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Today our hearts were stolen by a strong willed three-year-old with a love for all things Peppa Pig. The Pattyn Project went to meet sweet Ava this afternoon, an animated toddler who is bravely fighting a stage four neuroblastoma diagnosis. She is currently staying in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC after receiving her second bone marrow transplant. We enjoyed meeting her attentive dad Tommy, and hearing all about her life back at home with her two dogs Letty and Raven, brother T.J. and mom.
When we first entered Ava's room with our wagon full of goodies, she was hesitant to engage. However, we quickly won her over when we assured her that we were just there to play and makeover her room. Logan gently convinced her to allow us to lower her crib side so we could hand her a brand new Peppa Pig lovie which she immediately began to snuggle. Ava remained cautiously interested as we presented her with a Minnie Mouse blanket and several Peppa Pig stickers. It was not until we introduced a fish bowl color and counting game that she sat up with interest. While Ava played bedside, we assembled her multicolor play mat, and set up her new pink chair and yellow table, plugged in her musical color-changing light, and constructed her play shopping cart stocked full of play groceries.
After surveying her new surroundings, Ava decided she was ready to get out of bed for the first time since her transplant, to come sit at her new table and check out the rest of her toys. She quickly crawled into her Peppa Pig pop up tent and began playing a quick game of bowling with Jess from inside her tent. Next, she moved all her stuffed animals into her tent and promptly transitioned to driving her remote-control Minnie Mouse car around the room and into her Dad's shoes. Her spunky attitude and clear opinions of what she liked and disliked had us all smiling and filling the room with laughter. After a long morning of excitement and play, Ava was content to fall asleep in Amy's arms clutching her Peppa Pig, as she drifted to sleep to the sound of her gentle music.
Thank you to everyone who has shown us ongoing support, as well as new friends who have come alongside of us, as we pursue this passion. We couldn’t do it without you! We hope you all will continue to consider donating to this special cause, so we can continue to lift the spirits of sweet souls like Ava. We ask that you all keep this precious little girl and her family in your thoughts and prayers during the remainder of her stay in the hospital, as we hope for persistent progress, and continued strength throughout the rest of her journey to a hopeful recovery. Thank You, Ava!