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Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels in our Midst (Wings of Hope)

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:43 PM CDT
From her hospital bed, a critically ill little girl told her mom that she wanted to "paint the world with hope."
Too sick to do it herself, her mother took up the mantle and created just such a world though an organization called "Wings of Hope."
This is their story.

Voice of Ashlan Brooks;  I was four years old and it was A-L-L; leukemia.
A day Ashlan's mom will never forget.  It was a big day for the family business, opening day for the Pensacola Interstate Fair.  Ashlan had gone to the doctor that morning for they thought was a cold.

Natalee Brooks, Founder, Wings of Hope;  Four o'clock, her doctor called, told me over that phone that she had leukemia.  And we had to drop everything we were doing and get to the hospital.  So, it was amazing how everything else in life, didn't matter any more.

With the shock still settling in, Natalee Brooks knew right away that she needed answers.  Answers to questions like, how do you get a four year old to take ten pills a day.  Answers that another mom, who had already been there, could give her.  But, she needed to find them.  So, she started Wings of Hope.

Natalee;  She was diagnosed the end of October and by December, I think it was the 14th, we were incorporated, a nonprofit and legal and ready to go.

Ashlan; It was pretty much just a non-profit to help kids with cancer and to help their families pay the bills.
 While it started as a support group, Natalee found that "Financial Support" was a big need for many families.  

I remember having to go in for bone marrow's and stuff.
And being in and out of the hospital.
Natalee;  The medication can be quite costly.  Some people don't have the money to pay; it's rent or medicine, you know.

And there's the travel cost for families who have to get treatment outside of the area.  There's loss of income while you're caring for a sick child.

I always knew I couldn't cure cancer but I could help with the day to day things that it hits with.
The organization operates solely on donations and through fundraising events.  Wings of Hope hosted support group gatherings and Natalee always included the siblings who can feel overwhelmed and left out with all of the attention on the child with cancer.  Ashlan was always included too.

Ashlan;  I kind of like grew up around setting up for parties and stuff but it was like second nature; my home away from home.

And it's second nature for Ashlan to follow in mom's footsteps.  She's spreading her own wings of compassion.

Ashlan;  We have a relay for life team and we've been top money raisers for the past two, for the two years we've been in it.

This year we raised over 15,000 dollars for the ACS.
Natalee;  You take your struggles and your burdens and they become blessings to others.  So, that's what we've tried to do.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.

Angels in our Midst (Wings of Hope)

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