Thursday, August 28, 2008

a dream is a wish your heart makes

I'm not even sure how to begin this blogpost really. It starts so long ago. I have had so many people asking delving questions that I guess I'm just going to start from the beginning, so prepare for an essay!

Ginny, Pete and I were all in the same senior collection class at SCAD with Prof. Jackie Kueler, who began teaching at the same time as architecture Prof. Laraine Montgomery. Jackie and Laraine became friends through orientation and eventually decided to work on a collaborative project between the senior fashion students and junior architecture students. So, that's how Laraine came into our lives, by bringing her classes to our class, and Pete, Ginny and I fell in love with this incredibly passionate lady. Laraine approached us and said that her 13-year-old daughter was going to be a fashion designer one day, and would we maybe tutor her during the summer to give her a head start? So, with all enthusiasm, Ginny began tutoring Nikki in drawing/design, and I began tutoring her in sewing. My boyfriend, Joe, now tutors her in drawing. We really are all part of the same family now.

Unfortunately, during this time Nikki was diagnosed with a lymphatic cancer. We thought that it had cleared up over the course of the first treatments, and were hoping that Nikki could come visit us at some point during her summer break (maybe NYC for their school's trip?), but the school went to Atlanta and so Nikki never arrived. Then we heard that Nikki's cancer had come back, and she was going to have to go through a whole new series of surgeries and radiation treatments at the end of summer. Ginny, Pete and I agreed that we would split the cost of a plane ticket to fly Nikki up to New York on her own so that she could have a little get-away before she began all this testing.

So now the challenge: plan a fashiony, fun-filled itinerary with all of New York available. Creative us, all we could come up with was the Met, the garment district, and maybe shopping some stores where we couldn't actually afford to buy any merchandise. A little blue bird heard about our creative predicament and swooped in to take charge. She not only paid for Nikki to fly up, but for Laraine too, and because this little bird is very well-loved, she set up the most heart-stoppingly amazing itinerary for Nikki, better than any Make-A-Wish trip (I know, because I remember being in a very similar situation!) and didn't let anybody else lift a penny. If you'd like to see the full itinerary (which you should, it was amazing), Ginny posted it on her blog.  Pete also posted an in-depth log of the trip.  I know our friends have heard this story over and over again and probably don't want to see the itinerary one more time.

My favorite part of the trip was going to see Hair, oh my. Sweet little 14-year-old Nikki at Hair! If you've ever seen it, then you'll understand why during the second song Ginny and I were laughing so hard that I honestly thought I was going to throw up my gourmet dinner. At the end of the show Pete led the way for us girls to dance on stage with the cast and crowd, how exhilirating! It was so much fun. I've never enjoyed a play that much. Below are pictures from our dinner together the first night Nikki arrived. I can't wait for her to come intern in New York this summer so we can see her and Laraine all the time!

Sisters!

Nikki receives gift certificates for $500 to Lord and Taylor
from each owner of the stores.
So excited! This was another really fun part of the trip,
like a reality TV show:
spend $1000 in Lord and Taylor in 45 minutes before dinner!

Sweet Su'thu'n Belles

Family!

I'd really like to thank Nikki's little fairies at WWD/W (it reminds me of Disney's Sleeping Beauty, with the three fairies flying around helping the princess), and most of all her anonymous fairy godmother at the same company. Thank you to all the designers who gave Nikki your time and attention and dresses and jewelry and bags and perfume and scarves. You have really reminded everyone that the world is full of good people, and are inspiring everyone who hears the story to do something amazing for somebody else.

Nikki's battle against cancer continues. The latest diagnosis from her biopsies after the trip is that her cancer is a particularly malicious one that does not respond to chemotherapy, so they are giving her tiny body as much radiation as it can handle. The cancer is slow-growing, and so can be present and undetected at any time. This may be a chronic, life-long issue for Nikki. Please, everyone, make a little wish for Nikki one more time for continued strength, because this sweet, smart, creative, beautiful young woman still has to become a household fashion name!

3 comments:

peterletroisieme said...

Such a sweet post Chelsea, I linked it in a new post on my blog for which I swiped the photo of the four of us! What an amazing adventure!

xoP

Cheryl said...

Oh I just LOve this post!
It was so great to see you
& Ginny :)
So tell me where can I buy one
of these fabulous headbands
lady Nikki has been wearing??

Paula said...

Definitely the great fun out there..! spend $1000 in Lord and Taylor in 45 minutes before dinner -- sounds fantastic.