When people lose their father or mother at a young age, such incidents leave a lifelong impression on their minds. One such example is Grace Berbig. When she was a child of 7, her mother was diagnosed with leukemia. At such a tender age, she did not understand cancer and its implications. However, her mother’s prolonged stay at the hospital made her realize things were not right. Along with her sister, she created handmade cards, filling these with messages and drawings of love. When Grace Berbig was 10, her mother succumbed to cancer after a prolonged battle.
“Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace Berbig says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”
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While she was stunned by the loss initially, it did not make her incapable of supporting others. On the contrary, she realized how important it is to show people kindness during hardships and spread the message of love. As a result, she became involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society after getting into high school.
Grace Berbig started Letters of Love
She started a club named Letters of Love in 2018 to support those battling cancer and similar serious illnesses. She got unexpected support for her initiative, and almost 100 people attended the first meeting. There was no looking back for her since. It spread into 25 branches, and it has become a full-time activity for Grace Berbig.
She is glad that her non-profit has grown, and the support she has been getting is immense. She said: “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the number of kids and families, we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom. I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”
However, she faced many emotional battles while working for her venture. She and her peers have to deal with children coping with cancer of varying types and other severe ailments. This can take a toll on mental well-being. In addition, after the pandemic brought the world to a halt, Grace Berbig and her team members struggled to aid children who were unable to meet with their family members.
She said: “I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people worldwide.
Currently, Grace Berbig is on a break as she wants to make her venture grow further, but a college education has to be pursued. She also has other commits, including publishing a book for children. The book is meant to teach the kids the importance of being kind to others and how doing good can make the world a better place.
While it gets a little hard on her to carry on the activities for her group and cope with the mental aspects of catering to the kids with serious ailments, Grace Berbig says the memories of her mother and her demise keep her going. She said her mother’s untimely death acted as an eye-opener for her, and she became determined to make lives easier for people coping with such ailments.