Why Whale Pins?
When Dana was little, we tried to travel as much as possible
because she was denied so many everyday joys that most
children take for granted. Dana never knew what it felt like to
feel the wind blow in her hair when riding a bike down the road.
She never knew what it felt like when a bat connects with a ball
and you score a run or the feel of victory when you are part of a
winning team. Jumping on a trampoline was out of the question and
feeling applause when you sing a beautiful song couldn't happen because she didn't have the lung capacity to sing that song.
We as a family found our joy in being together and sharing the magnificence of the
United States. By building these memories we had good things to think about as she was
experiencing treatments or surgeries in the hospital.
When Dana faced her surgery in
April of 1994, she looked at me before she climbed up on the table and said "I want to
move and breathe like the whales Mom. It must be wonderful to be able to take such a
deep breath and go anywhere you want to under your own power. When I get better
Mom, will you take me to see the whales?" My answer was yes but Dana died a few
weeks later without getting to see the whales.
On the one year anniversary of her death,
her father, brothers and I flew to Alaska and went out on a chartered boat to find the
whales. We found them and put flowers in the water for Dana.
It was at that time the
foundation was forming and it was only natural that the whale would become the symbol
of the foundation. It represents Dana's desire for taking a deep breath and finding out
what the future can hold.