DUARTE (CBSLA.com) — A mother who lost her son to cancer is giving back to others who are going through the same thing.
“It’s hard. It’s hard, but it’s OK because we’re doing something to bless other families in his memory,” said Heather Donatini as she walked the halls at the City of Hope in Duarte.
Nearly five years ago, she and her son, who was fighting an extremely rare form of cancer, were at the hospital.
Her son lost his battle with cancer at just 4.
Since then, Donatini and her husband have been helping families still fighting the devastating disease through their nonprofit: the BumbleBee Foundation.
“It’s a chance to be able to give back,” she said. “It’s a chance to let families know that there are others that care about them, that have walked in their shoes, and that understand what they are going through.”
On Wednesday, their foundation delivered spring baskets filled with hand-selected toys for the kids and gift cards for their parents.
Donatini also provided emotional support.
“It means so much that that person that was once there is now here supporting us,” said Daisy Rued, a mother.
There were also hand-made Easter eggs put together by a young volunteer who beat cancer.
“There are little signs that we tend to get and when we get those signs, yes, I do feel like his presence is there with us and that he’s just kind of reassuring us that we’re doing exactly what we need to be doing,” said Donatini, who explains that she can feel her son’s presence on the pediatric-cancer floor.
Over the past four years, the BumbleBee Foundation has helped close to 1,000 families and have raised more than $400,000.
For more information about the foundation, click here.