For a St. Jude patient named Hollace, a birthday that takes the cake

It would be Hollace’s first birthday since she finished treatment for leukemia at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so her mom wanted something really special. Yes, in the midst of a pandemic. While practically the whole world has to stay at home.

It would be Hollace’s first birthday since she finished treatment for leukemia at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, so her mom wanted something really special.

Yes, in the midst of a pandemic. While practically the whole world has to stay at home.

So Amy, knowing her daughter had been through so much and deserved a memorable day, asked for suggestions from friends on social media. “Within an hour I think I had like 60 comments and suggestions,” Amy said.

There were a bunch of good ones, but one really took the cake — an explosion cake, that is, made by Adrian Ordoñez, a St. Jude supporter who had befriended the family.

An explosion cake? If you don’t know what that is, just know that it’s as fun as it sounds. It’s a cake with rainbow-colored layers, covered in rainbow-colored sprinkles, with even more sprinkles inside — an explosion of color, and of kindness.

“It was beautiful,” Amy said. “And while we sang happy birthday to her, we got her best friend on FaceTime and so she sang happy birthday, too. So we sang happy birthday and enjoyed that amazing cake.”

Amy had tried to talk Adrian out of making the cake — it was entirely too much trouble, she said. But Adrian, the event chair for the local St. Jude Walk/Run, wouldn’t be stopped.

“He said he just wants to do it,” Amy said. “He’s met her, he loves our family, and so he just wanted to do it out of the kindness of his heart.”

And so, in the midst of a pandemic, a St. Jude survivor described by her mom as “super outgoing” and “just fun to be around,” managed to have a 9th birthday party worthy of her personality.

Yes, some of the usual kid-birthday reveries were missing, in these stay-at-home days of the COVID-19 virus.

But a special cake from a friend more than made up for that.

A cake, with kindness baked in.

Hollace

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