The inspiration for the Dina Doll comes from founder and CEO, Michelle Ernsdorff’s sister and Compass to Care Board Member, Dina Bright, who was a constant companion during Michelle’s trips to and from her home in Dubuque to Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic as a young child. Dina was a source of comfort and a distraction from countless doctor visits and long car rides, which were part of Ernsdorff’s life from ages two to fourteen.
Ernsdorff commented, “I recently realized not every child who is battling cancer, or other medical condition that requires ongoing care, is lucky enough to have a sister and very best friend, like Dina, to be a source of comfort when the days are tough. I felt every child should have something to hold onto during these times. So, I decided to create a doll in my sister’s honor to be that constant companion, like she was to me.”
The Dina Doll, made possible through a grant from The Speh Family Foundation, has two unique features making her an ideal companion for all children, especially those who are battling cancer. The first is a pocket with a childhood cancer awareness ribbon that holds a good luck penny. This symbolizes the penny the Mayo Clinic nurse gave Michelle for being a great patient. The second is a pocket with a heart that holds a special note of inspiration written from a childhood cancer survivor to the recipient of the doll. Parents, friends, and family are encouraged to use this pocket to continually place notes throughout the child’s treatment.
"As Compass to Care's Treasurer on the Board of Directors, we are constantly assessing new ways to raise funds to meet the travel needs of children battling cancer," commented Bright. "I am honored to have the Dina Doll created based upon the relationship Michelle and I had as children, and excited that this doll will not only comfort the recipients but also increase our ability to help families travel in search of a cancer cure for their child," she added.
The expected release date for the Dina Doll is November 1, 2011. Each doll will be sold for $20 plus shipping. Pre-orders are now being accepted on the Dina Doll website at http://www.DinaDoll.org. Supporters may also purchase a Dina Doll that Compass to Care will give to a child who is battling cancer.
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Compass to Care, The Mike & Sandy Ernsdorff Childhood Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to scheduling and paying for the travel arrangements families require to seek the best cancer care for their children.