Marlee's Wish

At the beginning of her wish journey, Marlee met with volunteers from Make-A-Wish Colorado. When they asked what her one true wish would be, she didn’t want to be, to go, to have, or to meet.

Marlee at Children's Hospital Colorado

She wanted to give.

Marlee envisioned a Build-A-Bear® for every oncology patient in the hospital. She wanted to provide a steadfast, plush-furred ally to help the other children get through the toughest time of their lives. Each one would be customized by the kids who know the same fears and sleepless nights as Marlee. Her hope was that her stuffed bears could transform a child’s bad day into a good day.

When her big day arrived, Marlee led the way as her helpers pushed carts overflowing with Build-A-Bears, each her gift of hope and comfort to her fellow hospital patients. She shared smiles and hugs with each child as she watched them customize their new companions. Each gift of a bear left the giver and recipient smiling – not to mention everyone who witnessed Marlee’s act of kindness. Marlee’s parents and sister, Bill, Shelly and Meredith, were overcome with pride. They knew that Marlee had just made the world a better place.

After a four year battle with Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, Marlee found healing on the other side of heaven.  Marlee's Smile is dedicated to continuing to provide bears to all kids with cancer and their siblings to change the world for kids with cancer, one smile at a time, just like Marlee did. 

Marlee's Bear workshop at Children's Hospital Colorado.  Spreading smiles with bears to oncology patients who were going through what she went through.

Her infectious smile and giving heart will live on forever.