Late this September, donation bins were placed around the Middle School, the Intermediate High School and the Senior High School to collect unopened Lip Smackers and Avon lip balms in support of Isaiah’s Wish to aid in calming children who have to undergo surgery.
Isaiah is a seven year old boy that has a complex brain disorder called Chiari Malformation. He is a patient at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and has endured 24 surgeries, including five brain operations and two back surgeries. He will have three more operations in the near future and hopes to one day be able to play like any other kid. In his experience, he has found that if flavored lip balm is rubbed on his face or on the gas mask it eases the odor and helps keep him relaxed before going under.
The Junior Varsity and Varsity Soccer Teams are supporting Isaiah and plan to get as many lip balms as possible. So far he has raised 6,621 lip smackers, with more coming in everyday. Skyllar Spears, a Junior Varsity player, stated, “As of right now, the team has raised a little under 400 lip balms and we hope to reach our goal of 1,000 lip balms by the end of our season.”
Isaiah’s goal is to have lip balm available to every child facing surgery at Children’s Hospital for all of next year. He recently found out that in order to reach his goal he will need a staggering 30,000 lip balm tubes. Naturally, he accepted the challenge and began collecting the approved lip balm with the assistance of Wendy Bell.
Bell, a volunteer at the Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, formed a relationship with the seven year old and promised to help him reach his goal. She posted on Facebook, “…please donate your new sealed lip smacker or Avon brand lip balm today through December 31, 2016… the flavors of lip balm mask the smell of gas and acid of the surgical masks. It helps sooth what can be a terrifying experience for a child.”
Spears explained how the soccer team originally got involved, “The Seneca Valley Girls Soccer boosters saw Isaiah’s Wish online and brought it to the teams’ attention… [We] specifically chose Isaiah’s Wish because it was a different and unique cause that many people are unaware of. The team wanted to help Isaiah and others in Isaiah’s circumstance to be comfortable when they undergo treatments and surgeries… We then decided it would be a great idea to help Isaiah complete his wish and make it come true.”
Spears continued to discuss how she felt about lending a hand, “…I am very happy with the charity we are supporting because it is one way our team can help give back to others in need and it is such a great feeling to help Isaiah accomplish his goal.”
The Hampton Inn and The Pittsburgh Medical Center are both supporters of Isaiah’s Wish and are the official drop off sights for donations. Isaiah and Bell will be collecting lip balms until January first and they urge anyone who is capable of purchasing Lip Smacker and Avon chapstick to donate and help Isaiah meet his goal.