June 25, 2015
B.I.G. Love Cancer Care is a nonprofit organization committed to providing basic necessities and personalized care for kids with cancer and their families. In 2007 B.I.G. Love Cancer Care was established in Houston by Jessica Phillips and her family to honor their five-year-old daughter, Brooke Alyson Phillips. Brooke passed away on September 29, 2006 after bravely battling acute myeloid leukemia.
In 2014 the organization began spreading BIG LOVE into the Austin area by expanding services to Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Children’s Blood & Cancer Center (CBCC) patients and their families at Dell Children’s have been feeling the love from the B.I.G. Love Cancer Care team since they arrived in Austin in 2014. Founder Jessica Phillips remembers how comforted she and her family felt when others reached out to ease her family’s pain and stress during Brooke’s illness. She and her family are thrilled to serve more patients and families in the Austin area.
“The service and love offered to us by family and friends provided so much more than food, supplies, and financial assistance. It gave us hope in the darkest season of our lives. Sometimes just seeing a friendly face or a hope-filled smile gave us enough strength to press on and face the next battle with new resolve.”
B.I.G. Love Cancer Care was birthed in the heart of a five-year-old little girl, who through her devoted love for God and others, showed us the way – a way that we are forever committed to.
Until we see Brooke again, our family is determined to love like she loved us. She taught us how to see beyond our own pain and our own needs to recognize the needs of others. Many times at the hospital during the early morning hours, Brooke would hear children crying next to us. She would wake us immediately with an urgency to pray for the hurting child and family. She wanted to take food and toys and treats to the families in the hospital. So we did.”
Through B.I.G. Love Cancer Care, the family is keeping Brooke’s memory alive by supporting families at both Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and Dell Children’s in Austin.
“We joke with each other often that to volunteer with B.I.G. Love, you need a strong back. Our volunteers haul enormous amounts of supplies, food and toys to Dell Children’s every week…52 weeks of the year! Through our Weekly Wish List Program, our volunteers sometimes shop at 4-5 stores each week, including Sam’s, Wal-Mart, HEB and Target, to get special groceries or comfort items requested by patients. We deliver requested items to each patient’s room and always receive many hugs from patients and families.
Through our Family Kitchen Program, we stock the CBCC kitchens—both on the 4 North inpatient unit and in the outpatient clinic. Patients and their families have access to breakfast foods, microwavable meals, snack foods and drinks at all times.”
B.I.G. Love Cancer Care volunteers also supply care bags for newly diagnosed cancer patients, toys to keep a Toy Closet stocked in the CBCC outpatient clinic, holiday gifts and baskets for families to celebrate holidays and special occasions, and special items on a Comfort Cart for families with a child with a terminal prognosis.
The Phillips family dreams of adding other Texas children’s hospitals to their scope of services in the future.
“Although our life, our mission, our goals did not turn out like we had planned and the heartache at times unimaginable, we rest in this purpose, we are strengthened by love, and we hold on to our future hope.”
For more information about B.I.G. Love Cancer Care, visit www.biglovecancercare.org.