It is clear now that nothing makes Sophie come out of her shell like the sight of a turtle.
Her fascination with these strange creatures began early in life and so did her diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At the tender age of seven, she decided that she wanted her own turtle sanctuary—in her bedroom.
For such a unique wish request, our chapter teamed Sophie up with the designers at Cricket Lane Interiors, who worked pro bono to create the reptile room of her dreams. St. Croix Collection, California Closets, and many more companies then joined in the fun and donated nearly $10,000 in product and services. Longs Drugs, who adopted Sophie’s wish, donated products from their store as well as much needed volunteer time.
When it came time to celebrate the grand opening of Sophie’s room, two Longs employees held a dedication banner for Sophie to cut. Her eyes sparkled as she opened the door to her new turtle sanctuary, and, more like a tortoise than a hare, leapt with delight! To Sophie, the room couldn’t have been better. From the canopied green “squishy” bed with turtle pillows, to the turtle pictures adoring the walls, to the fresh yellow-and-green paint and matching curtains–everything had that turtle touch! Plushies of every size and type had made their homes in Sophie’s new room, many of them piled up in a turtle tower on the bed. Longs Drugs also donated art supplies, books, lamps, and picture frames that adorned every inch of her room.
Sophie’s biggest surprise was perhaps the smallest creature in the room–a real live tortoise (medically safer than a turtle)! Grinning she picked it up, looked into its tiny face, then gently set it down, watching it plod across the seemingly gigantic bedroom floor. Sophie and her family, amazed that so many people wanted to grant her wish, were truly grateful to everyone who helped create her picture-perfect turtle room. Sophie said with great glee, “All these people are so cool because they like turtles too!”
Photo courtesy of Jeff Shewmon