After the big day, they sit untouched in closets until the owner grows old. But some gowns are destined for higher things, like making wishes come true.
Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization, supports later-stage breast cancer patients by granting special requests. The group finances the wishes by selling donated wedding gowns through the Brides Against Breast Cancer Nationwide Tour of Gowns.
The organization has raised more than $4 million by selling 50,000 donated wedding gowns and jewelry. The donations from individual owners, as well as manufacturers and designers, allow cancer patients like Mountain View’s Valentina Cantarero to have a respite from chemotherapy and medical treatments.
Cantarero’s 36-year-old daughter, Tania, wrote to Making Memories asking the group to send her mother to Disneyland. Fairy tales can come true Cantarero, a former technician, wanted to “be a kid again” and relive the good times she remembered from years ago when she took Tania to Disneyland.
The five-day trip Making Memories arranged was magical, Cantarero said. She especially enjoyed staying at the centrally located Disneyland hotel with her family, which included her brother Alex, Tania and her fiance.
The Argentinian native was able to take short naps in the nearby hotel room to restore enough energy to go on all of her favorite rides, like “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “It’s a Small World.” She ate as many hot dogs as she could, too.
“You forget all of your pains, any illness worries,” she said. She wanted to “get away from the doctors and chemotherapy, anything medical,” and the trip made that possible. Cantarero expressed her gratitude to the organization.
“They’ve been very generous with me,” she said. Amazingly, “I didn’t have to do anything. I only have great things to say about them, they’re wonderful.”
Headquartered in Portland, Ore., the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation also runs the Pink Envelope Project, Quilters Against Breast Cancer and Diamonds for Dreams. The next local stop for the Tour of Gowns, “Dress Dash,” is scheduled later in the fall in San Francisco.
For more information, visit www.makingmemories.org.