The next time you're shopping at the mall, see if you can spot some unique birdhouses.
They're on display right now at White Marsh Mall, Towson Town Center and the Mall in Columbia.
Each birdhouse has a special story behind it.
3 year old Avey O'Doherty is proud of her birdhouse. She painted and decorated it all by herself. And wants everyone who looks at it to know she's a fighter.
Her mom Alycia Steinberg says, "I took Avey to her pediatrician’s office for what I thought was just a really minor illness and because of a couple things, they did some blood work. So we went in a Friday afternoon and the next Monday morning while we were out shopping I got a call that we needed to go straight to Hopkins."
Turns out this happy, curious, sweet little girl had leukemia. She was just 2 years old when diagnosed and underwent months of intensive chemotherapy.
"We had months and months where we couldn't do any of the regular activities we had done," says Steinberg.
Meeting other kids with cancer helped Avey and her mom in so many ways. They got that support through a program called the Cool Kids campaign.
Sharon Perfetti is the executive director of the Cool Kids campaign. She says, "We have the kids come in, we have tutoring for them so they can keep up to date on their academics. We have mommy and me which Avey participates in ... And they're just kids while they're there. They're outside of the hospital setting and their moms can socialize."
Steinberg says, "Avey has a wonderful playmate at cool kids, a little girl who's her age and has a very similar diagnosis and that's really important for her to have a friend who's going through the same kind of experience with cancer that she is."
The kids at Cool Kids recently decorated the birdhouses. They’re called Houses of Hope and they're on display at the three malls until August 19 th.
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