Soft afternoon light filters through enormous windows onto a quiet hallway of 7 South, the hospital’s cancer unit.
Soon, the tap-tap-tap of little gold shoes breaks the silence.
Whispers and muffled giggles.
Three little “tutu girls,” Avalynn, Chloe and McKinley, are seeking a fourth – Lauren.
Their mission: To make Lauren smile, and to make some new memories.
The girls, now 5 and 6 years old, first met here in 2016 when they were barely out of toddler stage, and were all being treated for cancer. They became fast friends, and some stunning photos were taken of them with their little bald heads and bright tutus which have made them a little famous.
The photos are now a tradition. Every September since they first met, the girls have come together to take photos in their tutus – a celebration of life and each other.
But this year was harder.
Lauren’s cancer has come back. She has remained brave and cheerful through a difficult time. But Lauren wasn’t about to miss this year’s tutu reunion… so the girls decided to come to her.
The door slowly opens to Lauren’s hospital room. She sees her friends, and she is beaming -- so happy, she almost launches off the bed.
Hugs all around. In this moment, there’s no time or space for illness. It’s playtime. Tutu Girls are friends forever.
See the video of this year’s Tutu Girls reunion, below.