Wings shares the story of a very talented, compassionate and creative young woman, Kristine Seuylemezian, a junior at La Canada High School here in Southern California, her bond with her mother Kathy and how giving back has become the foundation of her life. Because of National Charity League, and Girl Scouts, and other endeavors like Varsity Swimming, Kristine has grown into a leader in her community.
Kristine has participated in Girl Scouts since kindergarten. Her mother Kathy was a troop leader, which allowed for a special sharing and mentoring between mother and daughter. "The Foundation of my life - NCL and Girl Scouts - brought me closer to my mother," says Kristine. "And I've seen my daughter become such a loving, caring person. Women are becoming more kind, especially to each other, and are called to give back to their families and communities."
Of course, not everyone heeds the call, but Kristine and her mother recently took on a special project. Several years ago, Kathy's mother, Kristine's grandmother, was diagnosed with breast cancer. "This was intense for our family," says Kristine and her mother. "Our first major family illness that we had to go through." Fast forward, 5 years later, Grandmother Shuku Pournaghdi, has NED - no evidence of disease. To honor those who have survived and those who have not been as fortunate, Kristine decided to build a Garden of Hope at Glendale Adventist's Cancer Services Center for her final Girl Scout's "Gold" project - 65 hours of service, making an official final mark on society and community, as a Girl Scout.
Kristine started working with the Cancer Committee at Glendale Adventist in June of 2011 and by July, the plans were being executed. In order to raise $4,000, Kristine introduced herself to many people in the community, including former news anchor Kelly Mack, who donated her talents and plans for the garden design. The gardner donated his time and plants were purchased at whole sale. Through bake sales at the elementary school and Round Table pizza fundraisers, Kristine raised $900 herself. Others in the community who had lost loved ones to cancer, also donated in kind.
On Wednesday, November 2nd 2011 at 3 pm, Glendale Adventist Cancer Service's Garden of Hope was dedicated, to those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Many people showed up, including the mayor of Glendale and the hospital's management team. I attended and honored the cancer patients from my Create to Heal (tm) class who dedicated a canvas piece to the garden - aptly named "Garden of Hope." The canvas piece featured on the home page slideshow was created by using hand made paper from Thailand and Korea and Japan, organic glue made from flour and water, plus the extraordinary creativity of women healing from cancer.
I have always believed that healing begins with hope - and this garden represents the kindness, compassion and HOPE that Glendale Adventist offers all of their patients.