Two young girls in Montour County who are fighting cancer are inspiring the community of Danville. They’ve taken on a project to help other sick kids at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital keep warm.
Delaney Heller, 11, Jackie Snyder, 9, both have cancer.
“The first day, I don’t think we breathed. It was difficult, it was scary,” said Carrie and Heath Heller.
Delaney was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor last October and Jackie was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2011.
Those trips to Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Montour County gave the girls an idea to help others.
“I had to stay in this one room. It was really cold,” said Jackie. “I figured these blankets would keep the kids warmer in that room.”
Jackie and Delaney decided to team up, and they planned to make a few dozen blankets for other sick kids. As word of their plan spread to their elementary school near Williamsport, donated fabrics, monogrammed patches and helping hands came pouring in.
“The next thing I knew, people were jumping in and showing up at a blanket-time party we had at the school, and taking blankets home that we couldn’t finish in that two hour time slot,” said Dori Rankinen, a Hepburn Lycoming Elementary School teacher.
In the end, they delivered more than 400 blankets for patients. As Jackie and Delaney continue to fight their own health battles, they said they plan to continue helping others at Janet Weis Children`s Hospital.
“I don’t know where they get their energy,” the Hellers said.
These two strong girls said they’ll be making more blankets helping to spread smiles among patients, while helping ease their own pain.
“The blankets make me feel better because it keeps my mind off things,” said Delaney.
“They’re having so much fun and working together doing something for other little kids that are sick and don`t get to go home like they do, so it really takes a lot off your mind,” said Carrie Heller.