History of Project Linus
On Christmas Eve, 1995, an article titled "Joy to the World" appeared in Parade Magazine. It was written by Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist, Eddie Adams. Part of the article featured a petite, downy haired child named Laura:
"Laura has unusual compassion for others," Charlotte Barry-Williams of Oceanside, California, says of her daughter, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 1993. "I guess part of the reason is that she has experienced so much pain herself."
A special "blankie" has helped Laura, 3, get through more than two years of intensive chemotherapy. She takes it to the hospital with her when she goes for treatment. When she was first diagnosed, 97 percent of her bone marrow contained cancerous cells. Although chemotherapy has helped eradicate the cancer, she has had to endure nausea, high fevers and the loss of her hair. An allergic reaction at one point caused her to lose vital signs.
"She doesn't understand what cancer means," her mother says. "She's a very joyous and happy person, very curious." Her mother hopes Laura can start preschool next spring.
After reading the article, Karen Loucks-Baker wondered if other ailing youngsters would like security blankets. The answer from the Rocky Mountain Children's Cancer Centre was a giant YES! Within three months, Karen received national attention for her effort by appearing on ABC's "Mike & Marty" television program. This lead to Project Linus growing from a Denver to a nationwide effort.
Project Linus was Born!
Project Linus was named after the adorable security blanket-toting character from the Peanuts comic strip. Creator Charles Schulz was aware of our effort and was delighted to have Linus inspire blanket makers to help comfort children in need of security.
A blanket is like a hug when you need it the most.
The goal of Project Linus is to provide a blanket of security to children facing substantial distress in their lives. Although originally focused on cancer patients, Project Linus Canada has expanded its focus to include any seriously ill or traumatized child. The list of recipients grows daily.