“Helping children survive cancer, one smile at a time.” Britticares International’s motto is the perfect definition of the mission the organization pursues every day. Created in 2004 by the courageous Brittiana Henderson and her parents, Britticares International is dedicated to helping children battling cancer and their families deal with the emotional and financial struggles related to the disease. When Brittiana was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2004, we founded Britticares to help other children go through the disease the way she did: with a smile on her face and a lot of love.
“She started the non-profit organization because she was inspired by the other kids who were fighting cancer,” Brittiana’s mother and co-founder Shirell Henderson. “She always wanted to buy a gift, and do something nice for new patients, so this is why we thought of an organization.” In 2006, after being in remission for 14 months, Brittiana was diagnosed with Leukemia. That did not affect her lifestyle. She kept the smile on her face and decided to create the Annual Brittiana Smile for Life 5K Run/Walk. She finished the first edition despite a partial knee prosthetic. When the fight with cancer ended in 2007, they continued their daughter’s legacy.
This year, Brittcares International will hold its 9th Annual Brittiana Smile for Life 5K Run/Walk, June 7, 2014 in Los Angeles. Many celebrities such as Chris Tucker, participated in the previous run/walks. For more information and to register for the this year’s event, please visit: http://www.bcirunwalk.com.
Brittcares International does not only host an annual run/walk. The organization also helps other children battling cancer realizing their dreams. “We provide a wish program called the ‘Imagine Me’ wish program,” Henderson said. “We do bedroom make-overs, we try to contact the children’s favorite celebrities and allow them to talk to them in person or on the phone via our ‘Celebrity Connect’ program. The foundation also has the ‘Blood and Marrow’ program. The program helps collect blood in order to save lives of patients diagnosed with cancer. “We do those because it’s a vital part of the treatment,” Henderson said. “Some patients need three to four blood transfusion a week, so we need a lot of it.”
Britticares International is there to help children go through difficult times and remind them that life is beautiful, the way Brittiana used to see it. “We want to put a smile on their faces. We want to be uplifting and help them along their lives,” Henderson explained. “Whatever the need is for the child, we try to meet it.”
The foundation always needs volunteer and donations. Shirell Henderson and her husband Jamie appreciate any help they can receive and hope that their actions make an impact on the lives of those battling cancer every day. “We know first-hand what the battle with a child with cancer is like. It’s a real issue and we want families to know that we really care and that we try our best to make their journey easier,” Henderson told us.
More information about Britticares International is available online at: http://www.britticares.org.
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