Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Are You Dreaming Like Delaney? Because We All Should!

By Kara Jackman

Delaney Cunha is not the average 10-year-old girl. Nope she is above average. Why? Because she took the advice "spread kindness like confetti" to heart. This is her lifelong mission with Drean Like Delaney, a fashion and lifestyle brand (and possibly a book too) that will sweep the nation once she gets a little bit older. Delaney believes everyone should be kind, brave, confident, but most importantly dream big, just like her. In fact, she believes so deeply in this that she has a 15-page business plan to back it up. 

Look out world! Here she comes!

For kids like Delaney with craniofacial conditions school can be a drag. (Not to mention, it gets in the way of executing on your business plan!) Kids are brutally honest and nitpick your every move. Meanwhile there is a lot to learn at school, too. Math, science, writing, reading and history are tough subjects. Add on some additional work in other areas, plus an upcoming very large surgery, and most of us would be overwhelmed. There was little time to execute that business plan or write the forthcoming book from this #WonderKid, but Delaney knew she had to do something to honor this special, scary moment in her life. She had to be brave. 

In spite of some tough questions and comments from her classmates around her extra services, Delaney decided to explain what her craniofacial life is like, and share her message of kindness with them, too. Even after classroom talks with her Mom, CCA Board Member, Kelly Cunha Pokorny, distributions of #ChooseKind gear, the kids continued with remarks. Now in the weeks ahead of her mid-face advancement surgery and three-month recovery with the RED device, Delaney took this as opportunity to really make an impact. She grabbed some fabric markers and large sheets of paper in her favorite colors, and brought them into her classroom, and to nearby schools, businesses and a few hospitals for people to sign in support of her mission and upcoming surgery. The Dream Like Delaney banner tour was on. Banners will visit the following locations, spanning the East Coast, as the Florida-based family travels to Boston Children's Hospital for the big mid-face advancement surgery: Deer Park Elementary, Bayside Sports Academy, St Petersburg Country Club, Moffitt Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, Delta Airlines, and Boston Children's Hospital. 

In support of Delaney, her teachers and resource specialists at Delaney's school encouraged the kids to ask her about her upcoming surgery, write phrases of encouragement and support on the banner. During the summer, kids are encouraged to wear a bracelet in support of Delaney's surgery and 3 month recovery.

Delaney says of her classmates, "I had no idea they supported me until we told them about my surgery, and why I asked them to sign my banner." 

Wristbands will be distributed at all these locations to all Delaney's supporters, too. Hopefully these bracelets will raise awareness about craniofacial conditions and encourage others to ask "how can I dream like Delaney?" 

Further Delaney shares, "I teared up when I realized they really did support me and loved my awareness bracelets."

How can you go wrong with a color combination that are her favorites -- pink, purple, and red swirls? You can find those colors on her hearing aids, and the suitcase she will rock on her trip up the coast. 

The hope is to gather 200 signatures before the surgery on June 7th. Even if you do not sign the banner, you can join the movement by wearing rainbow colors or pink, purple, and red on June 7th to stand with Delaney. Kelly says, Delaney will most definitely be "brave like all of her cranio besties who have or will overcome the midface." Our support is a big piece to her quick recovery. You can follow "Dream Like Delaney" on Instagram and Facebook

Delaney has grown to love her face, with the support of her immediate family and extended CCA family. Kelly says of her daughter, "She loves skin care, makeup, hair styling and coloring, and vlogging. She enjoys watching beauty influencers like Kylie Jenner. Delaney loves to draw, act, dance, write, and sing, too." 

No one can get this girl down. "No doubt with Delaney's perseverance and strength, one day, we will see Dream Like Delaney become a reality!" shares Kelly. 

And we do not doubt it. Not one bit.  

Never Stop Dreaming.


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