This mom is making her sick 6-year-old smile — with an elephant's behind.

Kim’s daughter Violet is a 1 in a million kid — literally.

The 6-year-old has not one, but three incredibly rare neurological diseases.

Screenshots via Starlight Children's Foundation.


The diseases affect Violet's ability to do basic things most of us take for granted. “They describe it as having cerebral palsy, autism, ADHD, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s all wrapped up into one disorder,” Kim says.

Violet works with a physical therapist and occupational therapist to help her walk and eat and even breathe. Yet, she's one of the happiest and sweetest kids you'll ever meet.

“She loves to go to the grocery store,” Kim says, “because then she can say ‘Hi’ to everybody and ‘I love you.’”

People often say “I love you” back, which makes Violet happy and warms her mother's heart.

“You can’t resist her,” says Kim.

The proud mom wanted to do something to make Violet’s hospital visits more enjoyable.

Enter the Starlight Foundation’s Design-a-Gown contest.

#MyStarlightGown - Violet's Story

She's one in a million. ❤️ (via Starlight Children's Foundation)

Posted by Upworthy on Friday, April 20, 2018

The Starlight Foundation, co-founded by Steven Spielberg, aims to “bring joy and comfort to hospitalized kids and their families.” And they do that through programs like Design-a-Gown.

Hospital gowns are notoriously awful. For one, they’re embarrassing, opening in the back so patients’ rear-ends are exposed. And two, they’re sooooo bland.

As Kim says, “They’re literally like prison wear.”

No one wants to see a kid dressed in a sterile-looking hospital gown — and what kid would want to wear one?

Starlight created a gown that ties up the side, not the back — a simple fix for the butt-baring problem. Then they asked people to send designs to make the gowns fun — something kids would actually want to wear.

Kim says she wanted her gown design to bring Violet some laughter.

Kim’s design features an elephant holding a rainbow lollipop on the front, and the same elephant's backside on the back.

The clever-but-subtle allusion to traditional, butt-showing hospital gowns aside, Kim says, “I wanted something that would make my daughter laugh. And what’s more amusing than a little elephant butt?”

Starlight received more than 6,000 gown design entries along with stories from kids and families. Some celebrities, including Martha Stewart and “Weird” Al Yankovic, even took part in the contest.

Photos via Starlight Children's Foundation..

Kim’s design was one of three finalists.

The winning design will be made into gowns for kids at Starlight’s network of more than 700 hospitals and community health partners. Donors can provide a gown to a kid by donating $25 to the foundation.

What a fun way to help kids who have no choice but to spend time in hospitals. Anything that makes a sick child like Violet happier is a winner in my book.

Note: Nope, we weren't paid to promote The Starlight Foundation — we'd tell you! We just think this is a great story about what they're doing to make the world a bit better.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."