The following was written by a Hofstra Student who, through her time with Adopt a Dream (a charitable club run by students that grants wishes to terminally ill children), was able to fulfill a young girl's dream of owning a pet pig.
In January, prior to the start of the semester, I contacted Michele Vernon of Sunrise Day Camp
Colonial Springs Road Wheatley
Heights, NY 11798) for a candidate for Adopt a Dream during Spring 2012.
She presented us with three candidates; from whom we chose a wonderful young girl, Cassandra Steinle. Unfortunately Cassandra has lung failure and only 15%
lung capacity. Michele told me that her dream was to have a pet pig and
at first all of our reactions were the same: "A pet pig? REALLY?" Turns
out it was a very legitimate dream. After speaking both with Eleanore
Steinle (Cassandra's mother) and Cassandra
herself, we got an idea of what we wanted to do.
One thing that makes
Adopt a Dream so unique when compared to other organizations, is that we take the time to bond
and get to know our dreamers. We never just hand
over a check; we personalize each and every dream to include the dreamer,
his/her family and the Adopt a Dream members. In March we had a
breakfast in the Student Center with Cassandra, Eleanore, John Sr. (her
father) and John Jr. (her brother) as our honored
guests. At this breakfast we presented Cassandra with a one-of-a-kind
hot pink wheelchair that members of Adopt a Dream
personally designed and assembled weeks earlier - we call it the "Cassandra-Mobile" as
embroidered on the back of the chair. After breakfast,
a stretch limo transported the Steinles to the Museum of Natural
History where they joined Adopt a Dreamers already present at the museum. Later
that same day we went across Central Park to the Zoo where we saw
peacocks, monkeys and polar bears (oh my!). All the excitement
wasn't over yet: you can't go a full day without a celebratory dinner!
Espresso Cafe at 1135
1st Avenue New
York was able to provide a private dining room for the Steinles and 18 Adopt a Dreamers for a delicious dinner. The Steinles got to relax and think
about the wonderful day they had in a limo ride back to Hofstra, but this was just part 1 of Adopt a Dream's
journey with Cassandra.
|Cassandra happily greets her new pet.|
28th Hofstra hosted Relay for Life whereat Cassandra in her pink wheelchair was not only Adopt a Dream's guest of honor, but Relay
for Life's guest of honor as well.
To start off the night Eleanore and Cassandra were interviewed on WPIX; then
Dwayne Lindsey (Adopt a Dream's Public Relations Chairperson) lead the
Survivor Lap while pushing Cassandra; singing groups even came up and sang
specifically for Cassandra. Earlier in the semester, Adopt a Dream hosted
a Zumba event in order to raise money for
Cassandra's dream, and we had a flash mob to advertise for it. We
performed that flash mob dance at Relay and got about 50 people involved
in it. This night was magical for Cassandra
and her family as they got to see all the people that care for and about
|Everyone did their utmost to ensure Cassandra's dream came true!|
Dream was to have a pet pig and we didn't fall short. Three weeks after
the semester ended, a bunch of members went back to Hofstra where we
Cassandra and her family with "Oinkles Skittles" -- a mini pot belly pig.
She flew here all the way from Minnesota from Misti Rose Farm. The smile
on Cassandra's face when she laid eyes on Oinkles could light up the
sky. Her smile is the reason Adopt a Dream does
all we can, for children like Cassandra. Along with her pig we
presented her with our signature "DREAM" block. The day was quite
successful and left us all feeling incredibly elated.
Written by: Alexandra Engelson, Hofstra Student and Club President of Adopt A Dream
The students who comprise Adopt a Dream are amazing as is their advisor, Pat. We are forever grateful for having Cassandra's dream granted. Oinkles is a great addition to the family and makes Cassandra very happy. The best part was the opportunity to bond with this great group of young adults. Every adopt a dreamer is a credit to their parents and to Hofstra. I am honored to consider them all our friends and am anxious to follow them as they graduate and continue to do great things in and for the world around them. Eleanore Steinle (Cassandra's Mom)ReplyDelete