Bridgett’s Story

May 9, 2009

by Teresa Contrerez


Bridgett was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was only six years old. She endured nearly two years of treatment, but, just when we thought it was over, her cancer came back and she needed a bone marrow transplant immediately. We moved into the hospital room lock, stock and barrel, and the struggle for her survival began. We were in complete isolation for a total of three months. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to watch my daughter endure.

During our first month in the hospital Kenny and Traci Brunk, the founders of Andrea’s Closet, came to visit and brought Bridgett one of her favorite toys, a Brat Doll. She was so sick she really didn’t want to see or hear from anybody. I, on the other hand, was exhausted and in desperate need of someone to talk to. Traci asked me if there was anything that I needed and I replied yes, “SLEEP!”

But I also needed help with Bridgett, who at this time was losing her will to live; the transplant was taking its toll and was becoming too much for her to handle. Kenny and Traci knew that it was Bridgett’s wish to go on a shopping spree for clothes, so they told Bridgett that for every time she did what she needed to do to get better they would give her $1.00 towards her shopping spree.

That is when the miracle began. Every time she did her mouth care, or walked to gain her strength, or any of the other small tasks, she would make a mark on the board in her hospital room.

Bridgettt was able to struggle each day to do what was necessary to get better so she could go on her shopping spree with Andrea’s Closet.

As often as possible Traci would come to visit Bridgett and bring her special toys from Andrea’s Closet. She would spend time just sitting with Bridgett, so the two of them became very close, and I was finally able to get some sleep.

Andrea’s Closet has changed our lives. They were there for us through every step of this unwelcomed journey. Bridgett is now four and half years post-transplant and is 100 % grafted, she is in school and doing wonderfully.

Thank you, Andrea’s Closet, for the wonderful work that you do.