Jessica Brouillard, center director of Plainville KinderCare in Massachusetts, started a campaign last week on Yammer to bring support to a former student of hers who suffers from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glimoa, a highly aggressive and difficult-to-treat type of brain tumor. Jessica wanted to help Danny’s birthday wish come true — to have bins full of birthday cards and mail sent to him.
Her Yammer post sparked a movement in centers across the country to send birthday cards to Danny.
“Hearing Danny’s story definitely motivated us because I’m a cancer survivor,” said Krystle Sherlock, assistant director in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. “This story just really touched all of us on a personal level in some way; we all wanted to make Danny’s birthday special.”
“I’m a teacher, so I’m always willing to help people, and for Danny, this was the least we could do to brighten his day,” said Christina, Champions site director from Libertyville, Illinois. “I know our summer campers feel good about helping Danny out. One student, Ben, says he is happy that he could brighten Danny’s day with a card.”
And the spirit of helping a child in need extended far beyond center directors — children got excited about Danny’s birthday wish, too. When campers at a Champions site in Michigan found out that Danny wasn’t feeling well, they overwhelmingly suggested making him birthday cards.
“Before we knew it, we had 36 cards waiting to be sent out for Danny,” said program manager Jennifer Short. “I took a look at some of them and saw phrases like, ‘Happy Birthday Danny, even though I don’t know you, I’d like to be your friend.’ These campers are amazing! I know that Danny will feel special receiving our package of cards. And even better is that the campers were genuinely excited to help grant Danny’s wish.”
“When I hear a story about a child in need and I can help that child or family, I do,” said Ashley Berquist, a center director from Roseville, Minnesota. “It would be impossible to turn a blind eye — he is a young child with a simple wish!”