refuah shlemah (get well soon).
Estee Bolnick, a Torah Day School of Atlanta middle school student, hosted a bat mitzvah celebration that was a celebration of life and good health, coupled with the intense desire to give back to an organization that had brought her so much joy.
Estee, the daughter of Jonny and Bev Bolnick of Dunwoody, began her bat mitzvah speech by sharing her story. At the age of 7, she was feeling unwell and was experiencing aches and pains.
Her father took her to the doctor, and she was admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. After three “very scary, very boring days” of blood being drawn, numbers and more numbers being calculated, shots and more shots being given, and her finger being pricked up to 10 times a day, Estee was sent home with information on her diagnosis, Type 1 diabetes.
She was sad, scared and fearful. But shortly after getting home, she opened the door and found a huge box on her doorstep.
“I was so excited. The package brought simcha back to me,” she said.
Such packages are created by Jewish children who want to make a difference in the lives of sick children through Zichron Chana Bayla, whose mission is to provide an outlet for students to do chesed (acts of lovingkindness) by creating and sending “We Care” packages designed to provide hours of entertainment and activities for sick and hospitalized children.
The carefully designed care packages provide comfort to the sick children and their families. Estee knows that firsthand and shared that experience with her friends.
During Estee’s party, she and her classmates created beautiful pillowcases hand-painted with messages of hope and cheer for Zichron Chana Bayla, which had brought Estee so much joy a little more than four years earlier.