Flyers Charities and Michael's Way are partnering together for a very special program called Building Hope for Kids. This program is in its sixth year, and is spearheaded by Doreen Holmgren, wife of Flyers President Paul Holmgren, and Chris McElwee, founder and president of Michael's Way and Fastrack Construction. It is our joint mission to be a vital part of improving the lives of those affected by childhood cancer. Each year, a young child battling cancer is selected from St. Christopher's Hospital for Children to have their living space renovated. With the generosity of Michael's Way and Fastrack Construction, the Flyers Wives help to literally rebuild the home to make it more functional for the child and family in need. What started as a simple bedroom upgrade has turned into a complete home makeover.
This year, we are embracing little nine-month old Syrianna and her family, who live in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philadelphia. Just weeks after being born, Syrianna's mother, 16 year-old Michelle, noticed something wasn't right with her daughter. Her eyes were constantly shaking and moving, and after many trips to the pediatrician for various testing, including an MRI, Syrianna was diagnosed with an Optic Glioma. Optic Glioma is a rare type of cancer that is found predominately in young children. The tumor affects the nerve that conveys information from the eyes to the brain and can leave many patients partially or fully blind. After being diagnosed with this type of cancer, Syrianna began regular, weekly chemotherapy treatments, as well as MRI scans every three months at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
While Syrianna is fighting her battle with cancer, we are working hard to provide a little piece of happiness and comfort to her family during this difficult time by renovating their entire home. Their home currently consists of seven family members living in a two bedroom home in Northeast Philadelphia. Syrianna and her mother, Michelle, live with her grandmother, Sonia, along with Sonia's three other children and her father. This four generation family is most deserving and appreciative of the transformation arranged for their home.
The Flyers Wives, in conjunction with Michael's Way and Fastrack Construction are responsible for the renovations to the family's home, including the entire remodel, design and décor selections. The kitchen and basement will be completely remodeled, and there will be all new furniture throughout the house, donated by Bob's Discount Furniture.
Quote from Doreen Holmgren, wife of Flyers President, Paul Holmgren.
"I have been privileged to chair 'Building Hope for Kids" for the past 4 years. Management wives work together with players' wives and girlfriends because from the very beginning, these families have touched our hearts. We live very privileged lives and it is so important to us that we can give back to someone less fortunate. We may make a difference in the lives of these families we help; but the impact they have had on our lives is ten-fold! We have made life-long friends and our own lives will never be the same."
This program is near and dear to our hearts, and as the program grows each year, so does our passion for making a positive and lasting impact on those involved in Building Hope for Kids.
The renovations are almost complete, and they are truly incredible to see. Stay tuned for more updates on the house renovations and Syrianna's journey. Her next MRI is scheduled for February 9th, and we hope you will join us in sending best wishes and prayers her way.