For Jenny and Tré Wilkins, Christmas can be especially difficult after the loss of their beautiful four-year-old daughter, Catie, to brain cancer in 2007. Often reflecting on Catie’s battle through cancer treatment, they can’t help but remember how she took solace in the make-believe world of Santa’s elves.
In 2006 she was given a special stuffed elf from the company Host an Elf, and that beloved elf was “responsible” for all kinds of mischievous acts, such as covering the kitchen in flour, pulling clothes out of Catie’s dresser drawer, and even spending a night in the freezer because he was homesick for the North Pole.
“Catie’s elf provided a way for her to escape the reality of cancer and enjoy the magic of the holidays,” explains Jenny Wilkins. “We had so much fun with that elf. Every day, Catie woke up eager to find out what her ‘silly elf’ had done while she slept.”
But the whimsical fantasy of holiday elves was inexplicably replaced with the harshest of realities when Catie lost her courageous battle – just weeks after Christmas.
Desperate to get through the first Christmas without Catie, Jenny decided she wanted to share Catie’s favorite holiday tradition with some of Catie’s friends who were still battling cancer. She searched the Internet for affordable elves and found Host an Elf, the company which made Catie’s elf.
Then, they decided to take it a step further.
The owners worked with Jenny to create a program called “Elves from Catie” which honors Catie by allowing others to purchase an elf for a child hospitalized with cancer. To date, Elves from Catie have been donated to children with cancer in over 20 hospitals around the country.
“Far too many children will be spending the holidays in children’s hospitals receiving cancer treatment, and ‘Elves from Catie’ is a powerful way to share a special gift with them and make a significant contribution to fund a cure for childhood cancer,” says Kristin Connor, CURE’s Executive Director.
For more information or to donate an elf to a child with cancer, visit www.elvesfromcatie.com