I feel this is such an appropriate story, especially this time of year, the season of giving. I am so touched by two amazing sisters: Taylen Lowery, who just turned 8, and Kyla Lowery, who will soon be 5. At such a young age, they already understand the importance of giving to those in need. Sadly, they already comprehend this more than some adults do.
Alissa Marie Costanza was our sweet granddaughter, who fought brain cancer since the age of 2 months. She lost her battle in October of 2006, just short of turning 3. My daughter, Kelli Turner, somehow found strength to go on and start her life over, married our wonderful son in law, Shaun, and they now have a new baby boy, Eric, who is 7 months old. Shaun's sister, Kristi, is the girls' mother.
These girls are our heroes. They never met our Ali, yet have given so unselfishly of themselves by cutting their hair and donating it to Locks of Love, an organization that donates wigs to disadvantaged children suffering with illness or treatments in which hair loss is involved.
Taylen asked her mother early last year if she could cut her hair and send it to the children who don't have any. It was her idea, and she shocked her mother with the request. She was quite persistent, so her mother took her seriously.
She proudly led the way last May in our annual National Brain Tumor Foundation walk, sporting her new haircut. This last week, little sister Kyla followed in her big sister's footsteps. They both donated in memory of Alissa.
As if that weren't enough, they also (along with their parents) contributed to our annual Alissa Costanza Toy Drive for Oakland Children's hospital. They were so excited to go shopping for all the sick children in the cancer ward.
While shopping, you would think children this young would want something only for themselves. Not these two. They seemed to enjoy giving more than receiving.
Although God did take our sweet Ali, he did give us these two little angels, who I am proud to say are a part of our extended family. When one door closed, a new one opened! When we think about what we are thankful for, it is definitely the people in our lives who give to others who make such a difference. These sweet little girls are at the top of our list.
Contributed by Karen Velasquez