Thursday, March 11, 2010

Birmingham Girl Earns Gold Award through "Hearts for Hope" Project

Inspired by her grandmother’s experience as a cancer survivor, Bria’s Gold Award project was created to provide lunches at no cost to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatments and to educate them about their special nutritional needs. She spent hours researching common chemotherapy side effects, as well as eating tips, menus and recipes for patients, which she compiled into binders with the help of volunteers to share with the patients. To help fund her project, Bria composed donation letters for community organizations and churches, and received such an astounding response, she had to open a Hearts of Hope bank account. This past fall, Bria and her team served four luncheons, with 50 patients at each one, at the Kirklin Clinic’s infusion therapy unit. “My communication skills were key to this project,” said Bria, “not only when I had to present the idea to the clinic, but also in talking with the patients.” The project was such a success, that the director of the clinic has agreed to seek funds to keep it going.

Bria is a senior at Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School and plans to attend Belmont University. Her parents are Melvin and Kenneth of Birmingham.