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The newly formed Love Letters Foundation is inspired by the friendship between a little girl, diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her special friend Sam.
Only 4 years old when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer in March 2007, Frances and her family refused to accept giving up as an option. While the doctors fought to rid the cancer from Frances's body, including a historic cord blood transplant; Frances's emotional wellbeing received a tremendous boost from a new friend who came into her life. Sam is a very special woman who made it her mission to cheer up a little girl on the edge of life.
No matter how bad Frances was feeling from her gruelling treatment, an email or a pretty card from Sam would always make her feel better and give her the strength to carry on. The friendship between the two grew and developed into visits and outings to "Eating Garden" (Eden Garden) when Frances was well enough.
Against all the odds, Frances went into remission in June 2008. Being able to draw strength and joy from a special friendship made a real difference.
The Love Letters Foundation is a New Zealand registered charitable trust formed by Frances's family so that the spirit of "Sam" can be brought to as many sick and disadvantaged children and young people as possible.
Love Letters works by matching a kind adult to a seriously ill or disadvantaged child as a penpal. Love Letters also offers the opportunity to have the child feature on their website so that they can receive a range of cheerful letters and greetings from visitors to the site. For children traumatised by the Christchurch earthquake Love Letters offers the opportunity to be helped individually or as a school group.
More details can be found at the Foundation's website: www.loveletters.org.nz