Norwin fourth grader continues collecting 'Smiles for Grandma'
Jerilyn Johnson's leukemia diagnosis in December surprised her family.
“I'd been sick for a couple weeks and thought I had the flu, but it just wouldn't go away,” she said. “When they did some blood work, the doctor told me he had bad news – my white blood cell count was off the charts.
“I nearly rolled off the bed when he told me that.”
Immediately after the diagnosis, doctors began Johnson's chemotherapy treatments, which required her to stay at UPMC Shadyside hospital in Pittsburgh for about a month, she said.
When her granddaughter, Madison Buscemi, heard her parents, Michael and Kelly Buscemi, talking about her treatments, she wanted to do something for Johnson, especially after she expected to lose her hair.
“They were talking about doing something for Grandma, and I wanted to help,” Madison said. “I was going to knit her a scarf, but it took too long, so I decided ask for donations instead.”
During a blood drive on Jan. 12, Madison collected approximately 85 head scarves from blood donors.
Each day, she receives several scarves from members of the Norwin High School Student Council, Kelly Buscemi said.
Next, Madison plans to turn to her classmates at Sunset Valley by holding a scarf drive during the week of Jan. 28.
“I'm surprised and happy to see so many scarves,” Madison said.
Kelly Buscemi said once Madison delivers the scarves, any leftovers will go to local nursing and personal-care centers.
She said she hopes Madison's contribution helps lift the patients' spirits.
“Sometimes, on their journey, something like this could help them get through to the next stage,” Madison's mother said. “All they really need is a little kindness and love.”
Each scarf could help brighten someone's day and allow the person to feel more confident in her appearance, Johnson said.
“It's especially disheartening for a woman to lose their hair,” Johnson said. “For someone going through this, if they don't want to wear a cap or feel like their head is exposed to the world, putting on a fancy scarf could make them feel a little bit better about themselves.”
Madison plans to continue collecting scarves for cancer patients at UPMC Shadyside's Hillman Cancer Center, which she expects to deliver on Valentine's Day.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers wrap lackluster preseason with loss to Panthers
- Man stabbed to death outside North Side grocery
- Penguins confident Pouliot will be healthy, ready for camp
- The IRS scandal: Do the Lois Lerner emails still exist?
- Parents sue Penn Hills School District, allege assault by teacher
- Young adults drive home rental trend in Western Pennsylvania
- Steelers notebook: Safety Mitchell faces former team, hurts leg
- Friday’s scouting report: Reds at Pirates
- August Wilson Center’s financial woes leave little guys in a lurch
- Two hurt in Route 8 collision
- RMU falls to Eastern Kentucky in Banaszak’s coaching debut