Ryan’s Case for Smiles has local chapter
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 email@example.com, or visit www.caseforsmiles.org