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Little Girls: Big Hearts

Human Interest

1/30/2014 - Little Girls: Big Hearts 

While many kids were writing their lists for Santa last December, two young girls from Ukiah were thinking of others. Alyssa Marino, age 11, and Dasia Dominguez, age 8, were at the Senior Center with Alyssa's mother, Sarah Jacobsen, who had stopped by to visit a friend. According to Alyssa, her mom gave them some money to spend at the Senior Center Thrift Shop for “Girl's Day,” a special time when she and Dasia have fun doing things like manicures and hairdos with their moms.

“We bought some nail polish and manicure supplies for “Girl's Day,” and then we started talking about doing a fund raiser,” Alyssa said. “We happened to see a sign about Cancer in one of the windows at the Senior Center, and that is when we decided to raise money for people with cancer.”

“We knew we did not want to sell lemonade,” continued Alyssa, “so we thought of using our “Girl's Day” supplies to give manicures and hand massages to earn money for cancer Marlyl Turner signing a bookpatients.”

Jacobsen drove the girls to the Dollar Store, where they bought glitter and other decorations to enhance their manicure supplies. After making a sign announcing their intention to raise money for people with cancer, they received permission to set up a table in front of Marino's Pizza. They offered manicures, including nail polish and a hand massage for 50 cents. “We received $20 for 3 manicures,” said Alyssa. “Other people going in and out of the restaurant gave us donations, and we ended up with $67.10.”

Jacobsen took them to Ukiah Valley Medical Center with their funds, and they were directed to Allyne Brown in the Philanthropy Department. Brown gratefully accepted the donation, which will be used to help build a new Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center,scheduled to open in Ukiah in June 2014. The girls are very excited that Brown has arranged for them to meet Maryly Turner, a cancer survivor and author of the book, Quinn, the Rottweiler, a story about a special dog with cancer.

According to her mother, Crystal Romero, Dasia is doing even more for cancer patients by growing out her beautiful brown hair for Locks of Love, an organization that provides quality wigs made of real hair to children who have lost their hair due to cancer or other medical conditions.

Despite the difference in age, Alyssa and Dasia have been close friends since meeting on a school field trip to Alcatraz Island. Besides their shared interest in helping others, they like to roller skate, and singing together.

(Pictured, above: Alyssa and Dasia are two girls from Ukiah helping to make a difference in the lives of community members with cancer.)

(Pictured, right: Maryly Turner, cancer survivor and author of the book, Quinn, the Rottweiler, signs a copy of her book for Alyssa and Dasia.)

-- UVMC --