Annual Book Drive

Amelie loved books.

 Every time we went to the hospital, which let me tell you, was a lot, the first thing we do is go outside and play. But as it was so bright, sometimes it felt like being on the surface of the sun, there was a little shade, and she was very weak and frail often. So inevitably we would quickly have to venture back inside into the air conditioned sterile waiting room and entertain ourselves (while we waited for the impending scream-fest that happened EVERY VISIT), and pick up some fun new books to read in the waiting room.

Books for kids with cancer is a great gift. Amelie was not able to do a lot of things that required dexterity or fine motor skills with her hands. She couldn’t really draw, write, craft, Lego was so hard for her, as chemotherapy caused neuropathy and weakness in her tiny little limbs—but we could always chill and read a fun book.  

My friend Renee, an Usbourbe book seller, puts together a book drive for the kids at Rady Children’s Hospital every year. 

 We used to purchase books and stock up the HEM/Oncology waiting room library, but since infection/germs have become an issue, they are now sending kids home with books—a parting gift to distract them from painful IVs, sharp needles, and hours spent under artificial fluorescence. 

I can honestly tell you that every little child that must spend his/her weekend in the hospital, separated, while healthy “normal” kids enjoy summer to the fullest, appreciates love from the “outside world.” Something like this is a not-so-insignificant gesture to show them they are thought of, are not alone during this journey and their suffering doesn’t go unnoticed. 

100%  = funds go to books. Renee delivers them personally and immediately. 



Amelie’s Mommy






[Taken May 2017. Renee reading outside to Lulubunz]


When Amelie lost her ability to move and talk, reading became one of the few things we could do with her. Sometimes she responded by visually engaging and making little noises, and sometimes she dozed off in a peaceful slumber while we kept on reading, our voices lulling her to sleep.