Liana’s Looms of Love
This week we are spotlighting 10 year old Liana Clayton who created bracelets on her own to help cope with the reality of her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis. Her mother, Che, was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. When she learned of her fate, she said, it was difficult to tell Liana and her other daughter, 8 year old Chloe. “I didn’t know where to turn,” said Che. “I was getting all kinds of misinformation.” Fortunately for her, a close family friend who had just finished cancer treatment pointed Che to the Simms/Mann Center to get help.
The Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology was founded 20 years ago bringing evidence based practices into the care of individuals touched by cancer. Through individually tailored supportive care, support groups, spiritual care, psychological support, all offered without fees, patients and families receive the needed supports to grapple with cancer and the threats it imposes. Jim Ellison, who used the Center when his wife was diagnosed with cancer and is now on the Advisory Board said about the Simms/Mann Center, “It makes sure no patient or family at UCLA is left in the dark with their scary thoughts. Medicine alone is not enough when it comes to cancer.”
Che was most concerned about her daughters and how this diagnosis would disrupt their lives and impact them. She met with Simms/Mann psychologists who helped her sort out how to talk to her children and assess their needs, and to care for herself. All of these services were provided without fees because the Simms/Mann Center, due to generous donations from grateful patients, family members and their friends; raises philanthropic dollars to support the Center each year.
Liana wanted to give back to the Simms/Mann Center and being a person of benevolent character she understands the importance of support through generosity and goodwill. She started by making bracelets, using looms, and selling them to her friends and family. Liana’s school then gave her an area to sell bracelets. With some help, she set up a display table with a sign that said “Liana’s Looms of Love” and began to sell them at school. Soon Liana had a growing list of orders, from classmates, friends, and all types of people hoping to support her cause. She reached far beyond her original goal to donate $100, and was successfully able to raise and donate over $2,000 in support of the Center.
Making these looms gave Liana a sense of purpose. She had found her niche being able to not only give back and make a difference, but through doing something she truly enjoyed and loved. Each day after completing her homework Liana would spend many hours making her looms of love. This experience sparked a deep hope within Liana to continue to make a difference through utilizing her creativity and talents.
Dr. Anne Coscarelli, founding director of Simms/Mann Center, greeted Liana as she carried her all cash donation to the Center, “I cannot believe that a 10 year old child facing her mom’s illness could be so creative and philanthropic.” Also, “Cancer comes with much toxicity. It impacts patients and families in all parts of their lives seeing a 10 year old child turn a family trauma into an opportunity of meaning, compassion and love. It’s nothing short of a testament to the strength of the human spirit.”
The Simms/Mann Center wants to extend our thanks and appreciation to Liana and her family for so generously and honorably supporting the efforts of the Center. We are grateful for Liana’s help and believe that she is a true inspiration. The Center depends on the donations of generous individuals to sustain our organizational operations which allow us to provide the important services and resources at no fee to our patients. Thank you, Liana, for all your hard work in helping to make a difference in the lives of so many.
NBC4 News Story:
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