Macy's

Elizabeth and her design team

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First-grader Elizabeth is a fashionista. Her "passion" as she puts it, is designing dresses and she hopes to one day make it her career. When she was three years old, however, her future didn't look so clear.

Six days after her family had moved to Reno, Nevada, Elizabeth was diagnosed with leukemia. Her father was just starting a new job, their things were still in boxes and all of a sudden, their world was turned upside down. "We had no support network," says Elizabeth's mom. "And then we had a new diagnosis to make sense of. It took a while to find a new normal." That new normal included 26 months of cancer treatment.

The treatment was hard on Elizabeth and her family. Then came a major infusion of support and positivity from the nonprofit Make-A-Wish, an organization that grants the wishes of children battling critical illnesses. The hope of a wish was something Elizabeth really needed; at the end of 2019 when she learned her wish was coming true, she still had six months of treatment left.

Last November, Macy's celebrated with Elizabeth at her local Macy's store in Reno, NV and surprised her announcing that her wish to design a dress was coming true.

ElizabethAll photos courtesy of Macy's

"The middle of winter, drained from 20 plus months of treatment, it really gave us something special to look forward to," said Elizabeth's mom.

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Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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