By KARI KAMPAKIS
You never know when inspiration will hit a creative type. For Mountain Brook artist Jane Timberlake Cooper, it came while reading a story in February’s Village Living.
Titled “Cupcakes, Chemo, and Courage,” the article chronicled Brooke Wilkerson’s journey through cancer with daughter Rollins, who was diagnosed at her two-year-old check-up with childhood leukemia. For more than two years, the Wilkersons visited Children’s Hospital Clinic 8, the hematology/oncology unit. The experience was an emotional roller-coaster that tested and strengthened the family’s faith.
In her story, Brooke recalled a turning point in her journey. She was wandering around Children’s, crying her eyes out and consumed with fear, when suddenly a red wagon caught her attention. Beautifully decorated, it had a verse written on it: “Don’t tell God how big your storms are, tell your storms how big your God is.”
Brooke realized then she had to give Rollins to God. She had to entrust her to Him knowing He “had mighty plans for her future.”
Touched by Brooke’s story and the storm quote, Jane decided to keep the message going. The idea of a bumper sticker came to mind. She sketched some designs and called her longtime friend Charlotte Langley, a volunteer at Clinic 8, to get her thoughts. Charlotte loved the idea, and together they collaborated ways to use the bumper sticker to raise money for Clinic 8.
At this point, another old friend of Jane and Charlotte’s, Ann Holman, came in the picture. Ann’s daughter Lucy loves raising money, and she’d been looking for a cause to take on as part of the Miss Heart of America state pageant she’s qualified for next fall. Both of Lucy’s grandmothers battled breast cancer, so the disease is close to her heart.
With Ann and Lucy’s input, Jane designed the bumper sticker. Charlotte coordinated the effort with Children’s Hospital. And just like that, a plan was hatched. It happened quickly, a testament to the power of faith and old friends coming together for good.
If you’d like to support this initiative, visit Snap Kids, Snoozy’s, Gilchrist, Laura Kathryn, or Stella Blue. Bumper stickers are available for free at the counter, but donations may be made in the accompanying container. To mail a donation, please make your check out to “Children’s Hospital” and send it to Charlotte Langley, 614 Dexter Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35213. All proceeds will go to Clinic 8 and used to fulfill their “wish list,” as well as red wagons.
For more information, contact Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.