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Blessed to Bless Others-Our Childhood Cancer story

Our families journey with childhood cancer, and SMILES set to reach from coast to coast!

When we began our journey in the childhood cancer world, just over 10 years ago, it was hard to find the silver lining. Darren was just 8 weeks old, and for us, our child's "everyday normal life" wasn't ripped away. The only thing he knew was eating, sleeping, and pooping! However, for the older kids on the unit, normal was ripped away in an instant. We watched the devastating effects that this journey can have on a child, and their families, first hand. It was heart wrenching. Nothing feels like home, they can't spend time with friends, and for some, this is where they'll spend most of their time getting treatments, and battling through all of the hurdles that cancer brings a child and their family.

Through our own journey, it's always brought joy to our hearts to be able to make others SMILE! We dabbled in project after project to make that happen. Whatever God laid on my heart, I tackled, even when others looked at me like I was crazy for trying to reach such big goals. You know what?? EVERY TIME we did a project, it was fulfilled 100% and then some! From our community coming together to help us raise $15,000 for a custom indoor play home to be installed at A.I.duPont Hospital's future oncology clinic, to equipping 24 inpatient rooms with x-box game consoles on the oncology floor. It always came together, and our community always helped us make it happen. People are good, people are kind, and all it took was me following through with the crazy things that He laid on my heart to realize, anything was possible. It was a lot of work, but the end result of a SMILE always made it worth while, times a million.

This holiday season, we are SO so excited to announce the arrival of the newest addition to our family, "Happy Crates Gives"!  Our non-profit will not only give us the ability to reach our local community of courageous children, but will help us spread SMILES to children fighting cancer from the east coast, ALL the way to the west coast!!!! The purpose of Happy Crates Gives is to have a positive impact on the lives of children fighting cancer and their families. Our hope is to one day be sending Happy Crates to every children's hospital in the U.S. EVERY month, and we know that it's possible with the help of generous sponsors! Our fund also gives us the ability to host fun events, and make more spaces and moments that feel like home for these children and their families!

Please help us spread the word about Happy Crates Gives so that we can reach far and wide, because together, we can make a difference! To donate, please visit https://www.happycratesgives.org/donate/ . We've set a HUGE goal of raising $50,000 in December, which will allow us to reach over 30 Children's hospitals across the U.S., and close to 2,000 children!!!

We are SUPER excited about our 1st Annual "Miles of SMILES Holiday Lights Contest" through Queen Anne's County!! If you're a resident of QAC, or have a business in QAC, we would love for you to sign up and join the fun! We hope to bring SMILES to folks young and old, as they drive through our beautiful county touring the lights, and voting for the best ones! Please help us spread the word, and encourage your family and friends to sign up for the competition before December 10th! All proceeds benefit our mission, and we have mega prize baskets up for grabs!

If you enjoy crazy adventures, be sure to hit the subscribe to keep up with us! This seems like my craziest idea yet, but I have a feeling it's going to be pretty awesome 🙂 Thank YOU for being a part of our families journey, and we can't wait to share the next chapter!

 

Kindly,

Lauren

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Darren’s special invitation for Andy Grammer!

Posted on Darren’s fb page Darren’s Pack on July 12th 2019:


We have an invite for Andy Grammer that we need YOUR help with…….

Catching Darren in this stance made my heart light up!!! 😍 I got a ukulele for my birthday, and this boy is so attached to it already!! Every morning, the 1st thing he asks is if we can go play the ukulele, or in his words “you-ka-Larry” or simply “Luke” for short! Music is great therapy, and he literally thrives off of it!

As we saw this image of him tonight, we wanted to freeze it in time, and capture the true warrior that this boy is as he’s kicking cancers BUTT for the 3rd time! My husband commented that Darren “looks like he’s waiting for Andy Grammer to come play “Luke’s” with him in his market” in this shot, and we both laughed! Then I got a crazy idea…..

We know that if there is any kid who can convince someone, it’s this boy!!! So what do you say…..who’s in for helping us invite @Andy Grammer to Darren’s Market to play some tunes with him?!?!?! Being 100% serious!! Maybe like, if we get 100k shares on this post, Andy will head to the East Coast to hang with us? Yeah???! Darren celebrates his 10th birthday in August, and will celebrate his 10th year of kicking cancers butt in October!! 💪

Help us by hitting share on this post, and be sure to tag Andy Grammer to let him know that Darren’s waiting patiently!! Tell everyone you know to do the same!! Many hands make light work, isn’t that how it goes?! 🤣 This kid would loose his cool 😎 if Andy rolled through the front door of his market!

Get to sharing, and always support childhood cancer research so that our boy can one day be a CANCER FREE back up singer/dancer for Andy!! 💕

So proud of this kid…..he’s literally never known a life other than the one of kicking cancers butt (diagnosed at 8 weeks) but his courage, his personality, his ability to reach others in such a special way, his love that is so deep for everyone, and his love for the Lord never ceases to amaze me!! I stand in awe of what God has done through our boy, and continues to do through him every single day! So blessed that I get to witness it for myself, and give Him all of the glory, and all of my praises!!

Thank you all for your love and support! You make this journey easier to walk, and we feel all of the love! ❤️The Leonard’s

Shout out to Lilliput Play Homes for such an incredible play home that we have enjoyed for 5 years now, all thanks to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Make-A-Wish America!!