Blossoms honoring Brooke from beyond



Shelby Henson and Mackenzie Pilgrim with the blossoms they made for Brooke’s Blossoms. TAMMY HENSON | COURTESY PHOTO

Shelby Henson and Mackenzie Pilgrim with the blossoms they made for Brooke’s Blossoms. TAMMY HENSON | COURTESY PHOTO

Here recently, through the First Baptist Church of Pleasanton, I had the opportunity to partake in the creation of dozens of “Brooke’s Blossoms.”

For those who don’t know:

Brooke Elizabeth Hester was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma at the age of three and a half. Alongside her beautiful and courageous family she fought a hard battle for four and a half years, spending months at a time at hospitals in Texas, Michigan, and New York City. She passed away on June 26, 2015. After losing her hair for the first time, Brooke began wearing ornate flower headpieces. During one hospital visit, she wanted to give her blossom to another fellow patient. Thus, “Brooke’s Blossoms” was born. Through this foundation, blossoms and sport headbands have been mailed to thousands of pediatric cancer patients throughout the world. “Brooke’s Blossoms” has also raised several hundred thousand dollars for pediatric cancer research. According to Stephanie Brown, only four percent of cancer research funds go towards pediatric cancer. Brooke was the oldest daughter of Beau and Jessica Moore Hester and a big sister to Benjamin and Julianna Fayth. Jessica grew up in Pleasanton and attended First Baptist Church. Jessica’s parents (Brooke’s grandparents) are Juanita and Barry Moore.

Brooke Hester

Brooke Hester

I remember one of the first times hanging out with my soon-to-be best friend, Shelby Henson, and asking about a photo of a little girl on their fridge. Shelby told me her name was Brooke, and she had cancer. Shelby’s eyes lit up and asked me if I wanted to bake cookies to sell around the neighborhood and donate the profits to Brooke’s family. With a basket of fresh cookies in hand and a cause in our hearts, we set off for our mission. We raised $100 that day. Flashforward from 5th to beyond 12th grade, Shelby and I alongside the wonderful women of First Baptist Church of Pleasanton crafted over 110 bows for “Brooke’s Blossoms.” Squirt water flower pieces were also created for the little boys facing any form of pediatric cancer.

On July 16, Brooke’s Blossoms were donated to children at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Pictured, from left, are Courtney Henson, Mackenzie Pilgrim, Shelby Henson and Jessica, a Child Life Specialist at the hospital. BETH WICKERSHAM | COURTESY PHOTO

On July 16, Brooke’s Blossoms were donated to children at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. Pictured, from left, are Courtney Henson, Mackenzie Pilgrim, Shelby Henson and Jessica, a Child Life Specialist at the hospital. BETH WICKERSHAM | COURTESY PHOTO

On Tuesday, July 16, we donated said blossoms to The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio where they will be distributed with a heartfelt handwritten note and additional information about Brooke’s battle and further her impact on the world.

Your time and donations are greatly appreciated given to help cover the costs of the blossoms. Any funds given above the initial supply cost will be donated to Brooke’s Blossoms.

You can help honor Brooke by continuing her wish for blossoms to be spread throughout the world. To help, please contact Jessica Hester, Executive Director and Founder of Brooke’s Blossoming HOPE for Childhood Cancer Foundation, Inc. at buddies@brookesblossomes.org. You can also visit www.brookesblossoms.org for details.

Mackenzie and Shelby in 5th grade selling snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies to raise funds for Brooke. TAMMY HENSON | COURTESY PHOTO

Mackenzie and Shelby in 5th grade selling snickerdoodles and chocolate chip cookies to raise funds for Brooke. TAMMY HENSON | COURTESY PHOTO

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