For her 11th birthday, Daisy Anguiano Miranda had a few friends over. They ate pizza, watched the movie watched the movie “Jumanji” and played around with makeup.
But the celebration wasn’t over. Within days of that get together, something magical happened, thanks to Ashli Brehm, a life blogger.
Brehm and Daisy had met several years ago at Nebraska Medicine, where they were both getting cancer treatments.
“I was so taken with her because she’s sort of an old soul,” said Brehm, 36, a mother of three. “She’s this lovely young girl.”
Months after meeting, they both finished their treatments. But earlier this year, Brehm heard that Daisy’s Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that mostly affects children, had returned. Daisy was back in treatment.
When Brehm found out her birthday was around the corner, she asked her social media followers to send flowers — and if possible, paper flowers — for Daisy.
When Brehm was receiving chemo treatments for her breast cancer, a child sent her a paper flower.
“When I got my paper flower, it was one of the things that lasted,” Brehm said. “I held on to it.”
In the appeal to her followers, Brehm also mentioned that Daisy likes art supplies. Soon, boxes and envelopes filled with markers, pens, sketch pads, stocking caps and purses started arriving at Brehm’s house in Omaha. A handmade quilt arrived, too. So did about 500 paper flowers. The boxes came for about a month, arriving from all over the country — Pennsylvania, Alaska, Kansas and Iowa.
Brehm gathered the supplies and, after coordinating with the hospital, set them out April 9 across a waiting area in the hospital on a day she knew Daisy was coming in to get some tests. Daisy’s birthday was three days earlier.
“I was hoping it didn’t freak her out,” Brehm said. “I had met her but I didn’t spend enough time with her for her to remember me.”
After decorating the waiting area with the flowers and gifts, Brehm anxiously waited for Daisy to arrive. When Daisy walked up with her mother, Brehm and others sang “Happy Birthday to You.”
Daily looked around in disbelief that all the gifts were for her.
“When I saw everything, when I saw each design on each flower was unique, I couldn’t even think in that moment,” Daisy said last week. “Seeing all the beautiful flowers, I felt special.”
There were so many gifts and flowers, in fact, Daisy started walking around the room giving away flowers to other patients and their families.