “A few years ago, our mid­dle son was hos­pi­tal­ized and un­der­went surgery. While in the hospi­tal, his nurse gave him a brightly col­ored pil­low­case that im­me­di­ately brought him a sense of com­fort and safety. It seemed like some­thing very sim­ple at the time, but the im­pact was price­less.”

She said she wanted to learn how she could get in­volved so af­ter look­ing into the or­ga­ni­za­tion, Christ­man taught her­self how to sew a pil­low­case. “I made a few and sent them in for dona­tion. It was very easy and I felt a great sense of pride and joy that I was help­ing to bring com­fort to a child that was go­ing through a dif­fi­cult ex­pe­ri­ence. I was very ex­cited to see that the or­ga­ni­za­tion needed a chap­ter co­or­di­na­tor in my area. I had been look­ing for a mean­ing­ful way to give back and vol­un­teer my time, and I just knew this was the per­fect fit.”, said Christ­man.

Ryan’s Case for Smiles wants to pro­vide hos­pi­tal­ized chil­dren with whim­si­cal pil­low­cases to give them an emo­tional boost and re­mind them they are not de­fined by their ill­nesses. This sim­ple gift pro­vides proven stress re­liev­ers in­clud­ing dis­trac­tion and hope that en­hances the emo­tional well-be­ing of the chil­dren and their fam­i­lies, said Christ­man.

Ac­cord­ing to Christ­man the or­ga­ni­za­tion be­gan when, Cindy Kerr be­gan mak­ing pil­low­cases for her son Ryan more than a decade ago to brighten up his hospi­tal room and put a smile on his face dur­ing his can­cer treat­ment. While Ryan is no longer with us phys­i­cally, his legacy lives on in Ryan’s Case for Smiles. To­day, there are more than 120 chap­ters com­prised of thou­sands of vol­un­teers and more than 1.4 mil­lion pil­low­cases have been de­liv­ered.

Christ­man would like to en­cour­age oth­ers to join this ef­fort. If you would like more in­for­ma­tion about the or­ga­ni­za­tion or if you are in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing or do­nat­ing, please con­tact Kristy Christ­man at 443-2626310, email case­forsmiles an­napolis­shore@gmail.com, or visit www.case­forsmiles.org

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