Making spirits bright this holiday season at Doernbecher: 'Happiness, joy and smiles'

Whoville comes to Doernbecher - KATU image.jpg

The holidays can be tough when you're battling cancer. For kids, it's even tougher.

A local nonprofit is helping make the holidays brighter at the Doernbecher Oncology Unit.

It’s a labor of love for Lenore Thawley, who started the Healing Hunter Foundation.

She lost her 14-month-old son, Hunter, nearly eight years ago. Projects like the one at Doernbecher are how she honors her son.

“It keeps him around in a really fabulous way and I like that,” said Thawley. “It’s needed to keep the joy through the holidays. It’s needed to keep the spirits lifted.”

That spirit is in every piece of the winter wonderland, from the playroom to the Santa sacks – which are customized gift baskets for each child in the hospital.

This year, they are decorating the hospital with the theme of Dr. Seuss’ holiday classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Not only is she getting help from the Grinch and Cindy Loo Who, but volunteers with Portland Fire & Rescue are also getting in on the fun.

“I know when you center things around happiness, joy and smiles, people want to get on board with that,” said Thawley.

Lenore founded the healing hunter foundation 8 years ago. They've been bringing holiday joy to Doernbecher's ever since.

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