American Girl helps raise money for children living with cancer


Standing on stage, smiling, and holding one of her favorite dolls, three-year-old Cora Dalik is in the survivor's Club. 

"When she was 18 months old,  she had some irregular bruising," said Heather Dalik, Cora's mom.  "Within a couple days, we found out she had aplastic anemia, which is a bone marrow failure." 

But now she's in front of hundreds at the Hippodrome, where a fashion show with American Girl dolls is raising money for the University of Maryland Children's Hospital and the Cool Kids Campaign, which helps children living with cancer feel like a kid. 

"From the chemo and the transplant, she stopped walking, she stopped talking and she just was kind of there," said Dalik.  

Olympic Figure Skater Kimmie Meissner is a spokesperson.  The models look like their dolls and dress like their dolls but they do the walking and talking.  They've pitched the program and together have raised $50,000 for the second annual event.  

"We had girls who had lemonade stands, go door to door," said Jennifer Stearman, Board Chair, University of Maryland Children's Hospital.  

The girls are learning there's more to life than taking on the catwalk.  

"It was kind of scary, but at the same time I felt good because we were helping people for a good cause," said Anna Page Lancaster, a model.  

"I kind of felt sad for them but then happy that I was helping them," said Calla Grimes, a model.  

Cora is not in preschool because she gets sick easily, but doctors say her immune system will get better with age.  The Cool Kids Campaign allows her to be around her peers with less chance of getting sick.  

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